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Sufi Mystics enthral Qawwali lovers
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Sufi Mystics enthral Qawwali lovers

Post by Insha Latief Khan on Sunday, February 12, 2023

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Pop and rock genres of music may have many listeners in the contemporary world but traditional music has been the timeless choice of people. With this belief, a young singer created a Qawwali group in Kashmir.
The Qawwali group, Sufi Mystics formed by a young singer, Waseem khan has been enthralling audiences at various music events.
Hailing from Nishat, Srinagar, Waseem has been associated with music since childhood. After getting training from his uncle, who is an artist in All India Radio, he joined University of Kashmir to pursue a bachelor's degree in Music and Fine Arts and also did a yearlong course Sangeet Shormani in Delhi.
He said, “Our group focuses more on traditional pieces, the verses that the great ancestors have written. Qawwali is an ecstatic form of music infused with divinity. It evokes emotions in people, there has to be a different way of delivering it. One has to be disciplined while performing this strenuous style of singing.”
Since beginning, he was fond of Qawwalis and in the times where guitar and drums had almost taken the world of music by storm, he wanted to bring back tabla and harmonium.
“I wanted to do something different in Kashmir. There are already many music bands in Kashmir. Sufi, being my genre, allowed me to think that there will be many like me who wanted to listen to this soul-stirring soothing form of music and this is how Sufi Mystics was formed,” he said.
Waseem wants his group to be seen on an international platform. “The qawwals sing from their hearts and seem to know intuitively how to touch the heart of the listener by repeating the words that resonate most and by adding mystical chants.”
The group, which is an ensemble of 6 members, has been performing since 2021 and has done many government and private events including from Jammu and Kashmir Tourism department. This year, in the month of March, the group is going to perform in Chandigarh.
Waseem has been performing solo as well and has produced a number of songs based on social issues like domestic violence and unemployment.
His first hit song, Mei WatleoDil based on domestic violence has been well received by the audience.
In the past, he has represented Kashmir University in one of the events in Chandigarh University. “I have performed in Mumbai as well and have been the third runner up in the event. I have also won the state level Sonzal talent festival in 2018,” he said.
While talking about his performance outside Kashmir, he said, “I have always garnered a good response on stage. If you go outside Kashmir and sing their songs, that won’t help anyway. The godfathers of their music are already there. My master told me to present the art of the place where I was born. That has helped me because the composition of our local songs and the tune is being liked by all of them and that was new to them.”
With new artists and musicians coming up, the Kashmiri music industry has undergone a change over the past many years. He feels that the music in Kashmir has improved over the years. “It is getting better and some bad things have happened as well. For many years, there was just one genre going on but youth had tried doing different things. Old songs were recreated with the new acoustics and were sent to the whole world. Good things have been happening and a new life has been added to the industry.”
As music has made a lot of influence over the youngsters, many are choosing it as a career. Waseem has witnessed the rise in the number of students pursuing studies in the field of music.
“When I joined the course, we were only 3 students but the number of students rose afterwards. People are fond of music now and they want to do it professionally,” he said.
He further said that he was lucky enough to enjoy the parental support.
“I have seen many people who are talented in the field of art but couldn’t pursue it due to the lack of parental support. This is how many artists are suppressed like that. Art takes a person towards good things. Everything has two sides. It depends upon which side you choose.”

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