Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan born in Faisalabad, Pakistan, was initially named Pervez Fateh Ali Khan. He was a devotional vocalist, musician, and music director; majorly focusing on Qawwali. Qawwali is termed as a form of Sufi Islamic devotional music. He was considered one of the greatest voices in the realms of music. Possessing a remarkable vocal range, he could easily perform at a high level of intensity for several hours. He belonged to the Patiala Gharana, extending the 600-year old Qawwali tradition of his family. Later on, as he introduced Qawwali to the international stage, the title “Shahenshah-e-Qawwali” was coined for him.
Shahenshah of Qawwali
Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan had immense exposure of public appearances, his first public performance was at the age of 15. Later on, in 1971, he became the head of the family qawwali party. Furthermore, signed by Oriental Star Agencies, Birmingham, England in the early 1980s. Moreover, he was pretty much involved in collaborations with western artists and making the art of qawwali international. Performing in over 40 countries, he became a renowned artist in the music world all around the globe. Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan had an impact on contemporary South Asian popular music, including Pakistani pop, Indi-pop, and Bollywood music.
Early Life of Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan
Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s predecessors learned music and singing. He was the fifth youngster and first child of Fateh Ali Khan, a musicologist, singer, instrumentalist, and qawwal. Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s family, which included four sisters and a more youthful sibling, Farrukh Fateh Ali Khan, experienced childhood in focal Faisalabad. The custom of qawwali in the family had gone down through progressive ages for very nearly 600 years.
At first, his dad urged him to not follow the family’s business. He had his heart set on his son picking a substantially more decent vocation way and turning into a specialist since he felt Qawwali craftsmen had a low societal position. In any case, Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan demonstrated such an inclination and enthusiasm for Qawwali, that his dad at long last yielded. However, in 1971, after the passing of his uncle Mubarak Ali Khan, Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan turned into the official head of the family Qawwali party and the gathering got known as Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Mujahid Mubarak Ali Khan, and Party.
Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s first public appearance and presentation as the head of the Qawwali party was at a studio recording broadcast as a feature of a yearly concert composed by Radio Pakistan, known as Jashn-e-Baharan. His first significant hit in Pakistan was the tune Haq Ali, which was acted in a conventional style and with customary instrumentation. The melody highlighted the controlled utilization of Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s Sargam extemporizations.
In the late spring of 1985, Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan performed at the World of Music, Arts and Dance (WOMAD) festival in London. He acted in Paris in 1985 and 1988 and initially visited Japan in 1987, at the greeting of the Japan Foundation. Khan performed at the fifth Asian Traditional Performing Art Festival in Japan. He likewise performed at Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York in 1989, gaining him profound respect from the American crowd.
Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, all through his vocation, had extraordinary comprehension with numerous south Asian vocalists. In 1992 to 1993 scholarly year, Khan was a visiting artist in the Ethnomusicology office at the University of Washington, Seattle, United States.
In 1988, Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan collaborated with Peter Gabriel on the soundtrack to The Last Temptation of Christ. Furthermore, he would proceed to deliver five collections of conventional Qawwali through Real World, alongside the more exploratory albums, for example, Mustt (1990). Consequently, his profound, uniqueness in the work for Real World, which highlighted his joint efforts with the Canadian guitarist Michael Brook, prodded on a few further joint efforts with various other Western musicians and rock artists.
One of the most vital of these coordinated efforts came in 1995 when Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan collaborated with Pearl Jam’s lead vocalist Eddie Vedder on two melodies for the soundtrack to Dead Man Walking. Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan collection Intoxicated Spirit was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Traditional Folk Album in 1997. That very year, his collection Night Song was likewise selected for a Grammy Award for Best World Music Album.
Musical Sythesis for Bollywood
His last music sythesis for Bollywood was for the film, Kachche Dhaage, where he sang in “Iss Shaan-E-Karam Ka Kya Kehna”. The film was delivered in 1999, two years after his passing. He likewise sang “Saya Bhi Saath Jab Chhod Jaye” for Sunny Deol’s film Dillagi. The tune was delivered in 1999, two years after Khan’s passing. He additionally sang “Dulhe Ka Sehra” from the Bollywood film Dhadkan which was delivered in 2000.
