An Amateur young singer determines to contribute to Pashto music
By Sher Alam Shinwari
PESHAWAR: The Pashto cultural scene especially music and performing art has already become poorer during the past few years due to growing militancy as many artistes and singers have been forced to leave the business or subjected to migrate to other parts of the country or abroad from the Frontier. In such a turbulent and unfavourable times an amateur singer Fayaz Khan Kheshgi hailing from a politically influential aristocratic family in district Nowshehra ventured to plunge into the arena of Pashto music.
He launched his maiden audio album titled ‘ Da Yaarano Yaar’ (Friend of Friends) six months ago. After receiving an encouraging response from the music lovers Fayaz Khan recently completed another project namely ‘ Zsuand Auo Qarar (Life and Rest) which will be formally launched in near future. Born on 30 November 1966 at village Kheshgi Bala, Fayaz Khan had natural flail for singing and most often used to participate in singing competitions at School and College. He qualified his B.Com from The Quaid-e-Azam Commerce College, Peshawar University in 1988 followed by doing master’s in Urdu literature as private candidate in 1990. Having close associations with late Sangeen Wali Khan, Fayaz Khan served as UC nazim but switched over to Pakistan Muslim League –Q (PML-Q) for provincial election but could not make it.
Deeply inspired by late Rafiq Shinwari a prominent music composer cum Sufi singer since childhood Fayaz Khan says he had intended to carry on his quality music tradition. Rafiq Shinwari had really renovated Pashto music while Hamza Baba had immensely contributed to Pashto ghazal, therefore, I decided to sing Baba’s numbers together with Ghani Khan, Ikramullah Gran and young ghazal maestro Abaseen Yousafzai, he maintains. His first volume carried numbers of Hamza Baba, Ghani Khan, and Abaseen Yousafzai while his coming second volume also includes folk song of Zareen Khan and a Sufi ghazal of Dr Pervez Mahjoor Kheshgi. He has learnt rabab playing on his own and can prepare tunes for his composition of songs. His next ablum music composition is done by Shakir Zeb.
“ I am against fusion and remxing of the so called CD singers because they have distorted the traditional melody of our centuries old Pashto music, quality is lost to too much commercialism. Music is not everybody’s cup of tea. I do two hours long daily riaz without which I think I would be nowhere, the amateur singer observes. He plans to do ten volumes each on Raman Baba, Khushhal Khan Khattak, Hamza Baba and Ghani Khan. He likes to sing numbers of Laiqzada, Dr Azam and Abdul Bari Jahani.
“I have a plan to do a project on Mullah Arzani Kheshgi the firstever Pashto ghazal poet in classical era lived in 1602. Dr Pervez Mahjoor Kheshgi has done his PhD thesis on the life and works of Mullah Arzani . My favourite singers are Mehdi Hasan, Ghulam Ali, Khayal Mohammad, and Shah Wali. I faced strong resistance from my family members but if educated people stop coming to this field how can we keep up alive our cultural values, Fayaz Khan Kheshgi questions. He wishes to perform on PTV if offer is extended to him however; he has so far perfomred in private music concerts in Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad and Afghanistan. Recently Fayaz Khan arranged private a musical evening with a select audience at the Bay of Kabul River at Kheshgi Bala in the moonlit night and sang beautiful numbers enthralling the participants with his unique melodious voice. I include Rabab, Harmonium, Clarinet, and tabla in my orchestra. What come may I shall continue to serve Pashto music,’ he determines.