Giving a new definition to Sufism
The beauty of Sufism lies in the translation of poetry into music, which not only makes up for an enriching experience for the listeners but also let them embark on a journey of soul-searching. Nizami Bandhu has a 700-year old rich legacy which they have upheld through centuries of dedication and tireless striving to perfection. They embraced Qawaali seven centuries back and since then, have contributed to the growth of this soulful genre of Sufism. The responsibility of carrying the legacy forward is presently being shouldered by Ustad Chand Nizami, Shadab Faridi Nizami, and Sohrab Faridi Nizami i.e., the Nizami Brothers. In a free-wheeling conversation with Puja Banerjee, the artists talk about the evolution of Sufi music, their views on remix culture and a lot more.
How has the Sufi music evolved through the years?
Sufi music has a long and golden history of more than 700 years. We have carried the legacy, which was handed over to us by Late Ghulam Farid Nizami. It has always been our responsibility to maintain the authenticity of Sufi music while we try to sync it with modern demands. Earlier, the sole objective of Sufi music was to spread the message of love, faith, and happiness. It was used to inspire people to do good deeds, however, with the passage of time, the music got transformed, and now we have the commercial version of it. Originally Sufi music was performed in shrines of dargahs, but now it is performed for the people across the globe.
Why do you think Sufi music is popular in Hindi movies?
Sufi music has a different beat and appeal. It transcends you into a different world. Moreover, we also feel that any new work is always appreciated by people, especially when it comes to music. Sufi music has added a new flavour to the traditional forms of music that we have, and this is the reason why Sufi music has been able to carve a discernible niche for itself in the film industry.
Your views on fusion music and remixes?
Music is the reflection of our culture, thinking, and beliefs. Any kind of change is indispensable, but it should be for the betterment. The way music is nowadays mixed and presented to people hampers the originality of the song and its essence. We are not against remixes or fusion music, but it should keep the real meaning of the song alive. Apart from this, what concerns us the most is the kind of lyrics we have in today's songs, they are demeaning and sometimes derogatory. Many singers now use offensive language which unfortunately gets propagated to millions of people. As creative people, it's our responsibility to spread the message of goodness.
Your opinions on the reigning government banning Pakistani artists in India, which is the land of Sufi music?
Well, if the government has decided to stop them, we abide by their decision. But at the same time, we would like to mention that music and creativity have no boundaries. Although there has been a taboo on the work of Pakistani artists in India, we cannot stop their creativity reach our land. We would like to keep politics and creativity separate.