A high-five from soulful Sufi songster Rahat Fateh Ali Khan
In recent times, no singer has captured the hearts of the Indian audience as successfully as Pakistani singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan. The Sufi songster started his stint in the Hindi film industry in 2004 with Mann ki lagan (Paap). It didn’t take long before he had etched himself in the minds of the Indian audience with his popular numbers.
Nephew of music maestro, the late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Khan has also lent his vocals to Hollywood projects like Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto and Shekar Kapur’s The Four Feathers.
Here, we take a look at five of the singer’s must-have songs on your I-pod.
Mann Ki Lagan – Paap
With only the tabla and harmonium as accompaniments, Khan enthrals in this breathtaking number. Notice how gently his rustic voice drifts through the various highs and lows of the melody with remarkable ease. If you’re having a rough day at work, pause for a while and play this number. Khan’s rendition of this brilliant song will instantly set up a mood of tranquillity.
Jiya Dhadak Dhadak Jaaye – Kalyug
From the minute the opening refrain of the flute begins, this song is a dream. Khan brings the right mix of passion and pain to his delivery to make this soft romantic track one of the best of the last decade. Even in high pitches, Khan doesn’t jar even once.
Dil To Baccha Hai Ji – Ishqiya
There cannot be a more appealing combination than Khan’s rustic vocals, Gulzar’s innocent lyrics and Vishal Bhardwaj’s clean, magical melody. The composition, akin to the retro numbers of the ‘60s, weaves Khan’s bucolic voice with minimal instruments like the guitar and harmonium. This is the kind of music you want to wake up to. And Khan’s magical vocals will linger long after you’ve heard this one.
Naina – Omkara
If you want to mope in a corner post a bad heartbreak, this song will help you drown in self-pity. Moody, brooding and romantic, Khan conveys the pain of betrayal aptly in this Bhardwaj composition. There is a video of a live performance of this track on You Tube. Watch it to see the maestro in action – it’s an exhilarating experience!
Ajj Din Chedeya – Love Aaj Kal
If there is one melody by Khan that will brighten your day, it’s this breezy track from Love Aaj Kal. Soaked in Punjabi-flavoured lyrics, Khan ‘s rendition is a touching plea from the heart for a loved one. Be warned though, this track is guaranteed to be played on repeat.
(Other notable solo songs by Khan: Main jahaan rahoon – Namastey London, O re piya – Aaja Nachle and Aas paas Khuda – Anjaana Anjaani)