‘Sayonee’ suited my voice well: Rahat Fateh Ali Khan

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KARACHI: Rahat Fateh Ali Khan held a press conference, making several announcements. The qawwali maestro first shared that in commemoration of the legendary Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s 20th death anniversary this year, he has begun 48 concerts worldwide, in accordance with 48 years of Ustad Nusrat’s life.

“I feel like the new generation should remember and witness the music of Khan sahib live. But they haven’t had the chance to experience it live, so being a successor of Khan sahib, I am doing 48 concerts across the world,” he said.

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“Of course, it won’t be the same but I will try to give them as close an experience as he gave to the audience. I will keep his memory alive.” The 48 concerts are to be held across several cities in the US, UK, Canada, New Zealand, far East countries and Australia. His September schedule will see him tour the UK.

Further, it was announced that Rahat’s song Zaroori Tha, which was released three years ago, has reached a staggering 240 million views on YouTube, making it possibly the first song to reach the number from South Asia.

Talking to the media, Rahat also addressed the criticism he has faced on his latest Coke Studio cover of Junoon’s Sayonee. “I actually like the interesting feedback. Some people like it, some don’t. I feel like there are some anti-Pakistan opinions in there too. I personally liked the song, especially the ending,” he said.

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“I feel Sayonee suited my voice well. Many other songs have been covered so many times, like Main Tenu Samjhawan ki and Khan sahib’s Rashk-e-Qamar. This is the song that elevated Junoon back then. People cover Noor Jehan and other artists too. So, we shouldn’t think about who did it better. It’s a tribute to them and we should take it this way. Music should be free from hate and arguments.”

Moreover, he spoke about the need of establishing a qawwali institution in Pakistan. “I believe there is a great need for one. We have so many companies and brands who are sponsoring music and shows like Pepsi Battle of the Bands and Coke Studio, which is great for the music and talent in Pakistan. They should come together to form a qawwali institution too.”

Rahat also announced the release of his new qawwali album titled ‘Just Qawwali’ and the formation of RFAK Films. “We will officially be coming next year with our debut film under newly-formed RFAK Films banner. It will be a musical.”