Renowned Pakistani classical singer Ustad Hamid Ali Khan has launched a ghazal album after a gap of six years.
Hamid formally announced the album Dil Tau Kehta Hai at a ceremony held at Lahore’s Alhamra Hall on Monday.
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“Although the times have largely changed, it’s fortunate that Pakistanis are still fond of traditional and classical music and the album-listening culture hasn’t completely vanished,” Hamid told The Express Tribune. “Music enthusiasts kept on asking me to come up with some new material and finally, I have answered their pleas.”
However, it has been quite difficult for Hamid to do so. “Most of the recording companies and producers have disappeared in our country. I’ve been contemplating and working on this album for months now!” he revealed. “Many people were surprised when they first found out that I had decided to take this initiative, others have been appreciating it. Senior artists like me must fulfill their responsibilities and further the music industry. That’s why, I also accepted the changing trends and sang for some films in between.”
For Hamid, Dil Tau Kehta Hai is an attempt to safeguard the traditions of the Patiala Gharana. “I have to secure the traditions of my family and that is the reason why I will continue to launch more albums in the coming years,” he shared. “I will do my very best for the preservation of our culture and heritage.”
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The volume consists of six ghazals, including different raag renditions and thumris. “I have also sung new ghazals. Those who follow classical music will appreciate the fact that I have fused many different elements in Dil Tau Kehta Hai, while composing the entire album myself.”
The singer went on to reminisce about the golden days of Pakistani music, when the industry was thriving and there were plenty of musicians, music and music companies to choose from. “The time and circumstances in the industry have changed; everyone likes good music. And personally, I don’t believe one has to leave their roots to adapt new trends. Therefore, I would again like to request all Pakistani classical musicians to come back and follow my lead.”