Envision a complete genre of music, established in ancient times that lie covered up to a large portion of the world. Its customs stretch back 700 years, yet few know it exists. Its excellent tunes plunge and take off. But, nobody is around to listen.
Such was the condition of Qawwali in a not really far off past. At that point came Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, born on October 13, 1948 who opened the world’s ears to the rich, mesmerizing sounds of the Sufis. Born to a musical family, Khan conveyed Qawwali from unobtrusive inceptions to global consideration.
In his short 48-year long life, Nusrat was renowned as the world’s most prominent qawwali singer. In 1987, Khan got the President of Pakistan’s Award for Pride of Performance for his extensive contribution to Pakistani music.
He worked together with, and influence, endless musicians. What’s more, his perseverance was amazing; a few performances could keep going the length of ten hours!
Thanks to his legendary voice, Khan helped bring “world music” to the world.
Jeff Buckley, a western music legend, said that Nusrat was one of his greatest influences. Buckley went ahead to call him his “Elvis” and regularly performed the initial couple of minutes of one of Khan’s hit songs at his concerts.
Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan popularized the conventional spiritualist qawwali, a type of sufi reverential music, most well known in South Asia. He also sang ghazals and indulged in jazz fusion. Some of his most popular tunes incorporate Kinna Sohan Tainu, Piya Re Piya Re, Gham Hai Ya Khushi, Mera Piya Ghar Aaya, Dum Mast Kalandar, Afreen and numerous others.
He died of a cardiac arrest at the age of 49 on 16 August, 1997, at the peak of his career.