HT Cafe

ROOM FOR RUMI &A STAGE FOR SUFI

A unique initiative is working to give aspiring Sufi artists a platform through concerts and gigs

- Samarth Goyal samarth.goyal@htlive.com

The roots of Sufism go back quite a few centuries. The mystical dimension of Islam evolved as a means to establish a closer connect with God. Sufi music, variously described as music for the soul, was brought to us through the works of mystics such as Rumi, Hafiz, Amir Khusrow and Bulleh Shah in the past millennium, but it is only in the recent times that the genre seems to have begun to get its due, thanks to artists in this part of the world such as Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, AR Rahman, Abida Parveen, the Nooran sisters, the Wadalis — the list runs long.

However, the initiative­s such as musical programmes on stage and screen alike, which have spawned a culture of support and facilitati­on for Sufi musicians. A case in point is We&Music, started a decade ago by Akshay KR Singh. The company is working with an intent to

provide an unbiased platform to aspiring Sufi artists. Beginning with a modest fund of ₹2,000, the initiative has grown by leaps and bounds. Apart from organising concerts, it is also supporting fresh talent.

“It is sad to see that Sufi music and Qawwali are still not considered as a part of mainstream music. People usually do not take this form of art seriously, but the essence which it holds in itself should not go waste, and if we can do anything to help promote it, we would be happy to do so,” says Akshay. His zeal to keep the art not just alive, but thriving, has gladdened the hearts of many Sufi artists. “It’s a great platform since it provides a platform to us, but more than that, it’s a noble thing to go out to the world and spread that message,” says the popular Sufi duo, the Nooran sisters.

The renowned Nizami Bandhu are happy that the times are changing in terms of better recognitio­n and reward for artists of the genre. The Qawwal trio tells us, “Things are getting better and the scenario is changing for the better. With platforms such as this, things will only get better for Sufi musicians and its listeners as well,” they tell us.

 ?? PHOTO: SHIVAM SAXENA/HT ?? The Nooran sisters call the initiave noble since it supports the genre
The Nizami Bandhu says that things are getting better and the scenario is changing for the better
PHOTO: SHIVAM SAXENA/HT The Nooran sisters call the initiave noble since it supports the genre The Nizami Bandhu says that things are getting better and the scenario is changing for the better
 ?? PHOTOS: HTBS ?? Akshay KR Singh
PHOTOS: HTBS Akshay KR Singh
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