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.
The music industry of Pakistan has gone through many changes. In the early 70s, pop music which had already gripped the world was now making inroads in Pakistan. Two names come to mind whenever evolution of pop music in Pakistan is mentioned; Alamgir and Mohammad Ali Shehki. Shehki is an unmatched talent in singing.
Shehki was introduced by Sohail Rana in 1973. At that time he was studying engineering in the NED University of Karachi. Under Sohail Rana’s guidance, Shehki’s talent blossomed. Soon he became immensely popular especially among the younger generation. Shehki made regular appearnces on the TV and the program “Rang Tarrang” featuring the pop singers had a wide audience. His national song “Mein bhi Pakistan hoon” is a milestone in his career. Usually national songs had an air of sobriety but Shehki’s song was so full of life; he sang it with unmatched zeal and conviction. Another hit song was “Allah Allah kar bhaiya”; he sang this song along with Allan Fakir. This song broke all records of popularity. Shehki has performed in numerous live concerts.
Shehki also did some playback singing for movies and acted in a couple of movies too. Nowadays Shehki is leading a quiet life and occasionally gives performances.
Munni Begum was born as Nadira in Murshidabad, West Bengal in India. She studied music under Ustad Khawaja Ghulam Mustafa Warsi and later joined a college of Music in Dhaka where her singing skills were further polished. Her family migrated to Pakistan after the war of 1971 which resulted in the creation of Bangladesh. Munni Begum’s journey towards success was full of hardships but she never gave up. With her father’s blessings and encouragement, she inched forward towards success and today she is known all over the world where good music is heard and appreciated.
Initially she recorded songs for radio and television. Munni Begum adopted a very simple style from the very beginning. She simplified ghazal singing; and ghazal was no more a genre of music understood and enjoyed by the intellectuals but even common masses could now relate to it. Munni Begun also played the harmonium while singing and some of her famous songs are her own compositions. Her song “Ek bar muskurado” is still fresh in the listeners’ minds. Munni Begum was well liked by the people because of her clear voice vibrant voice and distinct style of singing but the ghazal “mareez e mohabat unhe ka fasana took her to new heights of glory. Munni Begum has produced 40 cassettes in her entire career. Munni Begum is now settled in Chicago USA.
Ghazal is a genre of music very popular in South Asia especially Pakistan and India. The poets usually expressed their undying love and the cold response from the beloved in beautiful words. Later poets also made social issues a topic of their poetry. The beauty of ghazal is further enhanced if sung well.
Pakistan is lucky to have many talented ghazal singers; Tina Sani is one of them. Tina was born in Dhaka and lived in Kabul before settling in Karachi. Tina’s forte is rendition of ghazal in both classical and semi classic music. She was trained in classical music by Ustad Nizamuddin Khan and then by Ustad Amrohvi. Tina started her singing career by recording a jingle for an advertisement little did she know that she would become a celebrated ghazal singer later on.
Tina Sani was influenced by the great ghazal singers of like Malika Pukhraj, Akhtar Begum, Mukhtar Begum and Farida Khanum but has created her own style of singing. Over the years she has emerged as a mature artist who is constantly working on improving herself. Every new song is a step towards perfection. She dazzles the listeners with every word and every note she delivers. She renders the ghazals of contemporary poets with ease and is equally comfortable singing the poetry of Zauq, Ghalib and Mir; the immortals of Urdu poetry.
Tina Sani received the Pride of Performance Award from the government of Pakistan. Tina continues to enthrall the audience with her melodious voice.
Tahira Syed is a ghazal and folk singer from Pakistan. She is the youngest child of the legendary ghazal singer Malika Pukhraj. At the age of 12, Tahira started learning the basics of singing. After spending a couple of years learning classical music from Ustad Akhtar Hussain, her singing skills were later honed by her mother.
Tahira’s voice is quite different from that of other female Pakistani singers. Her voice is a bit heavy, resonant but graceful nonetheless. Tahira mostly sang ghazals, Pahari and Punjabi folk songs during her singing career. She started her singing career in 1968-69 from Radio Pakistan; a medium which served as a base and launched the careers of many singers and actors of Pakistan. Tahira has lent her voice to a couple of film songs as well. The film song which vibrates in the memories of many is “Hum sa ho to samney aaiy”. The famous music director Nisar Bazmi composed the song and asked Tahira to sing it. The song was a hit and Tahira put an end to all speculations that her voice did not suit playback singing.
Blessed with good looks, elegance and charm; the lady also graced the cover page of National Geographic magazine in 1985.
Tahira is not that active on the music scene and that’s why the new generation is not aware of her which is quite unfortunate. Singers like Tahira did not achieve fame overnight but worked hard for it.
People in Pakistan love music. They consider it “the food for soul”. Pakistanis have a song for every occasion be it joy or sorrow, trial or triumph every mood is musically expressed.
In the early days of its birth, classical music was at its zenith and even the composition of film songs was heavily influenced by classical music. Roshan Ara Begum, Noor Jehan and M. Kaleem were some noted singers.
Ghazals and geets are genres of music popular in Pakistan. The composition is semi classical. However training in classical music was a must for all singers. Iqbal Bano, Farida Khanum, Mehdi Hasan, Ustad Amanat Ali and Habib Wali Mohammed were popular ghazal singers.
Qawalli is devotional sufi music. It is performed by a group of singers singing after the lead singer. Although well known in the sub continent, Aziz Mian Qawal and Sabri Brothers gave a new life to Qawwali. Their soulful rendition transported listeners in a trance. Qawwali was modernized by Nusrat Fateh Ali. Abida Parveen is a big name in sufi music.
The 1965 war gave birth to Milli Naghmay (national songs). They infuse a spirit of patriotism in listeners.
Music of Pakistan is incomplete without mentioning the folk/ regional music. The four provinces of Pakistan have a sound of their own as well as some musical instruments. The theme of the folk songs is usually the simple rustic life. Alan Fakir, Alam Lohar, Zarina Baloch, Pathanay Khan are some famous singers.
Pakistanis had their first taste of Pop music when Ahmed Rushdi sang ‘Ko Ko Korina’ in 1960s. 80s was an era of pop music. Nazia Hasan, Alamgir, Mohammed Ali Shehki were some pop sensations. Western influence in Pakistani music was noticeable.
The music after the 80s was a beautiful fusion of east and west. Music thrived more in the form of bands like Vital Signs, Junoon, Awaz and Strings. Junoon introduced “Sufi Rock” the world over.
To date Pakistani musicians are experimenting and producing beautiful melodies.