Sufism is one of the common threads tying the cultures of India and Pakistan. Carrying forward this special bond are Pakistan’s classical musician brothers, Wahdat Rameez, a vocalist, and Husnain Javed, who plays the harmonium, who would be touring India this October.
As they get set to perform for Amritsar’s International Sufi Music Festival on October 20, being organised by the government of Punjab, Wahdat, 20, and Husnain, 26, inform that they would also be performing at Jalandhar’s Punjab Press Club and Lovely Professional University later. Having been touring India since 2005, the two have previously performed at Delhi, Jaipur, Agra, Chandigarh, Ajmer and Amritsar, apart from some European and Middle Eastern countries.
Hailing from Pakpattan in Pakistan, a city known for its Sufi connection, Wahdat and Husnain say their inspiration in music came from their father. Wahdat shares, “My father, Dr Niaz, is the pivot of my musical career, for he was the one who taught me real music when I was a child. The concepts of sur and taal were given to us by him.” He adds that he had been trained in classical music under legendary musician Ustad Ghulam Hassan Shaggan, who belongs to the Gwalior gharana, and renowned musician Ustad Badar-ur-Zaman.
Having embarked upon a professional career from Sufi music, Wahdat says he is a passionate Sufi singer. “I prefer singing the tunes of legends such as Hazrat Baba Fareed, Shah Hussain, Baba Bulleh Shah and Hazrat Waris Shah,” shares he. Meanwhile, Javed adds, “My grooming in the world of music was done by my teacher, Toheed Ahmed, who holds a masters’ degree in music and who taught me to play the harmonium. It was Sufi music and ghazal singing that attracted us subsequently.”
Wahdat is presently enrolled in Punjab College in Lahore, and Javed is doing his PhD in business management from Punjab University, Lahore. On how Sufi music is perceived by people in Pakistan, Javed adds, “Till date, Sufi music is the most loved genre in Pakistan. It is defined as the music for the soul of Muslim mystics.”
The Sufi brothers are excited to be performing in India again. Wahdat quips, “Every time we have performed here, the response of the audiences has been overwhelming. They say music knows no boundaries, and so have we felt it every time we performed here.”
The brothers would soon be heard in an untitled Pakistani movie, and exclaimed their wish to collaborate with the Wadali Brothers in the future.