Instep picks top three songs that must be on everyone’s playlist.
Artist: Ustaad Naseeruddin Saami
Series: Coke Studio 4
The human world, it seems, has finally woken up to the inherent and atypical talent of Ustaad Naseeruddin Saami, who was born in 1944 and is the last carrier of the Sufi tradition of khyal.
It is this enormous talent of his that brought Grammy Award winning US music producer Ian Brennan to Pakistan last year to record his debut album, God Is Not A Terrorist. Saami Sahib recently also performed in Australia. His disciples include Ali Sethi, Zeb Bangash and even Zoe Viccaji. Both Sethi and Bangash played facilitators to the recording of God Is Not A Terrorist, with the aim of making his music available to an international audience.
But long before that, in fact what feels like eons ago, he would performed at the All Pakistan Music Conference in Karachi and went on to feature in the early years of Coke Studio, performing a classical folk song called ‘Mundari’ in its fourth season. Saami Sahib is one of a kind and to understand the ebbs and flows of his voice, you must give him a chance again and again because something new will emerge each time.
Artist: Nayyara Noor
Since we are on the subject of greats, the one person who didn’t appear on Coke Studio and well has sung this song, which has also been sung by other iconic artists owns it like no other. There is no one who can match the intensity, the flair, pitch or the emotion with which the great Nayyara Noor has delivered this song. It makes you yearn for a time when she sang a lot often and her voice was known to an entire generation. Look this song up. It is fairly easy in the digital age and while you may find other versions, start with this one and you might not want to move on from this.