Qawwali academies are the way forward

Amjad Sabri thinks not all potential talent in the field is being utilised

Our Correspondent June 28, 2015
Sabri recently collaborated with guitarist Asad Ahmed on a qawwali and rock fusion performance in Karachi. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: Be it the holy month of Ramazan or not, Amjad Sabri is one qawwal who remains active throughout the year. If it’s not his appearance in a morning show than the qawwal could be seen swinging the bat in a celebrity cricket match. However, this time around he has come in the limelight to raise concerns regarding the lack of support for qawwals.

“In Pakistan no government institution or individual has done anything to promote the craft of qawwali,” said Sabri. “Only the people associated with this craft have helped keep it alive.”

He added that Pakistani qawwals have not only helped improve the image of the country throughout the world but have also ensured that this form of music remains popular.

“Although the number of people who want to learn qawwali is huge but there are no such institutions or schools where they can learn this form of music.”

He believed that if people with a background in qawwali are given the means and support to form a school, only then we can help make it become more popular in the country.

Amjad Sabri, who is also part of the famous Sabri Brothers qawwal group, also shared how his father Ghulam Fareed Sabri tried to promote qawwali as much as he could. He even credited his father for his successful career, “Today all that I am is because of my father.”

Previously Sabri’s song More Haji Piya was featured in the film Halla Bol, which starred Ajay Devgan and Vidya Balan. The qawwal recently collaborated with guitarist Asad Ahmed on a qawwali and rock fusion performance in Karachi. After the performance, the former Coke Studio guitarist praised the qawwal and even termed qawwals as the “true rockstars”.

The duo is already looking forward to performing and collaborating with other qawwal musicians in order to see what else can be done with this style of music.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 29th,  2015.

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