“One must be willing to release one’s mind and soul from one’s body to achieve ecstasy through music.”

–NusratFateh Ali Khan, 1991.

The image shows Pakistani Qawalli legend Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan with Canadian ambient musician, guitarist and producer Michael Brook while collaborating for the studio album ‘Night Song’. By the end of his career NusratFateh Ali Khan had released movie scores in and albums in countries like Europe, India, Japan, Pakistan, and the US, and was a globally acclaimed artist. He popularized the ancient Qwalli tradition amongst the youth of the time and he is still revered as one of the best voices in the world.

Nusrat has raised the bar exceptionally high in the traditional Sufi music scene. Apart from his nephew, RahatFateh Ali Khan, no one has been able to make the tradition their own. There are several exceptionally talented Qawals in Pakistan, but most are confined to singing Nurast’s hits rather than striking out on their own. NusratFateh Ali khan has enriched the Pakistan music scene and he put the country on the global music scene, but his shadow still looms large over local Qwals.