For the lovers of Sufi music, the voice of singer Dhruv Sangari is immediately identifiable for his rendition of Sufi songs. Ask him about his early inspiration and the Delhi-based musician says, “I grew up near the shrine of Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya, and as a child, would visit the shrine. I had learnt classical music and was interested in qawwali, so in my early teens, I started learning that too.”
When one wonders the connect between his love for Sufi and Hindustani Classical music (in which, he has received an MA degree from Delhi University), Sangari says, “One has to get a degree in something, and since I’m a musician, I did MA in music. There’s no subject called Sufi music; Sufi is part of an old heritage and has to be learnt from an Ustad. I was at the Faculty of Music, Delhi University. There were 30-40 students in a class and the teachers weren’t really that great. A lot of students used to come from blind school and a lot of girls were there because unko aur kahin admission nahi mila tha. Some students were only there to attend the classes for they had their mind that itne ghante yahan bitane hain. TAnd think of music colleges abroad — there people would be jamming together to create something new. Even at the National College of Art, Lahore, you’ll be shocked to see the level of talent the students posses. But yahan pe, the sound has been hijacked by Bollywood,” says the disciple of Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.
Why do we end up loving people who don’t fit into the box? Someone like Atif Aslam – to be honest vo bahut zyada sur mein nahi gaate, lekin kyunki unke gaane ke style mein kuch naya hai.
Sangari, who has crooned the number Lutt Jawaan in the film, Commando (2013), feels upset by the ‘industrial production of music’ in Bollywood. “You have to follow and deliver for another person, which is perfectly fine. But why do we end up loving people who don’t fit into the box? Someone like Atif Aslam, to be honest, vo bahut zyada sur mein nahi gaate, lekin kyunki unke gaane ke style mein kuch naya hai. Unko kisi ne zabardsti kisi dhanche me mould nahi kiya hua hai to logon ko lagta hai ki haan kashish hai isme (He hasn’t been moulded in a particular shape that’s why his style of singing is appreciated by people.)”
Sangari will be performing for a concert by Routes 2 Roots in the city and feels bothered by the degraded state of musicians. “A lot of people who work with me bechare unko pet palne ke liye karna padta hai.. they have to sing in clubs and cafes. They also feel embarrassed but you know it’s a part of the survival. People tell me sufi is big, we can earn a lot from it… But that’s a monetary aspect and sufi is a mili juli tehzeeb that promotes oneness among people, and that’s the message we give to listeners too. Today when in our society we have a lot of controversies, sufi music is a lot effective. Bollywood is situational and very good at presenting social problems lekin sufi hai jo logon ko deeper level pe affect karta hai… it can bring together people.”
- What: Jashn-e-Mohabbat
- Where: Azad Bhawan Auditorium, IP Estate
- When: March 24
- Timings: 7pm
- Nearest Metro Station: Indraprastha on Blue Line or ITO on Violet Line