Music has the power to heal and bring people closer. This is the driving force behind some Afghan refugees in Delhi, who have come together to form a band, Yuva Beats.
The band is managed by Khalid Mominzadah, for whom, escaping Afghanistan was a matter of life and death. “I was a journalist in Kabul and used to cover the Afghan National Army. The terrorists targeted media personnel and I started receiving death threats. I fled to India with my daughter and pregnant wife,” says Khalid.
Once in Delhi, he found many others from his country, especially children, who felt helpless and hopeless. “I knew I had to do something to make their lives better. I joined Don Bosco Ashalayam to learn English and that’s where a talent hunt was organised,” he says. To make things better for fellow refugees and himself, he formed the band in 2009. “We practice and record songs at a studio in South Delhi’s Amar Colony. We want to spread the message of hope through our music,” says Khalid.
Their repertoire consists of Sufi songs, Bollywood numbers, Afghan folk music and a few original compositions too. Most of the artists in the band have their own instruments and the other equipment is provided by the organisers, whenever they have to perform in a show. Khalid adds, “I once made a video clip for an Afghan singer who had come to Delhi and our band created the background score for it. The money that we earned from it was used in buying a drum set.”
The band’s lead singer and guitarist, Sultan Hameed Ghiasy feels that music can solve problems. “Music has no religion or language. It has a straight connection to God,” says the proficient sound engineer and music director, who credits his guru Onkar Singh Kang for his skill.
Rahmatullah Habib, another singer from the band, works as a teacher and community interpreter at Don Bosco Ashalayam. “Our dream is to release a big album and perform as much as possible. We want to make people aware of our problems through our music and want peace to prevail,” says Habib, who is also interested in painting and sketching.