While others in their early 20s are busy headbanging and dancing to the tunes of hard-rock, Shariq Mustafa chose to carry forward the art of Tabla playing. Hailing from the Farukabad Gharana he had performed recently along with his father Ustad Rashid Mustafa Thirakwa in the national Capital.
Shariq is the grandson of late legendary Tabla maestro and Padma Bhushan Awardee, Ustad Ahmed Jaan Thirakwa Khan Saheb. In an interview with Millennium Post the 23-year-old artiste talks about his passion for Tabla and fusion music.
Do you play any other musical instruments besides Tabla?
Yes, I do play Darbuka, Cajon, Djembe but I like to play Tabla more than any other instrument as I am able to connect to it as my best friend.
Did you always want to pursue a career in music or did you also think of some other field?
While I was in school, I always wanted to be a Tabla player but deep in my heart I also had a desire to opt for administrative services. However, I soon realized that the latter is not my cup of tea. Later, pursuing LLB also crossed my mind but I was so rapt in music that this thought took a backseat. But, very soon I might take this up seriously.
Who has been your inspiration in life?
My parents have been my greatest inspiration as they have always made sure that I should not only be a good artiste but above everything be a good human being too.
You are also the lead vocalist of a music band, Mystique Sufi. Please tell us about that.
Being the lead singer of Mystique Sufi, I had created it about 4 years ago. I sing Sufi compositions by Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan Saheb and other Sufi qawwals (performers of Qawwali) and we present them in an innovative way with jugalbandis which are basically conversations between all the artistes through their instruments. There are five members in the band and we use several instruments like the Base Guitar, Electronic Guitar and percussion instruments like Tabla, Darbuka and Drums while performing.
What are your thoughts on fusion music?
I think fusion music is everywhere now. I too have been a part of many fusion projects and collaborated with many Indian and English musicians in India and abroad like the London Jazz Festival. It is amazing as fusion music challenges me to come out of my comfort zone. I would say that fusion is no confusion it’s beautiful. It is an amalgamation of different forms and helps in celebrating the beauty of music. I feel it makes me a better artiste when following my heart. I grow as and when I meet new musicians and collaborate with them. It makes me feel proud of myself.