Pride of Pakistan – Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan


Famous singer and qawaal of Pakistan- Rahat Fateh Ali Khan

Rahat Fateh Ali Khan is the nephew of the greatest singer of the millennium, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. Rahat has achieved in a short span what took his uncle years to achieve; international recognition. Rahat was a part of Nusrat’s troupe which accompanied him on concert tours. His first solo performance came at the age of 11 years when he was touring Britain with his uncle.

Rahat gained instant fame with his song “Mann ki lagan” for an Indian movie in 2004. Since then he has sung for various Indian movies and has also composed music of some. Ghazal, classical and qawwali; Rahat is a master of all three after all he had the best teacher Nusrat Fateh Ali. Besides Hindi movies, Rahat has also featured in some Hollywood movies; Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto is one of them.In the recent years majority of the songs which were huge hits in Indian movies were sung by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan.

Over the years, Rahat has attained the perfection with time. His soft melodious voice hypnotizes people and his intense vocals leave you begging for more. Rahat has the power to move people with every note he delivers. Time has brought him fame and success and success has brought him humility; these are the signs of great people.

Pride of Pakistan – Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

Greatest qawaal of Pakistan Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

Nusrat Fateh Ali’s contributions to music are innumerable. He revived and revolutionized qawwali; the devotional Sufi music. Nusrat’s family had been singing qawwalis for ages. When Nusrat started singing with his uncle Mubarak Ali Khan, qawwali had lost its appeal in South Asia the place of its origin and was unheard of in the west.

Nusrat actually introduced qawwali to thousands of people. He sang with such devotion and zeal that he left the listeners even those who did not understand the lyrics were entranced. The sincerity, passion zest and the amazing intensity with which Nusrat sang qawwalis moved people regardless of their faith. He had a large audience in the West because he blended the traditional eastern music with western style. The result was that the western audience could relate to his music even though words were foreign.

Nusrat began his career in 1967, after his uncle’s death, he became the leader of his team. In 1973, EMI a Pakistani recording company released some albums featuring Nusrat and his uncle Mubarak Ali Khan. Nusrat’s immense talent was slowly being recognized and the Oriental Star Agencies of Birmingham UK signed him and so Nusrat performed in Britain in the early 80s. Many cassette companies of USA, Japan, Britain, Pakistan and other European countries released more than 50 albums of Nusrat Fateh Ali from 1973-93. However the Real World label brought Nusrat worldwide recognition.

Nusrat also composed the soundtrack of foreign movies like “Dead Man Walking”, “Natural Born Killers”, “Last Temptation of Christ” and the Hindi film “Bandit Queen”. Nusrat also worked with the British Raver “Massive Attack”. Nusrat also sang qawwalis for Pakistani and Hindi films and also composed music of some films.

Nusrat Fateh Ali was the winner of many prestigious international awards. His album Intoxicated Spirit was nominated for Grammy in 1997 in the best traditional folk album category.

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan suffered a heart attack and died on 16th August 1997. Music lovers all over the world mourned his death.

Qawwali – a sign of Sufism

Farid Ayaz Qawali

Pakistan has more types of music than most other countries. One genre originated in the 13th century as a form of religious expressionism. The person credited with the creation of Qawwali is Ameer Khusru. Qawwali, as it is known today, consists of a group performance. The group includes a lead vocalist (usually a sheikh), two back-up singers, and various percussionists. This dynamic music is played and loved by audiences in Pakistan as well as in other parts of Northern India. The music itself is played in many forms, but it is basically of Sufi origin. As religious music, it is supposed to express the mystical ideals of Sufism and of the Islamic religion. The beauty of this music lies more in the poetry than in the sounds. The poetry can sometimes be erotic; some Orthodox Muslims reject the genre as being too sexual in its expressions.

The singer known as “shehen-shah-e-qawwali”, meaning “qawwali’s brightest-shining star”, was Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. This remarkable and extremely popular singer brought the entire world in to share the magic of his style of music. In 1948 he was born into a musical family of Qawwali singers and performers. His “party”, as the musical group is referred to, included his uncle Mubarak Ali Khan and his brother Farrrukh Fateh Ali Khan. In 1997, he passed away but will never be forgotten. Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan is revered and remembered today as the man who popularized qawwali and allowed the world to listen and enjoy it!!