Young Pashto folk singer Rashid Khan released his first thematic music album titled ‘Da Wakht Awaaz’ (the call of time) in Peshawar on Friday.
Rashid Khan is a PhD scholar at the Pashto Department, University of Peshawar and the first research scholar pursuing a research study on ‘history of Pashto folk poetry and folk music’. The music album released after a gap of two years contains nine items focusing on the themes of patriotism, peace, social awareness and Pakhtun’s cultural identity. He hoped that his album would set a new trend in Pashto music due to its natural flavour.
He told this scribe that he had selected Pashto poems reflecting the present situation of Pakhtuns along with a way forward message. The video album has been shot at several scenic sites of KP with traditional Pashto music orchestra, including tabla, rabab, harmonium, flute, sitar, dholak and keyboard composition.
Rashid Khan, a resident of Swabi district, doesn’t belong to a music family, but is born with a natural flail for composition of sounds. He faced family resistance, but got a tacit permission when he was doing his graduation. He said that Mohammad Rafi, Ustad Shah Wali, Khial Mohammad, Sardar Ali Takkar and Nashanas were the source of inspiration for him.
He started his music debut six years ago and received regular lessons about Pashto music from Farooq Ustad and Maas Khan Wisal for four years. It is his 7th music album in Pashto, but first one on specific themes. The poets whose poems were included in the album were Rahmat Shah Sail, Ghani Khan, Malang Jan Ustad, Ameer Mohammad Khan, Abaseen Yousafzai, Aziz Manerwaal, Faiz Ali Faiz and Mirwais Yousafzai.
“I call it a thematic album because I have included poems of the most outstanding Pashto poets who have written on the current bizarre situation prevailing in the Pakhtun region. The poems portray a true picture of Pakhtuns in the present geo-political situation. Love for land, call for permanent peace in the region, social education and a quest for revival of our cultural image are the prominent themes of these poems,” he explained. He said that he had released a song from his new album on social media which received a huge response from his fans.
Rashid Khan said that his music band ‘Oqaab’ formed six years ago was still operational. He said that his seven-member orchestra comprising Khan Agha, Javed, Saida Gul, Mohammad Din, Khalid, Adnan and Qaiser Dad, players of harmonium , tabla, dholak, rabab, saxophone , flute and keyboard, respectively, had been working on promotion and revival of traditional music instruments.
“We are planning to launch a music academy ‘Sandareez Kor’ (musical abode) where traditional Pashto music would be taught and tips given on digital recording. We want to safeguard our traditional music,” he added.
Khan Agha, music composer of the album, said that it was not for getting commercial ends, but to transmit a strong message to people to value traditional music with a purposeful poetry. He complained that the local media didn’t cover his events as they deserved.
Mr Khan’s music band had received an award for best performance last year at a music mela held in Islamabad under the auspices of the US embassy. He said that if he got a foreign scholarship he would conduct research on Pashto music, focusing on the theme of peace and social cohesion.