The Sound Cafe
Iconic Pakistani Vocalist Shafqat Amanat Ali Releases New Album ‘Tribute to Legends - Ghulam Ali’
By Angie Lemon. Photo Credit: Sujoy Chowdhury.
Iconic Pakistani Vocalist Shafqat Amanat Ali Combines Classical Pakistani Music Traditions + Poetry with Panache on New Album ‘Tribute to Legends - Ghulam Ali’
Shafqat Amanat Ali is an A-list Pakistani vocalist, son of the legendary singer Ustad Amanat, widely considered one of the most influential ghazal singers of all time. Ustad Amanat was part of the circle of Pakistan’s influential 20th century singers that included the ‘Emperor of Ghazal’ Mehdi Hassan Khan and Ahmed Rushdi who all contributed a time-honoured legacy of semi-classical and classical songs. Shafqat Amanat Ali, who traverses multiple genres such as Sufi, fusion, Bollywood films, classical and ghazal with equal ease, combines Pakistani classical musical traditions and poetry with contemporary panache on his fourth solo album, ‘Shafqat Amanat Ali - Tribute to the Legends - Ghulam Ali’. The album is mostly sung by Shafqat Amanat Ali while also featuring the great ghazal singer Ghulam Ali’s son, Amir Ghulam Ali.
Shafqat Amanat Ali has built his career from his days as lead vocalist in the popular Pakistani band Fuzon to a nationally recognised voice for films. After his stupendous success as fusion-pop singer in his first album, Shafqat launched a successful career in films with the chartbusting song ‘Mitwa’ performed for the award-winning Indian film, ‘Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna’ directed by Karan Johar. ‘Mitwa’ became a massive hit leaving Indian audiences wanting to hear more. They did not have to wait too long. Since then, Shafqat has performed in scores of films including ‘Tum Mile’, ‘My Name is Khan’, ‘I Hate Luv Stories’, ‘Patiala House’ ‘Jodi Breakers’ and many others.
Shafqat Amanat Ali has been a student of classical Pakistani and Indian music traditions since the age of four and belongs to the 9-generation old Patiala Gharana. In Pakistan and Hindustani music, vocal traditions are passed through one’s blood family and also the ‘family’ or ‘community’. In the Hindu, this is known as ‘gharana’ or ‘lineage’ and ‘Patiala Gharana’ is named after one of the vocal traditions from the city of Patiala in Punjab, India where it was established.
‘Shafqat Amanat Ali - Tribute to the Legends - Ghulam Ali’ celebrates some of the greatest 20th and 21st century Pakistani poets and lyricists, such as the stirring song ‘Bhul Jaan Sab Gham’ with words from one of Pakistan’s leading film composers and lyricists, Khawaja Pervez. Its spellbinding vocal melodies are beautifully sung in his inimitable style throughout by Shafqat Amanat Ali. ‘Bhul Jaan Sab Gham’ translates as ‘Forget All Sorrows’ and was originally sung by Pakistani star vocalist whose career spanned six decades, Madam Noor Jahan. The lyrics of ‘Bhul Jaan Gam Dunya’ are of longing, honour and love,
“I swear by my love for you that in my separation with you I will not shed a tear. We have to uphold the honour of our love”.
The uplifting song ‘Naina Tose Laagay’ translates as ‘Locking Eyes With You’ with beautiful poetry from Bollywood film lyricist Jaswant Rai Sharma also known as Naqsh Laillpuri who writes of a ‘kaleidescope of colours’. Naqsh Laillpuri was a founding member of the Indian Performing Rights Society and remains a renowned contributor to India’s film industry. ‘Naina Tose Laagay’ was originally sung by Ghulam Ali and Asha Jee.
Other songs that feature poetry on the album include ‘Chupkay Chupkay’ (In Hiding), written by Moulana Hassan Duhaani and the song ‘Wo Mujhse Huey Hum Qalam’ (The Honour of Conversing with Them) has lyrics penned by Pakistani Sufi scholar Ghulam Mustafa Tabassum. Tabbasum was renowned for poems of love and longing (ghazals) and rhymed verses (nazm).
