The singer,Rahat Fateh Ali Khan grew up around his uncle Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and with that heritage it basically puts immense pressure to perform and outdo himself every time. He was all of eleven when the singer toured with his uncle in the U.K. and from then on, there was no turning back. Rahat became a singer in the Qawwali, Ghazal and Classical music. It was in 2004 that he became immensely popular in Bollywood when he sang for Pooja Bhatt’s film Paap. His song, ‘Mann Ki Lagan’ became an instant hit bringing Rahat to fame. From then on there was no looking back for this singer. Additional international accomplishments include working with Pearl Jam and Rahat was also heard in a number of Hollywood feature films including Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto and Dead Man Walking.
Over the last few years, Rahat’s unique and incredibly intense vocals have become popular amongst his fans locally and abroad. I, for one am a huge fan. The Bay Area in the U.S. was honored with a night of singer’s outstanding music during a recent tour and you can bet your last dollar I was there. The extremely humble singer began his concert seeking blessings from his late uncle and sang his late Uncle’s “Allahu” which bought the audiences to their feet as he filled the Oracle Arena with his intense singing. We were then blessed to hear him croon to yet another one of his hits, ‘O Re Piya’ from Aaja Nachle. As he switched between a song of his Uncles and one of his own, the crowd gained more and more momentum. His literally heavenly voice jutted out a number of the audiences’ favorites, ‘Naina’ from Omkara, ‘Jiya Dhadak Dhadak’ from Kalyug, ‘Mann Ki Lagan’ from Paap, ‘Bol Na Halke Halke’ from Jhoom Barabar Jhoom,’Jag Soona Soona Lage’ from Om Shanti Om, ‘Main Jahaan Rahoon’ from Namaste London, ‘Teri Ore’ from Singh is Kinng, ‘Ajj Din Chadheya’ from Love Aaj Kal,’Surili Akhiyon Wale’ from Veer, ‘Sajda’ from My Name is Khan and finally, ‘Dil To Bachcha Hai Ji’ from Ishqiya. The more he sang, the louder his fans seemed to get to the extent that they shooed away the promoters of the show with a thunderous noise demanding to hear more from the next maestro.
However, the highlight of the show came when the singer indulged in a jugalbandi with himself as he collaborated a medley of his Uncles most popular tracks, ‘Tumhein Dillagi Bhool Jaani Paregi’, ‘Akhiyan Udeek Diyan’ and ‘Yeh Jo Halka Halka Suroor Hai.’ Wow was the word as his singing simply took over your soul and stopped your breath. If you ever missed the senior maestro Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, he was definitely the hall, spirit and soul, looking at the audiences dancing and throwing money at his nephew. He was honored in the most grand of ways possible.
Breathtaking was the exact adjective to describe the four-hour concert and you were simply left asking for more. The singer was in great spirits and delivered just what he had promised, a concert of a lifetime. His incredibly soft and humble nature was expressed through his dignified and unique deliverance with his music. As an artist, Rahat is clearly one who understands the sentiments of his audiences who ranged ages; no one left dissatisfied.
Just like his name, which means “relief”, Rahat left you feeling a sense of respite when listening to him singing. It was a break from the usual useless meaningless music that is normally heard. Instead, you were treated to some intense music filled with thought provoking lyrics which made you laugh, cry, feel pain, reminisce and even dance. Definitely a concert of a lifetime and one not worth missing. If Rahat Fateh Ali Khan ever visits your city in the U.S. yet, I recommend you catch him in concert; it’s worth every penny.