Lady Gaga loves the sitar: Fateh Ali Khan

Manali, June 3 (IANS) Delhi-based sitar player Fateh Ali Khan, who performed with Lady Gaga, says that the Grammy award winning singer not only knows about India's classical instruments but also appreciated his work.

"When I took my sitar in front of Lady Gaga before my performance, she said she loved the sitar and listened it a lot in the US," Khan, who performed with Gaga at the Formula 1 after party, told IANS.

"She liked the designs on my sitar and already knew about the instrument. That's why she wanted me to play it in the beginning of her act. She's very humble and professional. It was an honour for me that my music and talent has been recognised by her," he added.

According to Khan, maestros such as Ravi Shankar, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, Bismillah Khan and others have made classical instruments popular globally.

"Thanks to our maestros...they have made the classical instruments popular in the global arena," he added.

He was speaking on the sidelines of ongoing Manali Summer Sundowner, a month long music and arts festival that started here June 1.

The 36-year-old is the sixth generation performing artist from Moradabad Gharana.

"My whole family is into the tabla and the sarangi. I learned singing at the age of seven from my grandfather. Though my family is known for the sarangi, I learned the sitar. It's been more than 25 years that I've been playing sitar," he added.

Khan, who is associated with bands like Kabul and Soul Samvaad, has so far launched four albums. He also gave music for some international songs with his brother Murad Ali Khan, who plays the sarangi.

"Other than Kabul, I'm also playing for Soul Samvaad. Both the bands have the sarangi and the sitar. My brother also plays in the same band. I've also played for Latin, lounge, rock and world music," he said.

A fan of late Jagjit Singh's ghazals, Khan feels music is about listening through emotions.

"I listen to music by heart that's why I love to listen to soft music and ghazals. My favourite is ghazals by Jagjit Singh," he said.

The band Kabul has seven member - Khan, who plays the sitar, drummer Vishal Mehta, lead guitarist Subhanshu Singh, vocalist Kabul, Kamal who handles keyboards and bassist Deepak.

The band performed at the Manali music fest Saturday.