Ghazal Lovers around the world grieved when Jagjit Singh left the world, but since history repeats itself, in came Zulfiqar Khan Saabri. Saabri, a ghazal singer, is identified as the one whose voice modulation is absolutely the mirror reflection of Jagjit Singh.
Zulfiqar picked the nuances of music from the dargah he visited. Later under the aegis of Ustad Abdul Aziz, of the Patiala Gharana and Ustaad Fareed Ahmed Khan from Kirana Gharana, Saabri learnt thumri and ghazal.
‘While there are different genres of music, the one underlying link is that all kinds of music are related to god and to the soul. This soul is what attracts me to my kind of music. My earlier CDs and cassettes contain devotional numbers, titled Wahe Guru and Sai Ram amongst others and here too I have attempted to leave my own individualistic style,’ said Saabri.
Saabri is all set for his concert- Ruh- e- Ghazal in the Capital to pay a tribute to Jagjit Singh, who he considers to be his guru.
‘The most endearing quality of Jagjit Singh’s music is that he always managed to keep the facets and essence of the ghazals intact without manipulating them. I am also releasing my album called Remembering Jagjit Singh, as a token of my love and dakshina to him,’ said Saabri, who is known an Junior Jagjit Singh.
Hailing from family full of lawyers and advocates, Zulfiqar, whilst dreaming of being a pilot, gave into this real passion music.
‘My love for music was encouraged by my family. I have grown up listening to Indian classical music and ghazals of Mehandi Hassan and Jagjit Singh,’ said Khan.
He gave his first concert performance in 1987 at the age of 22. Saabri started out by singing ghazals of Mehendi Hasan, but over the years switched over to Jagjit Singh’s compostions. ‘The fact that his selection of ghazals, poetry and shayari is outstanding, attracted me’ he said.
‘I know that now since my master is no more, there is lot of responsibility on my shoulders. Since the time I accepted Jagjit Singh as my sole inspiration, his style and feel have become an inevitable part of my voice. It’s all god’s gift, similar to the lines of how Abhijeet and Udit Narayan’s voices are often compared to that of Kishore Kumar’s,’ Saabri pointed out.
‘Wherever I have sung the similarity between my voice and that of late Jagjit Singh’s is hard to believe for the audience. Once I had to even prove it by singing without music as I was accused of lip syncing to Jagjit Singh’s song,’ he said.
Saabri feels music is like a vast ocean. He envisions to give ghazal due recognition. ‘The current music market is dominated by commercial promotion and not cultural preservation. The government and the channels should take a combined initiative,’ he said.
At: Siri Fort Auditorium-1, Khel Gaon Marg.
When: 15 September
Timings: 6.30 pm onwards