Music composer Feroz Nizami’s death anniversary observed
LAHORE: The 43rd death anniversary of legendary music composer Feroz Nizami is being observed today. According to industry insiders, the late artist was among the first composers to have made a mark in entertainment. He not only excelled in Pakistan’s film industry after 1947 but was also one of the best composers in Bombay before Partition.
“Feroz Nizami’s work is an asset to Pakistan’s film and music industries. He was a pioneer, who was able to mix local music with western music in that era,” music composer Raza Shah told The Express Tribune. “The tones and melodies he produced really prove his talent and we are so lucky to have had such a big name part of our history.” Nizami, whose real name was Ferozuddin Ahmad, worked on numerous Lollywood hits in his lifetime, also introducing the likes of renowned singer Muhammad Rafi. He wrote three books on art music during his career.
Nizami was the brother of celebrated cricketer Nazar Muhammad and famed writer Siraj Nizami. His family has organised an event in his honour at their Lahore residence today, where music-related personalities will gather. The Jugnu musician was born in 1916 in Lahore. After completing his education from Lahore’s Islamia College, he went on to study at Government College. Nonetheless, since he was a child, he was always inclined towards music. Therefore, he went on to train with classical singer Ustad Abdul Wahd Khan.
Nizami eventually began working for All India Radio – starting off in Lahore, then Delhi and finally Lucknow. During his time in radio, Nizami grew a liking towards the film industry and wanted to work in films. He therefore, decided to move to Bombay, where his interests could transpire into work. Soon enough, he got his big breakthrough with the Noor Jehan-starrer Jugnu in 1947, which proved to be a musical blockbuster.
“Although Mumbai was the center of the film industry, Feroz Nizami was very talented and different than others. That’s why he stood out and managed to shine from the very beginning,” Nizami’s widow, Ghulam Fatima said. “He gained popularity pretty quickly and was classed as one of the best musicians since the very beginning.” She continued, “However, it was Jugnu which brought him immense fame. The film, which had Noor Jahan and Dilip Kumar among the cast, was the one that saw Feroz and Muhammad Rafi working together. Rafi was staying in my Bombay home during Jugnu’s production.”
Fatima went on to share that Jehan was not onboard with Rafi working on Jugnu and it was herself and Nizami who convinced the team. “Once we gave him the chance, Muhammd Rafi impressed the whole team.” She also revealed that the couple of years right before Partition saw Nizami being considered an ustad in Bombay. “People such as Lata Mangaihskar, Muhammd Rafi, Dilip Kumar and other industry bigwigs would call him ustad. They all had a lot of love and respect for him.”
Nizami’s son Javaid also shared details of his father. “He continued to teach music even during his last few years. He gave classes in Lahore’s Arts Council and also wrote two books on music named Israr-e-Moseqi, Ramoz-e-Moseqi and one on spiritualism titled Sarchashma Hayat. To this day, we have singers visiting us to meet my mother so they can hear stories about my father.” Feroz Nizami died on November 15, 1975, in Lahore. He was 59.