"I started my career with painting portraits in a hotel lobby – 20-minute sketches. I was 18 then. I collected money by doing this so that I could record my album," the 31-year-old said here while painting his "London, Paris, New York" co-star Aditi Rao Hydari at a promotional event of the film releasing Friday.
"Then I recorded my songs and shot the video. I was studying and modelling simultaneously, only to fulfill my dreams. All this took three-four years and when it finally released my hard work paid off, the song ‘Channo’ became a hit overnight," he added.
Ali goes red in the face at the mention of his most beloved painting.
"I think I had made a painting of someone a long time ago and that was quite an emotional painting. It’s an old, personal story. She got married to someone else," said Ali shyly.
He has not only acted in "London, Paris, New York" but also composed the music and penned the lyrics for the movie. He even made good use of his camera on the sets by taking pictures, with photography being his one other creative skill.
Ali is currently busy promoting "London, Paris, New York", which is directed by Anu Menon.