PESHAWAR: A rising Pashto Sufi singer, Ali Baba Khan released his video titled ‘Malang Abdur Rahman’ to pay tribute to the legendary 17th Sufi poet, Rahman Baba in Peshawar, here on Monday.
He claimed his video was the first ever musical tribute laden with Sufi stuff to the great Pashto Sufi poet. After graduating as an Electrical and Telecommunication engineer from a private University in Peshawar, Ali Baba Khan had launched his singing career two years ago by selling out his gun to pay for his debut video.
Directed by Arsh, and lyricized by the Pashto noted poet Laiqzada Laiq, the new video with the music arrangement Daniyal Anwar by Mr Khan is expected to register great impact and win widespread public appreciation.
Haroon Khan and Salman Khan mixed special rhythm effects to the video under a self-sponsorship plan. He said: “My mission now is to persuade our charged youth to sell guns and buy Sufi music to promote tolerance in the society.”
Ali Baba Khan is a goodwill ambassador of Pakistan Red Crescent Society (PRCS) and also runs his own property business in Islamabad and Peshawar. He recently topped all the online Pashto music charts. He said he wanted to inspire young people through Sufi music to work for a peaceful and pluralistic society.
“I don’t earn money through my art, I just want to motivate young impressionistic minds through Sufi music which transcends the boundaries of 3Rs (religion, region and race). Ali Azamat, Salman Ahmed, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Haroon Bacha ignited the spirit of singing inside him. I continue doing new experiments as it open up ways of creativity,” he maintained.
Mr. Khan told Dawn he had around 26 videos to his credit with one among them being ‘Taswar’ comprising a fusion of Ghani Khan’s numbers into a Qawwali rendition which won him an international. He said six months ago, he performed in an international Sufi concert in Kabul where Pakhtuns immigrants from UK, US, Germany and Gulf-States garnered him unprecedented applause for his unique style. He said it was for the first time he blended Ghani Khan’s poetry into a Sufi tunes.
Talking about home pressure regarding joining music field, he said his pocket money was stopped and had to suffer starvation many a times in the university hostel but hard work and devotion forced his family to surrender to his cherished dream. “I sold out my gun to sponsor my first music project to spread Sufi thought for peace and humanism.
I was in 6th grade when I participated in a singing completion in school and since then performance on stage remained my dream world,” he stated. He then along the support of his colleagues formed a music band called ‘underground taal music band’ which used to perform at KP universities events to motivate young students.
The rising singer said though he had started with romantic and Pashto folk music but it was during a private musical concert that a person had gifted a poetry book of Ghani Khan. Going through, Sufi thoughts of Ghani Khan, he said, it changed his entire soul chemistry and he embarked upon discovering a new dream world in Sufi music.
“My mind naturally found a new way of expression and instead of ‘transcend’ and ‘R & B music’; I delved into choosing Rock & Roll music genre to suit my spiritual blend as 70 percent young people in the world prefer this genre of music to match their height of ecstasy,” he explained.
About his future plans, the young Sufi maestro said he was working on another Sufi project ‘Dar Pa Dar Afghan’ lyricized by Feroz Khan Afridi versifying the endless sufferings of Pakhtuns. “The scope of Sufi music is large compared to folk and pop as it involves both mind and heart, the fusion always results into a world within filled with peace,” Mr Khan said. Ali Baba Khan said he would also participate in a Sufi musical concert in Kabul after a month.