LAHORE: The Lahore Arts Council recently put together a concert of folk music at Alhamra Hall, with Arif Lohar as the show’s marquee performer.
Talking to The Express Tribune at the event, Arif said, “Legendary folk musicians, like my own father Alam Lohar, worked relentlessly for the promotion of our culture. A number of musicians today have adopted modern instruments and techniques but I take immense pride in following in my father’s footsteps.”
The singer said that even today, when he goes on foreign tours, he wears traditional clothes, carries his chimta and tell stories of Heer Ranjha, Sassi Punhu and Sohni Mahiwal.
“I believe there should be more events organised for the promotion and projection of local folk artists. After all, it was through their performances that great musicians like the Jutt brothers and Balli Jatti found fame. One cannot fathom the amount of talent we have in our country at present, awaiting a proper platform, guidance and serious supervision.”
Arif performed to a packed hall during the last day of the event, where emerging bhangra and dhol artists also entertained audiences.
“These days I am busy collecting my father’s work. I intend to compile it in the shape of a film and bring it to the public once it is complete,” he said. The singer also added that musicians who have recently entered the field should not get discouraged by its current state of affairs, because every cloud has a silver lining and better times await all those who work hard with honesty. “I will never forget the time when I used to travel in public buses and even trucks, with my crew to perform at shrines,” he recalled. “I have travelled to countless remote, far-flung areas of the country during the last three decades. I saw tough times but I remained true to my identity and never gave up. It is for this reason that people respect me today. I receive the same overwhelming response from the audience, no matter where I go.”
Published in The Express Tribune, September 21st, 2016.
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