New Delhi: Young Sarangi talent Nabeel Khan, who is the grandson of Padma Bhushan recipient Sarangi maestro Ustad Sabri Khan, on Saturday launched his debut original song “Jaanejaan”, in a creative fusion of soft rock with the soothing touch of Sarangi along with tabla and the electric guitar.
Written, composed and sung by Nabeel, the song released by emerging label ‘Le Music’, exudes the pain that separated souls suffer. According to the artist, who is continuing the legacy of the Moradabad Sainia gharana Sarangi playing style, it took several months to get this original ready. He began to work on the lyrics during the lockdown.
Interestingly, the Delhi-based player became a Sarangi prodigy at the tender age of seven under the humble guidance of his grandfather, and his father Ustad Nasir Khan and has represented India several times on various intercontinental platforms, and was awarded as the Best Young Instrumentalist (Indian classical field) in the Indian embassy, Italy.
Nabeel creatively uses fusion music arena to blend with the rare art of the Indian classical instrument, Sarangi. ‘Jaanejaan’ is available on Spotify, Ganna, Apple Tunes and YouTube.
Excerpts from IANSlife interview with Nabeel Khan:
Q: You began to learn Sarangi at a very early age and under a great master himself. Please tell us about your introduction to the art.
A: My father Ustad Nasir Khan Saheb encouraged me to learn and continue the Legacy of Moradabad Sainia Gharana Sarangi players from my grandfather who happened to be the ‘Samrat of Sarangi’, Padma Bhushan awardee Ustad Sabri Khan Saheb. He explained to me how this Indian classical art form was extremely rare when compared to anything else in the Indian instrumental music field. So, when I was around seven years old, I started dedicating my time to visit my grandfather’s place as his ‘shagird’ and learn Sarangi from him.
Q: How did you balance learning and performing with other things?
A: Well, it has always been my mother who has helped me with the balancing part. In the early days, she would always make sure that certain hours in a day went into ï¿½Riyaz’ and that the academic part of my childhood was not overlooked. Towards my teenage years, it had become quite the norm of my routine to simultaneously study and perform Sarangi recitals, inter and intra continental. So, gradually I became well versed with managing all these aspects of my youth as an artist.
Q: How did you come up with ‘Jaanejaan’? What are the creative inspirations behind it?
A: For more than half a year now we have been restrained in our homes, with ample time in our hands. Contemplating life in these hard times, I observed the immense grief that people had to suffer watching their loved ones depart from this world for forever. Continuation of this observation across the world instilled certain emotions in my heart and mind, which I then chose to channelise through this song ‘Jaanejaan’. It is at that stage, I wrote, composed and sung this song.
Q: Tell us about the fusion part of the music in the song. How did you blend classical with the non-classical?
A: I greatly enjoyed blending both ends of the music spectrum, the classical and the non-classical. For me, a symphony is complete only when the Indian classical instruments lend their majestic density to the melody. But these days people prefer fusion more. Therefore, I decided to bring a guitar and drums onboard, to make the song fit for a contemporary music audience.
Q: Do you think songs by classical musicians will go a long way in the inclusion of classical instruments in popular music?
A: Indian classical music is under a revival of sorts. Increasingly popular music trends are moving towards dulcet tones of classical instruments, Sarangi being one of the most preferred instruments. I, therefore, presume that soon the majority of popular music will witness a good deal of synergization with classical music. Consequently, Indian classical artists will see increasing platforms to continue the legacy of this land’s music.