FOR a man with an evergreen passion for music, it’s difficult to pin down exactly what it is about music he loves most.
“It’s hard to pick one thing. I love everything about music. Like it is said that the depth of the sea is hard to measure, it’s the same for me.”
Rahat and his team of musicians will be on the local stage during The Voice from Heaven Tour taking place in Durban and Joburg on Saturday and Sunday.
We asked how, having travelled the world, he felt about taking his music and heritage to stages the world over.
“When I see the reaction of the audience in my concerts, who are singing, cheering, dancing to the performance, it is overwhelming. It makes me perform even better and every concert is a feeling that I am performing for the first time on stage,” he said.
With so much experience, we wondered if Rahat felt any pressure before a performance.
“I do not feel under pressure as this is all I know and one has to be good at what one does. For sure each performance means a lot to me and I have excitement within me before I perform.”
Raised in a family of Qawwalis (Sufi devotional singers) and classical singers, Rahat began his training at the age of 15 under his uncle, the late Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.
The singer is looking forward to performing again in South Africa.
“I have performed here before and this time I am more excited as this tour is with my international promoters, PME, who have really worked extremely hard in elevating our production (stage, lights) quality, the visual look and, most importantly, the sound.
“As a team we have done over 70 concerts, hence the understanding on and off stage is there. Also the local promoters from South Africa, Blu Blood, are a reputable organisation and all I can say is the audience are in for a real treat.
“They will get to see a lot of variation from Qawwalis to current and former hit songs of Bollywood, and I will perform my latest song, Sharab-e-husan, for the first time. They can log on to www.saanv.com to hear it.”
Commenting on who inspired him, Rahat said: “My mentor, my uncle, Mu Ustad, the one and only Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan… To date I feel the void of not having him and my dear father on the stage. My uncle was phenomenal and he inspires me most. Even today when I hear or watch his songs it inspires me and I want to improve.”
• The Voice from Heaven Tour, ICC, Durban, Saturday, February 15 at 8pm and Emperors Palace, Joburg, 5pm on Sunday, February 16. Tickets R200 at Computicket.