‘Shafqat Amanat Ali - Tribute to the Legends - Ghulam Ali’ also includes Pakistani poet of the Urdu language, Obaidullah Aleem whose lyrics are on ‘Tere Pyar Mein’ (In Your Love). Poetry from Indian ghazal writer and film lyricist Jaswant Rai Sharma, aka Naqsh Laillpuri also features on ‘Naina Tose Laagay’ (Locking Eyes with You). Three songs on the album are from Pakistani film composer and lyricist Khawaja Pervaiz including the song of longing and love on ‘Bhul Jaan Sab Gham’ (Forget All Sorrows), ‘Jo Na Mil Sakay’ (The One Who Gets Away) and ‘Maine Har Kaanta’ (I Have Pulled Every Thorn from Your Path).
‘Shafqat Amanat Ali - Tribute to the Legends - Ghulam Ali’ is being released through Sufiscore, a UK based South Asian music focused media platform. Sufiscore is not just a traditional label but a YouTube channel amassing millions of views of songs from the Asian and South Asian markets. By providing a space for both legends and future stars, Sufiscore is creating a multicultural community by uniting artists and music consumers globally. Through live-syncing, remote recording and other practices, Sufiscore seeks to usher in new ways of making and consuming music online. Sufiscore has released Sheykhar Ravjiani’s first non-film single, Rang, Salim Sulaiman’s Bhoomi 2020, as well as ‘Unbounded – Abaad’ by sitar virtuoso Purbayan Chatterjee, joined by Pandit and Baghel as well as Béla Fleck, Gary Husband, Jordan Rudess, Zakir Hussain, Antonio Sanchez and more.
Shafqat Amanat Ali was awarded Pakistan’s highest national literary award, the Pride of Performance from the President of Pakistan in 2007, making him the 6th member of his family to do so. Referred to as ‘The Rockstar Ustad’ by Bollywood music director Salim Merchant, Shafqat Amanat Ali has risen to become one of South Asia’s most loved vocalists. ‘Shafqat Amanat Ali - Tribute to the Legends - Ghulam Ali’ releases on September 30th 2022 through the Sufiscore label, that focuses on shining a light on South Asian music.
Track Listing for ‘Shafqat Amanat Ali - Tribute to the Legends - Ghulam Ali’ 01. Shafqat Amanat Ali - Bhul Jaan Sub Gham (Music: Nazir Ali | Poet/Lyrics: Khawaja Pervaiz) 02. Shafqat Amanat Ali - Jo Na Mil Sakay (Music: Nazir Ali | Poet/Lyrics: Khawaja Pervaiz)
03. Shafqat Amanat Ali - Mainay Har Kanta (Music: Nazir Ali | Poet/Lyrics: Khawaja Pervaiz) 04. Shafqat Amanat Ali - Naina Tosay Lagay (Music Ghulam Ali | Poet/Lyrics: Naqsh LaillPuri) 05. Shafqat Amanat Ali - Tere Piyaar Main (Music: Mohsin Raza | Poet/Lyrics: Obaidullah Aleem) 06. Shafqat Amanat Ali - Way Tu Paa Kay Judaiyan (Music: Ghulam Ali) 07. Shafqat Amanat Ali - Wo Mujsey (Music: Hussain Latif | Poet/Lyrics: Sufi Tabbasum) 08. Amir Ghulam Ali - Chupkay Chupkay (Music: Ghulam Ali | Lyrics/Poet: Moulana Hassan Duhaani) 09. Amir Ghulam Ali - Kia Tujhay (Music: Amir Ghulam Ali | Lyrics/Poet: Amir Ghulam Ali)
Musicians on Album
Keyboards - Salman Mani & Ali Haider
Bass Guitar - Sajid Ali
Guitars - Basit Raza
Saxophone - Rashid Ali Radi
Drums - Allan Smith
Dholak - Khurram Javed
Tabla & Percussions - Sajjad Dadu
Backing Vocals - Salman Amjad Amanat Ali, Imran Ali & Shafaat Ali
Recorded Studio Guitars & Sound Design - Kamran Akhtar
Music Arrangement - Sajid Ali