Remembering Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Nazia Hassan

NFAKThe world calls him Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan Shahenshah-e-Qawali and Nazia Hassan… the first female pop icon in Asia. They left the world before their time at the age of 48 and 35 respectively. But years later, the impact of the deaths of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Nazia Hassan can be felt throughout the music industry and the world at large, particularly because they both died during the month of August.

Hailing from Faisalabad and the son of Ustad Fateh Ali Khan, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan is accredited for being one of the pioneers to put Pakistani music on the map. His collaborations with Pearl Jam’s Eddie Veddar on the soundtrack of The Last Temptation of Christ (1985) as well as Canadian guitarist Michael Brook on the records Mustt Mustt (1990) and Night Song (1996) among a few others opened doors to Western audiences. Nusrat is known for the most number of qawwalis sung Naziaby any singer and holds the record even today. From teaming up with Bollywood’s Javed Akhtar to singing for Tim Robbins’ Dead Man Walking, the career graph of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan is one that remains inspiring even twelve years after his death.

And Nazia Hassan is not far behind. She paved the path for women icons. Hadiqa Kiyani and Zeb and Haniya have picked up after Nazia Hassan left off but she was the original pop queen of the subcontinent. Alongside her brother and British-Asian producer Biddu, Nazia went onto release one record after the other.

Nazia began with the single ‘Aap Jaisa Koi’ for the Indian film Qurbani in 1980 and after that, there was no looking She followed the success of ‘Aap Jaisa Koi’ with the album Disco Deewaney in 1981. Nazia then released four records Star (1982), Young Tarang (1984), Hotline (1987) and Camera Camera (1992).

Source: INSTEP today