Adnan Sami

Adnan Sami Khan is a Pakistani-born Indian singer, musician, music composer, and pianist. Born August 15, 1971, he performs Indian and Western music, including for Hindi movies. His most notable instrument is the piano and he has been credited as “the first musician to have played the santoor and Indian classical piano. In fact, he is so good at the piano that a review of the US-based Keyboard magazine described him as the fastest keyboard player in the world and called him the keyboard discovery of the nineties. From a young age, Sami was raised and educated in the United Kingdom partially. He attended the Rugby School in Rugby, West Midlands, UK. Adnan followed his bachelor’s degree with a law degree from King’s College London. In terms of music, he had played the piano since the age of five and composed his first piece of music at the age of nine. He subsequently began taking lessons in Indian classical music from the santoor maestro Pandit Shivkumar Sharma when he would visit India during his school vacations. Then, Indian singer Asha Bhosle saw him at age ten at an R. D. Burman concert in London and encouraged him to take up music as a career. As a teenager, Adnan, when performing on the piano on a TV program in Stockholm, was described as the fastest man on the keyboard in the world. Then at the age of sixteen, Sami was approached to write a song for Famine-hit Ethiopia, for which he won a special award from UNICEF. Later in his career, he released his first single “Run for His Life” in 1986. It was in English and was recorded for UNICEF. It went to No. 1 in the music charts in the Middle East. This was followed by three more No. 1s: “Talk to me,” “Hot Summer Day” and “You’re My Best Kept Secret”. Then came his first formal album, The One and Only in 1989. It was a classical album on the piano accompanied by tabla maestro Zakir Hussain. He released his first vocal solo album Raag Time in 1991. The title track from this album Teri Yaad, became a huge hit in Pakistan. Furthermore, in 1994, he composed music for a film for the first time. The 1995 Pakistani film Sargam, in which he was the lead actor and Indian playback singer Asha Bhosle did the singing for Sargam. Not only was the film a huge box office success, but it was also the first time that an Indian playback singer was featured in an album in Pakistan. Till date Sargam is the only film that Sami has acted in. Then in 200, Asha Bhosle collaborated with Sami on a collection of love songs named Kabhi To Nazar Milao in INdia. The music was also composed by Adnan. This album became an instant success and topped the Indipop charts for most of 2001 and 2002. The album is also reported to have sold 4 million copies in India alone. Later in his career, as he was getting popular, filmmaker Boney Kapoor invited him to provide music for his film. This was the beginning for him to compose and sing for Hindi films and for the top Hindi film producers of the time like Yash Chopra and Subhash Ghai. He then continued to release several hit albums, singles, and compose songs for films that were huge box office success. In his career of 32 years, Sami won many international awards including the Nigar Award, Bolan Academy Award and Graduate Award. He is also the youngest recipient of the Naushad Music Award for Excellence in Music. In 2010, Sami received the “Lifetime Achievement Award” from the Prime Minister of Pakistan at a ceremony by Pakistan television. Then in 2011, Sami was also given the “Glory of India Award” by the India International Friendship Society. After living in India for numerous years and due to the expiry of his Pakistani passport, Sami applied for India citizenship and was granted in 2016 hence making him a Pakistani-Indian musician.

The CHDS Radio Dil Se team would like to invite you to listen to our Adnan Sami daily special today from 10 am – 11 am and 5 pm – 6 pm EST.

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