Aa ja teno akhiyan udeek dian: Wandering in search of another Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan
ISLAMABAD: Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan was a soul-touching singer and there is no exaggeration if Japanese could not stop calling him a singing Buddha and Americans found a voice of paradise in him.
Nusrat, whose fans elevated him to the status of Shahenshah-e-Qawali, left the mortal world at the age of 48.
Fateh was born with God-gifted qualities as an artist who inspired fans from every class and age group.
Humaira Channa, famous for her film and television songs, got the opportunity to work with Fateh.
“We worked together for music of film Pal Do Pal and also for an Indian film,” she told APP.
She said Fateh achieved an international stature and his every composition struck the charts as a super hit. Pakistani artists felt his absence.
She said Pakistanis should have acknowledged him more and been benefited from his talent when the great master was alive.
He was a genius and his uniqueness was that he modernised Qawali – a mystical genre of music – and beautifully blended eastern and western musical instruments.
Fateh’s family had an unbroken tradition of performing Qawwali, spreading over generations.
His father was initially reluctant to allow him to enter the field of Qawwali but his enthusiasm eventually persuaded his father to train him in the art.
His beginnings were humble and at the start he used to perform Qawwali at shrines and fairs.
He started his musical career as a tabla player but his parents saw in him potential as a brilliant musician. And that set him on a journey of discovery and accomplishment.
An emerging Pakistani artist said, “Strength of Fateh was extraordinary. Unlike what happens to singers in Pakistan, he never fully ventured into the field of playback singing. He was exceptional and unmatched in the world.”
His final field over which he held sway was music direction and he reached its zenith. Fateh made his indelible mark on the musical scene of Pakistan and then his artistic influence made way to the western world.
He did music projects with India music composer A R Rehman and film lyricist Javed Akhtar.
He had vast reserves of energy and mesmerised his audiences as he opened his palms towards the sky. It looked as if he was channelling a divine note through his voice. In a short span of time, he composed and sang a large treasure of music. He reached out to western audiences through his work with Peter Gabriel on the soundtrack to The Last Temptation of Christ in 1985. He was very popular among the younger generation and still is.
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Fateh holds the world record for the largest recorded output by a Qawwali artist – a total of 125 albums as of 2001.
Source: Daily Times