RAHAT FATEH ALI KHAN PAKISTANI QAWALI/DEVOTION SINGER
"In the tradition of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, his nephew, and prodigy, Rahat carries on the Qawwali message. The vocal spiritualizations of the Qawwali singer is an art that has spanned seven centuries. I hope Rahat will touch us in the way Nusrat has and continue on the Ali Khan legacy."
|Rahat Fateh Ali Khan |
The origins of Qawwali music trace back over seven hundred years to the spiritual Samah songs of Persia. Qawwali's devotional themes of peace and love are held to come from God, sung on earth by the Prophets who followed Mohammad.
Pakistan's Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan the most revered Qawwal before his death in 1997, at which time he passed the title to his nephew, Rahat. In accordance with tradition, Nusrat selected Rahat during boyhood and schooled him in the arts of Qawwali, eventually placing him at his side when Nusrat and party performed.
After seeing him sing with his uncle at one of Nusrat's final performances, he was called for debut by American Recordings for final studio sessions with Nusrat.
All good things take time to happen and that is what National Network of Education Team kept in mind while trying to get in touch with Rahat Fateh Ali Khan. He was stationed in Hotel Ashoka. He came one day before his performance .He called up at the hotel and got in touch with his Assistant Sherry and then we had a telephonic talk where he gave us an appointment (in the hotel). So NNE’s team vouched him there. The reason for such a tight security was the arrival of Dr. Abdul Kalam. This memorable moment would always be cherished in the history of National Network Of Education.Excerpts from the conversation:NNE: What is the essence of music for you? Rahat Ji:
Music is my life. Music is everything for me. If I had been scholastic that wouldn’t have been an achievement because without the knowledge of music I would still be considered as an illiterate for the reason being that Music is given much preference than academic qualifications. Our entire family is into music and music is one most important part of our lives. In short, Music is in our souls! NNE: Tell us something about your first brush up with Music? Rahat Ji:
Well, I don’t remember the exact date and time of beginning but as I told you that Music was all around in our house and we were born and brought up in that environment. So, it entered my nerves since I got into my senses. It became an essential part of my life since my childhood. My musical grooming started at the age of mere seven and I gave my first performance at the age of nine, after that there was no looking back. NNE: Who was your source of inspiration? Rahat Ji:
I was majorly inspired by Bade Ghulam Ji, he is my idol. His mere thought brings in the best out of me. It works as a driving force during my performances.NNE: What role Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan Ji plays in your life?
: He is my Guru. He is my inspiration, my motivation, in fact everything for me. He was very particular about practicing us with the music. He was the most devoted and committed person and very particular about our being disciplined in classroom during our Riyaaz days.
NNE: How do you accept your comparison with Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan ji? Rahat Ji:
I think that it is not fair to compare me with such an established name, as the competition is very tough for me. Whenever, I am performing this comparison factor though acts as a positive pressure on me, but at times it makes me tense as while giving performance I have to take care of two things. The comparison vis-à-vis the audience expectations with me. NNE: What is the essence of Riyaaz in your life? Rahat Ji:
Well, Riyaaz is an integral part of our learning. Without proper grooming no talent can be polished. And, whatever I am it’s just because of Riyaaz. Although I have to still go a long way in this journey but to put a strong hold on it I don’t have any other option but to practice it and bring nikhaar in my voice.NNE: What do you think is the role of lyrics in a song? Rahat Ji:
(He Smiles) without lyrics songs would be like a body without soul. And I am one such person who is very particular about lyrics of a song, especially if I have to sing it. If I don’t like the lyrics of a song I refuse to sing it. NNE: Which audience would you prefer Indian or Pakistan audience? Rahat Ji:
Well, to be very honest I appreciate Indian audience and there is one major reason behind it. Indian audience is culturally sound; they have a good grasp over their culture and specifically music. This instinct takes them into the depth of music, which is one factor I admire. They give heed to the lyrics of a particular song, which makes them the most adorable audience. That is why I love to perform here.NNE: What about your plans for Bollywood? After ‘Paap’ any other movies in the pipeline? Rahat Ji:
Bollywood is one such place I feel honoured to be associated with. Not much as such is in the store, but yes I am doing playback singing for the movie ‘Rog’.NNE: Who are your favourite singers & musicians in Bollywood? Rahat Ji:
I admire Lata Ji (Lata Mangeshkar), Asha Ji (Asha Bhosle) and amongst the instrumentalists I adore Hari Prasad Chaurasia.NNE: The most happiest moment of your life? Rahat Ji:
Whenever, I am performing at stage, I am always happy. Each performance brings new cherished moments adding on to the previous ones. These performances revere the music in my inner soul.NNE: If Rahat Fateh Ali Khan wouldn’t have been a Singer than what & where he would have been? Rahat Ji:
I think then I should doubt the existence of Rahat Fateh Ali Khan. Rahat Fateh Ali Khan is only because of Music and in fact they both are synonymous to each other. I had never given even a single thought on such issues. For me, Music is I and I am Music and no question of survival without it.NNE: Any message to the young generation?Rahat Ji:
Well the present generation is well aware, well off and well knowledgeable. You can’t give them any advices; at least for me this is there. They know how to take, accept and appreciate good things. They can differentiate well and moreover they have their different parameters to judge the things. The generation today is intelligent enough so I can simply bless them for their future.NNE:Would you like to say something to Indian audience?Rahat Ji:
My message to the Indian audience is that I am thankful to them for giving me such an overwhelming response and I will always try to come up to their expectations. I love them, respect them, honour them, as they are my favourite audience and will always remain.