LAHORE: Fondly remembered by qawwali fans as one of the greatest music maestros that ever lived, the 18th death anniversary of Qawwal Aziz Mian will be observed today. Holding the Pride of Performance award to his credit, he churned out 65 albums during his four-decade-long career. But, his claim to fame was when he made history for singing the longest qawwali during a performance in South Asia.
While Aziz Mian’s contemporaries remember him for his unique style of singing, qawwali listeners still have his music preserved in their libraries. “The Sabri Brothers and Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan were considered the greatest of the era. But Aziz Mian became famous because of his distinct voice and passion with which he sang.
His performances always attracted huge crowds and his contributions towards the music industry will always be remembered,” renowned qawwal brother duo Sher Ali and Mehr Ali told The Express Tribune.
His super hit qawwali’s include Allah Hi Jane Kaun Bashar Hai, Nabi Nabi Ya Nabi Nabi, Main Sharabi, Teri Soorat and Admi Hai Benazir. His passion for the field could be seen from his willingness to perform till he breathed his last. In 2000, Aziz Mian was invited by the government of Iran to perform there but passed away a few hours before the show on December 6. He was later buried in Multan.
“Aziz Mian was full of blessings and talent. He was extremely educated and a good poet too. Most of the lyrics in his work were his own. However, the best thing about him was his singing style and charismatic personality. His spiritualism made him the first choice for pure qawwali listeners,” said folk singer Shaukat Ali Khan.
Being one of the most educated artists of his time, Aziz Mian excelled in Urdu literature, Persian and Arabic. Soon after graduating from the University of Punjab, he started off with private performances. He began his full-fledged qawwali career in 1966, first showcasing his singing prowess to the then Shah of Iran Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. The monarch later presented Aziz Mian with a gold medal.
He was trained under the tutelage of Qawwal Abdul Wahid Khan. Aziz Mian’s three sons – Tabraiz, Imran and Junaid – are also associated with qawwali but none of them have been able to match up to their father’s passion, voice and singing aesthetic.
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