I have been a music fan since about the age of 14 starting off with R&B and Blues music back in the 60s, progressing to Jazz and eventually Classical music.
Some years ago I was driving home from work and listening to the radio (Radio 3 a classical station in the UK) when a piece of music came on the like of which I had never heard before.
I pulled over to the side of the road to pay careful attention to the music and find out who the performer was.
After 5 minutes of sublime vocal music I found that the performer was Nusrat fateh Ali Khan a world-renowned Pakistani musician, primarily a singer of Qawwali, the devotional music of the Sufis. Considered one of the greatest singers ever recorded, he possessed extraordinary vocal abilities and could perform at a high level of intensity for several hours.
He is popularly known as “Shahenshah-e-Qawwali”, meaning “The King of Kings of Qawwali” Extending the 600-year old Qawwali tradition of his family, Khan is widely credited with introducing Qawwali music to international audiences (he has worked with Peter Gabriel)
The track I heard was called “Nothing Without You (Tere Bina)” from an album that he made in 1990 entitled “Mustt Mustt” (featured here) and if you have any musical soul I urge you to seek it out and listen not just to this track but the whole of the album.
Suffice to say that I consider Khan to have possessed one of the greatest voices of the 20th century……..irrespective of genre.
Once you have got hooked on this music than may I recommend the work of another sufi singer Abida Parveen, one of the few women in this musical genre and culture.
For the time being listen to the Youtube extract below.