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Monday Jun 04 2018

Don't need permission to sing late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan's qawalis: Rahat


KARACHI: Renowned musician Rahat Fateh Ali Khan has said he does not require permission from anyone to sing the qawalis of his late uncle, legendary Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Geo News reported on Monday.

When asked if he does or would require permission to sing the qawalis of the late maestro, Rahat Fateh Ali told media men, "I'm the successor and the adopted son of my ustad and Uncle Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. Why would I need permission?

"This has never been the scenario in the history and legacy of our family, which has a rich heritage spanning over 600 years in the field of qawali and Sufi music," he added.

Noting that Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan played an integral part in his upbringing, Rahat explained that permissions were not sought "when my father Ustad Farrukh Fateh Ali Khan and Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan recited [the] qalams of my dada (paternal grandfather) Ustad Fateh Ali Khan [alongside] other members of our family".

"We are a family … everything belongs to us as a family and we have never been divided," he asserted.

When further questioned about keeping his family's legacy alive, Rahat said, " I have kept this family tradition of ours alive since I was made the successor by Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan over 20 years ago. I have taken the torch of my family's tradition unconditionally, not seeing whether it is day or not, a flight or a journey of a day long and lot more including performing for days and weeks initially when both my father and my Ustad had passed away, I as Rahat Ali Khan was there to take my families name forward.

"I know how hard it has been. If you see that I have taken my family's name and performed at the Noble Peace Prize, in fact I was the headline performer there, I have performed at the United Nations General Assembly, I have a  music room named after me at the Oxford University Music faculty. The name which is attached with me apart from mine, is my family's name and legacy which I'm carrying and as a tradition, tomorrow my brother and son will carry it as well," he added.

Rahat continued, "I have one of the best teams and management who have taken the name of our family globally at a time when qawali is nearly forgotten. I have a world tour this year which is dedicated only to qawali."

The maestro concluded, " I hope this clarifies any ambiguities and the fact that I do not need any permission to sing what belongs to my family and me." 

Legal action

Earlier, on Saturday, the daughter of late Qawwal Nusrat Fateh Ali had asserted that she intended to take legal action against anyone involved in the copyright infringement of the maestro’s songs.

“I am the sole heir of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and the copyrights of my father’s songs are only with me,” Nida Nusrat, the daughter, had said while addressing a news conference at the Lahore Press Club on Friday.

“If anyone wants to sing my father’s songs, they need to seek permission from me,” she stressed.

She also mentioned that Khokar Productions, a company involved in the infringement of copyrights, had been sent a legal notice.

Responding to a question as to whether she would also take legal action against Rahat Fateh Ali Khan who sang Nusrat’s songs for Bollywood, Nida said, “Rahat is my brother and I will not take any action against him.”

“A lot of people spread rumours that Rahat and I are married but there is no truth in that,” she added. “Coincidentally, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan’s wife is my namesake.”

She continued, “Even the information on Wikipedia is incorrect.”

She further shared that she had established an institute by the name of “The Real NFA” that will provide a platform for aspiring singers.


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