The legendary Qawal and singer Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan (RFAK) last year completed a series of concerts globally to pay tribute to his mentor and uncle Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan (NFAK). Yesterday, he claimed that he has 25,000 songs of his mentor which were never recorded and released for his fans.
“When I started my music career, I was invited for an interview on TV. The host complimented me and told that my family can fill tanks with the knowledge of music. But to be very fair, I can fill the whole house by the compositions of the great Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan alone,” he claimed. “25,000 of his songs were never recorded and released,” claimed RFAK.
RFAK was addressing to a press meet to announce ‘100 Just Qawali Mehfils,’ in Karachi yesterday. The Qawal will be performing live in more than 100 concerts across the world and enthrall his fans with the renditions. The performances are planned in America, Canada, UK, UAE, Bahrain, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, Morocco, South Africa, Kenya, Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
“I am basically a Qawal and the poetry of the sufi’s runs in my veins. Qawali is at the heart of our family traditions and my ancestors have worked hard to develop this genre of music and introduce it to the world,” shared RFAK. “The world of Music has not seen a Qawal that is parallel to Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. He glorified the art of Qawali and took the art to international audiences,” he added.
“The world will see Qawali being brought back to the forefront and hence we are calling the tour 100 Just Qawali Mehfils. We feel that our listeners have been seeking good Qawali’s for some time and hence we have regrouped for these concerts,” shared Salman Ahmed, the manager of RFAK. “To bring back the true spirit of the tradition we have called back some of the old musicians who specialize in this type of music. These veterans have performed with the legendary Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. We will be introducing some new music and looking at enhancing the beauty and depth of this genre of music, however it will all be very pure Qawali,” he added.
RFAK has chosen the poetry of Hazrat Ameer Khusrao, Shaikh Saadi, Bu Ali Seena Qalander, Haafiz Sherazi amongst other classical giants for the tour. The band is currently doing rehearsals.
In December 2014, Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan performed a Qawali in Oslo at the Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony which enhanced Pakistan’s image in the international arena. He also has the honor of performing at the United Nations General Assembly Hall during the ‘Pakistan Day Celebrations.’ In 2017 Oxford University dedicated a space on Khan Sahab’s name and he has also been a guest at the Google global head office.