In stark contrast to modern-day celebrities who thrive on their popularity on social media, famous Pakistani Sufi singer Arif Lohar of the 'Jugni' fame would rather let his fans handle his online promotion.
“There are a lot of fake fan pages on the social media that are being operated in my name by my fans and I have no problem with it,” says Arif as he sits down for a conversation with HT in Bathinda, where he had come to perform at a students’ fest.
Acclaimed worldwide for his high-range voice that accompanies his ‘chimta’, Arif became more popular after his song Jugni was featured in music show Coke Studio Pakistan.
Coming from a family of ‘lohars’ (blacksmiths), Arif is very proud to have carried forward the legacy of his folk singer father, Alam Lohar. “Our ancestors were lohars in the Mughal dynasty and melted iron to make weapons for defeating rivals. But, my father shaped iron to make chimta (tongs, a percussion instrument) and thereby helped spread peace worldwide,” says Arif.
Such is the singer’s respect for his father that his eyes well up at the mention of him. “He always told me that when he is no more, his voice and image would live through my voice. He even used to say that he will always follow me like a shadow. It’s a result of his blessings that I am recognised around the world,” he adds.