Friday, December 01, 2006

Interview with Rahat Fateh Ali Khan

Renowned Pakistani singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan loves performing in India and says he perhaps receives a warmer welcome there than anywhere else in the world.

Strange, given the bitter rivalry between the two South Asian neighbours. But such is the world of Khan's music, which draws on the ancient musical traditions of the subcontinent.

To the sound of the "tabla", Khan weaves and wails verses in praise of Allah in his baritone, as he renders the "qawwali", or Islamic devotional song.

Heir to the legacy of his uncle, the legendary "qawwali" singer Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, alongside whom he performed for many years, Rahat spoke to Reuters in New Delhi on Thursday ahead of his latest performance in India.

Q: What are your first memories related to "qawwali"?

A: "Mr. Khan initiated me into it when I was seven years old. On that day, I remember Mr. Khan was rehearsing, I listened to him with a child's curiosity and wondered what was happening. I went inside the music room and sat next to him and he told me to start singing and I started singing."
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