He may not be able to travel to South Africa to perform in front of his fans due to the Covid-19 pandemic, however world-acclaimed musical maestro, Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan has another plan to serenade his SA fans.
The well known musical maestro from Pakistan will be performing for his South African fans online “live” this Valentine’s Day in a one-night-only grandiose affair.
Fans will be able to experience the energy of a state-of-the-art live stage concert from the best seat in the house…the safe confines of their living room.
The event is being powered by well-known lifestyle and management company, Blu Blood, who are synonymous for bringing high profile entertainment to South African stages.
While this event is taking place online, Blu Blood plans to deliver the same premier and unparalleled show quality that patrons have come to enjoy at all their live shows.
“People are longing for those moments of happiness and connection that they experienced at live concerts before Covid and with live entertainment in SA currently on hold, we’ve wanted to try find a new way to engage with our loyal South African audience and to also capture fans that have never had the chance to watch Rahat live on stage,” says Blu Blood Managing Director, Osman Osman.
“There were no major Bollywood events on the African continent last year and we don’t foresee large live scale concerts this year either, and so we want to be able to continue giving fans ways to celebrate safely and still get the royal Blu Blood experience as best as possible."
The well- renowned Pakistani musician has been mesmerising audiences around the globe for over three decades.
As one of the most popular Bollywood playback singers, he has released over 50 title tracks for TV serials, over 100 film songs and has released dozens of original chart-topping hits. Rahat is well-known for his Qawwali music (explosive devotional music of the Sufis of Pakistan and the Indian subcontinent) and also performs ghazals and other light music.
His music has captured the imaginations of listeners as far as the West, with Khan contributing to the soundtrack of the 1995 Hollywood blockbuster, Dead Man Walking.
He also worked on the soundtrack of The Four Feathers, in collaboration with American composer, James Horner. In 2011, his vocals were featured on the soundtrack of Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto and he has performed and collaborated with top names in the industry including The Beastie Boys, Pearl Jam, Bono and the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. He has performed in the likes of New York, Los Angeles, Spain, Canada, Belgium and Tibet.
The Saturday Star caught up with Rahat ahead of his online South African concert which takes place on Valentines Day.
What has life been like for you as a global musician during the lockdown?
It has been difficult for everyone, especially for performing artists and musicians. The artist and musicians are people with high sensitivity. We have got affected with all the negativity, news of death and people suffering. The livelihood of the musicians has been drastically affected during the last year. It has been difficult to cope with isolation due lockdown emotionally as well.
How much do you miss performing in front of your fans live?
I have been performing live in front of audiences since I was nine years old. Definitely, I missed doing that, there is a connection with my audience. They are like my family.
What has life been like in Pakistan during the lockdown?
We have tried to observe the SOP's (standard operating procedures). Things are improving now. Initially it was difficult and depressing. Everyone was confined to the boundaries of their homes.
You will be serenading South African fans live this Valentine's Day in a one-night-only grandiose affair. How much are you looking forward to performing for your South African fans?
South Africa is one of the great nations of this world. It is a beautiful country with diversity and beautiful people. I am not very fluent with English but I love the accent South Africans people have. I am so looking forward to performing in front of my fans. My past experiences have been great and always got so much love from South Africa.
Are you at all surprised by the large number of fans you have in South Africa?
My late uncle and mentor, Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan always received love from South Africa and the South East Asian community is a great admirer of Qawwali music since early 80's and in later years bollywood films have penetrated each household, therefore the appreciation of my singing has only grown over the years.
Due to the global Covid-19 pandemic, artists from all over the world have been forced to move to virtual live concerts. What has it been like performing virtually for fans?
Well, I would say it's another medium of connectivity. The social media age has started and we have to accept and move ahead with the current trend. The instant response, warmth and appreciation from a live audience is the best feeling for a performer and I definitely miss that, but I am also very hopeful that this Pandemic will soon end and life would return back to normal. Till then we have to make do with what we have.
What are some of your popular songs that South Africans can look forward to during the Valentine's Day concert?
Afreen Afreen, Meray Rashkay Qamar and Teray Bin.
Have you been forced to cancel upcoming shows for the year? And will they be replaced by virtual concerts instead?
Yes, a number of concerts and tours have been cancelled due to the lockdowns at different parts of the world, even in Pakistan. We are doing this virtual concert with the intent to connect with the maximum number of my fans.
The past few months have been tough for everyone around the world. What message would you like to send to your fans during this challenging time?
Love each other, support each other, let's live as a global community. Let's find happiness in small things and share happiness amongst each other.
Tickets for the 14 February 2021 sho cost R150 (per device) and are available for purchase through Computicket and TicketPro.
The show starts at 18h00.