Video: Ajanta Paul; Correspondent: Sneha May Francis
Moroccan singer Abdelfettah Grini is a household name in Bollywood, what with his Arabic ‘Jabra’ track hitting top of the charts, and 6 million views on YouTube.
In an exclusive tête-à-tête at the Emirates24|7 office, the guy with the “crazy hair” talks about being ‘Fan’ to Shah Rukh Khan, and how ‘Jabra’ has been a game-changer.
While 'Jabra' anthem has been tuned in few Indian languages, it's the Arabic version that has won over million hearts. "(Even) Shah Rukh Khan has said it is the best one."
It was in Dubai, during the rehearsals for Times of India movie awards nights (TOIFA) that Grini first met SRK.
“It’s surreal how he changed my life,” he beams, adding it was at TOIFA that he first met SRK, and then shared the stage with him for the big Arabic ‘Jabra’ act.
“I remember rehearsing on stage (before SRK arrived) and no one even looked at me. I mean, I had my Arab fans come up to me, but that was it. But, after spending 3 minutes with him on stage, I turned into a star. Suddenly everyone wanted to take pictures with me,” he beams.
Grini’s journey into the ‘Fan’ household happened with Yash Raj movie productions approaching MBC Bollywood and then, Platinum. "And, they decided that I will be the one.”
There was a brainstorming session, and Grini was told about ‘Fan’ and was hit with the idea of singing for SRK. “I asked them who will be in the movie, and they said Shah Rukh, and I was in shock.”
He told them he was a “huge fan of Bollywood” and knew “everything about Bollywood and SRK”. But, they didn't believe Grini until he rattled out the movies that linked SRK with Yash Raj. "I told them first movie Yash Raj produced for SRK was ‘Darr’”.
“That was my first movie.” It didn’t end there. He even sang the movie's title track ‘Jaadu Terri Nazar’ to prove he knew Bollywood well. “After that, it was ‘Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge', then, 'Dil Toh Pagal Hai’, then ‘Mohabbatein’." Evidently establishing he was up-to-date with his Bollywood lessons.
"I'm a huge fan of Bollywood. I know all the actors. I was always telling people in Platinum that I wanted to do something in Bollywood, and they were listening. It was a dream."
Grini will be at the theatre this Thursday to watch the movie.
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