Superstar finalists: Meet Afnan Iftikhar
NAME: Afnan Iftikhar
FROM: North Shields
Afnan was born in Lahore, Pakistan where he lived with his parents and sister until he was 9 years old, he then moved with his family to Newcastle. His main hobby as a child was cricket – he played for many teams and imagined he’d be a professional cricketer when he was older. In high school he and his friends started a band and played a few gigs. The band fizzled out but Afnan discovered that he was happiest when he was performing. He loved the thrill of singing for a crowd so applied to Northumbria University where he studied performance in acting, singing and dancing. He taught himself to play the guitar and drums and joined another band called Back Seat Angel. His love of rock music grew – influenced by bands such as Led Zeppelin, Audioslave and Muse. It wasn’t until university that Afnan discovered musical theatre, his mentor gave him a couple of CD’s to listen to and one of them was Steve Balsamo’s version of Gethsemane. On hearing the song for the first time knew he wanted to play that role.
How did it feel when you found out you got through to the live finals?
Wow, I was numb with excitement; when Andrew gave me the final outcome, I had prepared myself with the knowledge that I was going home and that it had been a great learning curve and experience. As soon as Andrew told me I was through, I didn’t really hear what he said, I was so shocked! I can vaguely remember getting up, hugging him, nearly crushing him and apologising! Amanda asked me how I felt and I was completely numb, I could hardly remember anything, it was an amazing feeling.
What can we expect from you in the live shows?
You can expect to see different sides of my performances; in the auditions we only got to show snippets of our talent. In the live shows we are given more freedom to show what we can do. I might throw in a couple of surprises as well.
How has the experience been for you so far?
It has been incredible and surreal, it’s just one of those situations that you’ve never experienced before. We’re all mates but find ourselves competing against each other, it’s strange. It’s been a complete rollercoaster, there have been ups, downs, highs and lows but overall it’s been incredible and we’re all so lucky to be in this position.
What would winning Superstar mean to you and how do you think it will change your life?
Winning Superstar would mean the absolute world to me. This is a show that inspired me when I was younger, when I saw this for the first time, it changed me and made me want to play this role. It would be such a massive step for me and it would completely change my life.