qawwalis

Masjid dha de, Mandir dha de,
dha de jo kuch dainda,
Par kisi da dil na dha,
Rab dilan vich rehnda
— 

Bulleh Shah

Break down the Mosque, Break down the Temple,
Break everything that can be broken,
But don’t break somebody’s heart,
For in hearts does God reside

Na ameer hoon,
Na gareeb hoon,
Na hi badshah,
Na hi wazeer.

Tera ishq hai meri sultanat;
Ussi sultanat ka fakeer hoon main.

Malay had his portable recording rig with him and the pair of us were talking about the Pakistani musician Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. I was really into him, because my dad had played his music a lot at home; I loved that the dude sang in Urdu, for one thing. A lot of people who know his music reckon he was one of the greatest artists of all time. He also turned a lot of people on to qawwali music. 

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan passed away in 1997, but in May 2016 I heard talk that his nephew wanted to perform with me, to do a gig somewhere in India. He had taken on being the main guy in the band after his uncle’s death and, once he’d heard the story of “Flower,” he reached out. Doing something with him — anything — would be an honour. Fingers crossed we can make it work.
—  Zayn on Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan (from the book Zayn by Zayn. Read the full excerpt on Rolling Stone)
  • Jeff Buckley: The first real Qawwali I ever heard was called “Yeh Jo Halka Halka,” from the album The Day, the Night, the Dawn, the Dusk on Shanachie Records.
  • Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan: You liked it?
  • Buckley: It saved my life. I was in a very bad place.
  • Khan: Where were you?
  • Buckley: Just depressed.
  • Khan: I see.