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Singing in the Sufi strain

Illustrious Pakistani singer, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, speaks to Nairrit Das about music and his forthcoming projects

music Updated: Mar 20, 2007 16:40 IST

Music from across the border has always captivated the desi audience. One name that comes up through the illustrious list is Pakistani singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan. We catch up with him.

Are qawwalis more popular in Pakistan or in India?
The craze for qawwali is the same among the Indian and Pakistani audience. My late uncle Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan was as loved here as there. There is a dynamic dialogue between India and Pakistan so far as music goes.

Do you feel this will help improve relations?
Culture and politics are things apart. But such cultural exchanges will definitely bring peace.

Which ones are your favourite gharanas?
It will have to be the Patiala and the Indore gharana. Among classical artists, it is Pt Ameer Khan and Pt Ajoy Chakrabarty.

Any new Bollywood projects in the pipeline?
I’m working on Om Shaanti Om and Jhoom Barabar Jhoom. I also have a song O re piya in the film Aaja Nach Le. My album Rahat will release in May.

How was it working with Eddie Vedder?
It was very interesting. Eddie is a very fine guitarist besides being a singer.

Musical notes ¦
Under the shadow?
Though nephew Rahat carries shades of Nusrat, his strong presence definitely leaves a mark.

Singing spree:
His immensely popular numbers include Mann ki lagan and Jiya dhadak dhadak.

Western frontiers:
Rahat has sung with Eddie Vedder at the Dead Man Walking Concert and has also done Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto soundtrack.

Still grounded:
Though Rahat is excited to play with Western musicians, he is only concerned with the art of qawwali.

On a mission:
“My future plans are to one day fulfill Nusrat’s dream of spreading the message of Sufism to the world.”