Dubai: It’s not quite a rags-to-riches story yet, but it surely has all the makings of one.
Naseem Khan, “a twenty-something simpleton” from a suburb of Karachi came to Dubai in April, but got lost in search of a job, identity and a means to “send back more” for a sister on dialysis.
Then one day it all happened.
The youngest of six siblings was walking along Shaikh Zayed Road one blazing afternoon this month when fate played its hand through a chance meeting with an events producer.
“I was waiting in a parking lot in front of Ace Hardware when Naseem approached me saying he was looking for a job, stating he could sing. Being in the entertainment industry for almost two decades, I knew I could possibly help him and was happy to share my business card with him,” recalls events producer Abhishek Mathur of that chance meeting.
“But just when I was about to leave, he asked me if I had two minutes to listen to one of his songs. And as soon as he sang the first few words, I knew I had uncovered a sensation,” adds the Canadian expatriate.
With a great voice and a talent to match, the son of a classical singer had managed to impress the right man at the right time.
Khan’s one-month visit visa was promptly extended by Mathur who got in touch with his contacts from the music industry in the UAE, India, Canada and everywhere.
And it was only a matter of time before Naseem landed at Josh 97.8, the UAE’s top Bollywood radio station. “I wouldn’t have taken him on air had I not heard him. He is that good,” says Madhura Rajendra, head of the station.
Comfortable singing anything from classical (Raag Darbari to Raag Bhairavi) to semi-classical genres like Thumri, Khan came to Dubai wanting to make money to buy an auto rickshaw back home. “I guess that will have to wait for some time now,” says the soft-spoken youth who is set to get his first solo act at the Dhow Palace Hotel (free show) this Friday on the back of his radio stint.