Adnan Manzoor, 21, is perhaps the youngest emerging Rabab player in the valley who dreams to take Kashmiri traditional music globally.
Adnan, a resident of Srinagar is presently pursuing his B.tech in Electronics and Communication stream.
The instrumentalist claims that he was 15 when he started playing Rabab.
With the pressure of staying on top of his academics, it was challenging for Adnan to hang onto his passion for playing his beloved instrument. But with his sheer determination and passion to pursue his dream, he managed to overcome all the obstacles.
"Being a student, it was never easy for me to choose music over studies. In the society we live in, people do not endorse art as they do other professions. So, as a student it is difficult to pursue both things simultaneously," he said. "But still against all the odds, I stick to my passion."
Adnan said playing Rabab brings peace and composure to his soul.
"Rabab is the most pleasant instrument. People cherish it. It is a part of traditional music of the valley," Adnan said.
The young instrumentalist said by playing Rabab he can keep the traditional music alive and if he excels in playing the instrument the world can come to know about Kashmir's heritage and culture.
"I think with time things are changing so is the trend of music in our valley. People are now taking an interest in learning music and instruments. Many young people are already taking it as their profession," he said.
Sharing his knowledge about Rabab, Adnan said the main three strings of Rabab and the body are made of goat’s intestine and skin.
"This means the instrument bears the soul of someone, therefore it is called as “Rubab”," he said.
Adnan said earlier Rabab was not used much in the Bollywood songs, but now the composers and producers are reaching out to him for playing the instrument in their songs.
"This signifies that it has started marking its presence felt in the Bollywood industry. I hope someday I will be able to make Rabab known worldwide," he said.
The artist feels that the biggest task for him is to keep his audience entertained during his performances.
"It is always challenging to decide what to play that will attract the attention of people. Therefore, I try both Bollywood and Hollywood songs so that people could understand that the instrument can be used in any genre and not Kashmiri sufiana specific," he said.
Adnan said as an artist, Kashmiris have to struggle more as there are no platforms to showcase their talent.
"I started using social media. My one cover had more than 3 million views. I got emails, messages from people who wanted to learn the instrument," he said.
"YouTube has impacted our generation so much that even some of the biggest stars owe their careers to it. You never know who could end up watching your video," Adnan said.