There are great singers, and then there are those few voices that transcend time. The late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan could not only transcend time, but also language and religion. There was magic when he opened his mouth, a sense of holy ecstasy that was exciting and emotional. It wasn’t uncommon even for Western listeners, who didn’t understand a word he was singing or follow his Sufi traditions, to be moved to tears upon hearing him.
Known as a “Singing Bouddha” in Japan, the “Quintessence of human singing” in Tunisia, the “Voice of Heaven” in the United States and the “Pavarotti of the Orient” in France… Pakistan’s most revered Qawwal singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, made the whole world resonate to the lyrical heights of Qawwali, a secular form of Sufi song that calls to divine ecstasy. His nearly superhuman vocal abilities, extraordinary improvisational skills, troubling intensity and softness of his voice, his kindled presence on stage, his many encounters and colorful musical cross-blendings and the enduring love that millions of fans lavished upon him worldwide all helped him bring the mystical music of Sufi’s to international stage becoming one the most celebrated superstars of World Music. He simply kicked his audience into a state of trance and ecstasy , he made them cry and weep at will, he made them dance and sing along although most of foreign audience never understood a word he uttered. He brought Qawwali music from mosques and shrines of Sufi saints to the common man’s winning the applause of the most diverse audiences ever while keeping faithful to his message:
When I’m sin-ging, the distance between God and me becomes lesser”, he said. “This music brings people together”.
Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan was a living legend and a bridge between tradition and modernity,Orient and Occident, the sacred and the profane. Since his untimely death in 1997, his legacy has continued to spread among major artists .
This blog is not a tribute , its a journey of my life ( and may be yours) form now and forever exploring the great messenger whose voice made me feel the existence of God. This project is intended to feature all the untouched aspects of the Legend, and will act as a guide to get maximum from legacy to achieve the utmost peace and ecstasy.