“Rooh se rooh, aur sur se sur, woh hai Sufi,” says folk singer Kutle Khan, explaining the essence of Sufi music. On his recent visit to Gurgaon for a performance, he says the city’s people love music. And that’s why he loves to perform here.
“I first performed in Gurgaon about 10 years ago. Its audience appreciates Rajasthani folk music. The city’s people are warm and forthcoming, which I why I love to keep coming back,” says Khan, who hails from a family of musicians. He started playing instruments at the age of eight, and today plays over 13 instruments including dholak, khartal, bhapang and harmonium.
“I began performing with my father, Jethu Khan, at a young age. Mere father ne mujhe sab kuch sikhaya hai. Jaise doosre ke bachche khilone se khel hai... humare bache instruments se khelte hai,” quips the musician.
Having worked with known musicians such as Midival Punditz, Amit Trivedi, Karsh Kale and Kailash Kher, Khan says he always wanted to form his own band. And he did — The Kutle Khan Project. “I went door to door scouting talent. Every artist in the band plays 2-3 instruments. Everyone is well-versed with Rajasthani music, par main Rajasthan ke music ko ek alag roop dena chahta tha. We’ve infused saxophone, flute and Sufi music with Rajasthani music.”
Talk to him about the surge in number of Sufi bands over the years, and he says, “Sufi ke naam se bahut bands aa jaate hai. But there are only a select few who know the true meaning of Sufi. Mere troupe ke baad bahut bands ban gaye hai. We want the level of music to be 100%.”