Published on April 21st, 2021 | by Dr. Jerry Doby0
Introducing the Exciting New-York Based Singer-Songwriter A-Zal
Atif Afzal aka A-Zal is originally from India and migrated to the US in 2018 on an extraordinary ability visa gaining permanent residence in this country. With a career spanning more than a decade, he has composed music for international, Cannes-nominated films. Soon after coming to the US, he composed soundtracks for the American television series NCIS: Los Angeles and The Twilight Zone. I’ve gotten a sneek peek at one of his upcoming singles Phonebook from his upcoming full-length project and the sound is huge and will ensure that A-Zal is on our radar as one to watch for the future.
Taking some time from his busy schedule, The Hype Magazine got A-Zal to weigh in on a few things!
From the outside looking in, who is A-Zal?
A-Zal is a pop-singer with a dream to be loved by the world for his voice. My birth name is Atif Afzal and am fondly recognized as A-Zal by my fans. I don’t just perform the song, I am the song! I am an expresser who uses his singing to express what I feel and want the world to connect to it as most of us go through similar feelings at different stages in our lives.
What was the defining moment when music chose you?
My inclination to music began at the age of 11 years. I started learning the mouth organ to begin with and then went on to learn several instruments including the guitar and the piano. I essentially began vocal training much later in life.
The defining moment when I decided that I was meant to do just music is while I was working as an IT consultant after completing my engineering. Everything was working out fine, however, deep within my heart I knew that I was just born to do music.
Tell us about your journey from India to the United States and why you chose to bring your talents to the States!
This journey started in 2014 with my interview with one of Hollywood’s most renowned film composer, Hans Zimmer. I interviewed to assist Zimmer, though I couldn’t make it as I didn’t have a work permit at that time. That’s when the grind started which eventually led to me getting a permanent residency in the United States based on an extraordinary ability visa.
This country and its people have been truly supportive and really appreciate my talent. I got my first major TV commercial within one month of coming here and in the last three years, I have worked on some notable films and television series such as NCIS: Los Angeles and The Twilight Zone.
What has been one of the biggest highlights for you about the journey?
The biggest highlight in my journey was to see my films being recognized at CANNES, which is one of the world’s most reputed film festivals. The prime learning for me was that dreams don’t work till you do. I knew I will have to be at it every single day if I want to get even close to my dream.
Tell us about your upcoming project and what it means for you!
I am coming up with my first solo pop album later this year called 17&11 Nights. The album will have 8 – 10 songs and I am working with a team of Grammy-nominated sound engineers and music producers who have worked with amazing artists like Justin Bieber, Prince, Jason Derulo, David Guetta and Pitbull. This album is going to be right up there!
Apart from my album, I have recently signed a NETFLIX film, but due to confidentiality reasons, I cannot speak much about it. It is a really exciting project and my third film for NETFLIX.
What do you want listeners to get from your music?
I just want them to jump out of their seats and say “Who the heck is this guy, I want to hear more!” As I said, I am my songs, so I want them to feel every emotion, every word as everything has a meaning to it.
Where do you think Pop music is headed in the next 5 years?
Pop music is in a great space and has always been the king amongst all the genres that have ever existed. I have studied music history and the style of music is very relevant to the time and situation of the world. For example, music of the 1950’s was slow, just how the world was back then compared to now. Rock music came with an angst, rap with a rebel. Some genres do come and vanish like Dubstep. Pop, on the other hand, is the king for me. In the next five years, I see emergence of a lot of underground artist into the mainstream, given the rise of independent digital music distribution services.
Outside of music what are your passions?
I love to travel and cook. Being an engineer, I also have an affinity towards technology. I am a blockchain enthusiast and can’t wait to see where the NFT heads in the coming years.
What’s been the funniest WTF moment thus far in your career?
The funniest moment was back in 2013 when I was nascent in my career. I was invited to a film festival, and while walking the green carpet, I was getting huge attention besides the paparazzi by the press and media. I was talking to myself saying I made it so big, so quick! Soon, I realized that the festival folks mistook me for another artist who was way more famous than me back then! And all I could say was WTF!!!
Where can we find you online?
Website – https://spark.adobe.com/page/jtU3jqkNVse7U/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/atifafzalofficial
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/atifafzalmusic/
YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCg7Mk_yQO75AYJIpLeYChfA