Having been affected by the negativity that haunts the whole country today, artiste Abbas Ali Khan encapsulates his emotions in the form of his latest Sufi music album, Tamaam Alam Mast.
Launching the album at a small gathering on Saturday evening, the artiste speaks about making a change in the society by inducing the element of peace through music. “This unique sound is fresh and will take the listener on a spiritual journey, evoking different emotions,” says Abbas.
While loathing the security situation in the country, Abbas says that security-related issues are depriving people of entertainment. He adds that mediums, such as music are essential for promoting peace and giving hope and love to the people of Pakistan.
“Sufism does that,” he says. “We need to move backward to move forward. Sufism promotes the spiritual element, which is essential to obtain inner peace,” he adds.
With a long pause of eight years, Abbas’s latest album Tamaam Alam Mast has been produced by Abbas himself and co-produced by Taimoor.
Speaking about the compositions, he explains that the lyrical content of the songs was an extremely important element while creating a music album. Having spent two years rediscovering Sufism, he managed to jot down a total of nine songs and one prelude, out of which eight are his original compositions and two are traditional.
Fusing Eastern vocal elements and ragas with his own contemporary music, the album features poets including Amir Khusrow, Siraj Aurangbadi, Jigar Muradabadli, Shah Niyaz, Zaheen Shah Taji and Baba Gulzar Sabri.
“The lyrical content is not a qawwali or ghazal, but a sound of my own. Sufi music has never been done in this style before,” claims Abbas.
While people are downloading music for free, releasing an album was a huge risk for the artiste. For the survival of the music industry in Pakistan, fans must discourage piracy and buy original copies. Websites that sell songs should be used over other sites, requests Abbas. “These initiatives should be done to support not just a singer, but the industry as a whole. The industry is working with limited resources and nominal benefits,” he adds.
Abbas’s album was launched at a private affair. Dressed in a coral orange sherwani, He was all set to perform for family and friends who had come for the album launch. He performed his songs-Eh Re Sakhi, Mehfil, Khabar-ay and Ishq. “I think Abbas Ali Khan is doing a great job in bringing out music that is therapeutic for the soul. It is something that we crave in today’s times where we are extremely impatient,” says Rezz Aly Shah.
Abbas is the discipline of Ustad Fateh Ali khan of the famous Patiala legacy and has learnt Khayal Gayaki from his guru. He has worked with renowned musicians in Pakistan and India and is planning to promote his album by participating in Sufi festivals across the globe.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 18th, 2014.