Hariharan in awe of Pakistani ghazal talent

Indian singer says he’d be honoured to sing for a local music show

Our Correspondent July 01, 2015
Hariharan feels there should be more platforms, such as Coke Studio, for young ghazal singers in Pakistan. PHOTO: FILE

LAHORE: Local ghazals have always received recognition on both sides of the border, with Indian musicians acknowledging Pakistan for the talent it has churned out in the genre. Veteran artist Hariharan is the latest to comment on the country’s ghazal scene. He feels more music shows would pave the way for new ghazal singers to emerge from the country, reported Roznama Express.

“If young ghazal singers get the opportunity to perform on platforms, such as Coke Studio, with western musicians, the results would be impressive,” noted the Indian classical singer. He said he’s hopeful that if quality programmes are produced in Pakistan, then listeners would once again get a chance to listen to brilliant ghazal singers. “Young ghazal singers would help promote the style of music throughout the world,” he stated.

Laying emphasis on the importance of promoting new talent in the genre in both countries, he stated, “There are programmes in India that promote this form of music. But when it comes to Pakistan, there’ve mainly been veterans, such as the king of ghazal Mehdi Hassan and Ghulam Ali, who’ve taken ghazals to a whole new level.” Hariharan, who has previously collaborated with Strings on the song Bolo Bolo for their album Dhaani, said he’d be honoured should an opportunity to perform or sing for a Pakistani music show, film or TV drama come his way. This certainly has us thinking if Hariharan could be roped in for the upcoming season of Coke Studio Pakistan.

Pakistani qawwal Amjad Sabri, in an earlier interview, had spoken about the need to create more academies to promote the genre. “No government institution or individual has done anything to promote the craft of qawwali in Pakistan,” Sabri had lamented. “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 across the world but have also ensured this form of music remains popular. “Although the number of people who want to learn qawwali is huge, there’re no institutions or schools where they can learn this form of music,” he had said.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 2nd, 2015.

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