Known as a “Singing Bouddha” in Japan, the “Quintessence of human singing” in Tunisia, the “Voice of Heaven” in the United States and the “Pavarotti of the Orient” in France… Pakistan’s most revered Qawwal singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, made the whole world resonate to the lyrical heights of Qawwali, a secular form of Sufi song that calls to divine ecstasy. His nearly superhuman vocal abilities, extraordinary improvisational skills, troubling intensity and softness of his voice, his kindled presence on stage, his many encounters and colorful musical cross-blendings and the enduring love that millions of fans lavished upon him worldwide all helped him bring the mystical music of Sufi’s to international stage becoming one the most celebrated superstars of World Music. He simply kicked his audience into a state of trance and ecstasy , he made them cry and weep at will, he made them dance and sing along although most of foreign audience never understood a word he uttered. He brought Qawwali music from mosques and shrines of Sufi saints to the common man’s winning the applause of the most diverse audiences ever while keeping faithful to his message:
When I’m sin-ging, the distance between God and me becomes lesser”, he said. “This music brings people together”.
Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan was a living legend and a bridge between tradition and modernity,Orient and Occident, the sacred and the profane. Since his untimely death in 1997, his legacy has continued to spread among major artists .