Awards and Titles
Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s is widely considered to be the most important qawwal in history. However, many honorary titles were bestowed upon Khan during his 25-year music career. He was given the title of Ustad (the master) after performing classical music at a function in Lahore on the anniversary of his father’s death.
- In 1987, he received the President of Pakistan’s Award for Pride of Performance for his contribution to Pakistani music.
- In 1995, he received the UNESCO Music Prize.
- As in 1996, he was awarded Grand Prix des Amériques at Montreal World Film Festival for exceptional contribution to the art of cinema.
- In the same year, he received the Arts and Culture Prize of the Fukuoka Asian Culture Prizes.
- As in Japan, he was also remembered as the Budai or “Singing Buddha”.
- In 1997, he was nominated for two Grammy Awards, for Best Traditional Folk Album and Best World Music Album.
- As of 2001, he held the Guinness World Record for the “Most Qawwali Recordings”, having recorded over 125 Qawwali albums before his death.
- In 2005, he posthumously received the “Legends” award at the UK Asian Music Awards.
- Time magazine’s issue of 6 November 2006, “60 Years of Asian Heroes”, lists him as one of the top 12 artists and thinkers in the last 60 years.
- He also appeared on NPR’s 50 great voices list in 2010.
- In August 2010 he was included in CNN’s list of the twenty most iconic musicians from the past fifty years.
- In 2008, he was listed in 14th position in UGO’s list of the best singers of all time.
Famous Qawwali’s by Shahenshah of Qawwali
Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan the Shahenshah of Qawwali was a Pakistani Qawwal, who is considered as one of the greatest performers of qawwali, a Sufi Muslim devotional music characterized by simple melodies, forceful rhythms, and energetic improvisations that encourage a state of euphoria in the listener.
- ALLAH HOO
- ALI MAULA ALI DAM DAM
- ALI DA MALANG
- SHAH E MARDAN ALI
- YEH JOH HALKA HALKA SUROOR HAI
- MAST MAST
- TERE BIN NAI LAGDA DIL
- SANU IK PAL CHAYN NA AAVE
- SANSON KI MAALA
- TUMHE DILLAGI BHOOL JAANI PARHE GI
- CHAAP TILAK
- MAAE NI MAE
Documentaries on Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan
- Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan: le dernier prophète (1996). by Jérôme de Missolz.
- Nusrat has Left the Building… But When? (1997). on Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s Early Career directed by Farjad Nabi.
- A Voice from Heaven (1999). in New York by Winstar TV & Video.
- Samandar Main Samandar (2007). A documentary aired on Geo TV detailing Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s career.
- The King of Qawalli (2009). A short film / a documentary aired on Dawn News about Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s life.
Death of the Legendary Qawwal
The spokesperson at US Label, American Recordings along with different reports exclaimed that Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan weighed over 135 Kilograms, resulting in illness for several months. Traveling to London from Pakistan, he was admitted to Cromwell Hospital in London for his liver and kidney treatment. Apart from that the sudden cardiac arrest at Cromwell Hospital resulted in his death on 16th August 1997, aged 48. He was buried in Kabootran Wala Qabristan also known as Jhang Road Graveyard in Pakistan. Leaving too soon, he left behind an extraordinary legacy that is carried by his nephew, Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan.
Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s Musical Legacy
The musical legacy of Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan is now carried forward by his nephew, Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan. Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan has composed various songs for Bollywood and Pakistani Music Industry as well. Furthermore, his contribution to Qawwali has seen a similar touch as his late uncle had. Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan has served the music industry with his soulful voice, regardless of borders. Recently, Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan was given an honorary degree, ‘Doctorate of Music’ by Oxford University.
Famous Songs by Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan
- Zaroori Tha
- Tum jo Aaye
- Aaj Din Chadheya
- Afreen Afreen (Coke Studio)
- Jiya Dharakk Dharakk