GLOSS Volume 2, Issue 7 - 2018 - Page 36

P R O F I L E dream come true. That statement was like an Oscar Award for me. You have won numerous awards but found your big break at MTV India Challenge of Talents 1999. What are the challenges you faced while trying to break into the industry and after gaining recognition? Oh boy! I remember the organiser of the show “MTV India, Rhythms 1999, A Talent Show” called me over the phone. He came over to my house sat with me and said “I have witnessed Michael’s live concert in LA. I heard you do good. If you can do better, I will get you awarded by MTV for sure.” I didn't know how he had come to know of me. I replied “I will not do better. I will do justice. Let you and the audience be the judge for it.” There were 50 more participants including groups from schools, colleges and universities. It was in Dubai Creek Park Amphitheater. More than 7 thousand audiences were gathered. It was hosted by Nikhil and Mini Mathur from “MTV Chillout”segment. 36 I was jittery. I was worried as well as I was the only one for Michael’s tribute performance. I performed 3 tracks, Jam, Ghosts and Billie Jean. The stage was carpeted and I had to get on and off the stage because of that. However, by the end of the show, when the organiser went on stage to announce the award, I couldn't believe I had won. I was shuddering with nervousness. I still cherish that moment. There were countless challenges and troubles during that time but I was able to prove that our nation is far more talented than what people think. We need to channelise our talents in the right direction and stay put in our shoes. What makes you different from other tribute artists who also imitate MJ? I sing live either on backing tracks or with musicians, singers and dancers. I try to justify my performance. I live Michael’s moments when I am performing and if I can’t make people happy, I would happily get off the stage. That’s where I feel, I am different. Also, I don’t do self-acclamations unlike others stating “world’s best, world’s No. 1 and recognized by Jacksons.” I have the trophies and I state them publicly with pride. How long does it take for Mudassar to turn into Michael Jackson and what steps do you take to get into character? The transformation from myself to Michael Jackson getup can take from 45 minutes to 1 hour 15 minutes max. That includes the wardrobe and makeup. I wear a wig which gives that final touch of looking like Michael. I don’t do face painting that many artists do. I prepare with a lot of rehearsals. I eat carefully. I listen to music very closely. I get the dresses custom made and make sure when I put them on, they should replicate Michael Jackson, on or off stage. Being a Pakistani, how has it been representing that aspect of your life while interacting with others and the many shows that you have done? It’s challenging. I am the only Pakistani tribute artist of Michael Jackson. I have faced many problems because of my nationality in this field. Especially when