One of South Asia's most beloved voices returns to Toronto two years after his electrifying performance at the 2012 Mosaic Festival.
Best known for his prominent place in the Bollywood musical pantheon, Shafqat Amanat Ali is also a seriously committed classical singer. The son of Ustad Amanat Ali Khan and the 7th generation of the Patiala Gharana, he has been a student of classical music since the age of four. This unique concert will highlight this side of his talent, offering audiences a rare opportunity to experience the full breadth of the man's remarkable abilities performing ghazals in a sem-classical setting.
With his soulful voice and emotion-packed delivery, Shafqat has captured the imaginations of fans worldwide. As founder and singer of the influential band Fuzon, he was a pioneer and defining force in Pakistani music from the 1990s until 2006. Bringing a new sound to the nation's youth, he became a major influence on a generation of artists. His post-Fuzon solo career focused on folk and Sufi repertoire, leading to the release of the album Tabeer, commissioned and released by Music Today in September 2008.
Shafqat was introduced to Bollywood by Shankar Mahadevan. One morning while driving to his studio, he heard Shafqat's hit song “Aankhon Ke Saagar” on the radio and moved quickly to establish contact with the owner of that voice. The rest, as they say, is history – Shafqat sang “Mitwa” composed by Shankar Ehsaan Loy for the movie Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna. The song was listed in the top charts in India, helping propel Shafqat into stardom. He was the voice behind the critically acclaimed song “Yeh Honsla” [sic] in the Bollywood film Dor. He sang background for the films Hello and Mumbai Cutting. His songs “Mora Saiyaan” and “Tere Bina” were featured in Nagesh Kukunoor's Hyderabad Blues 2. He has performed at every major music event on the Subcontinent as well as the most prestigious stages around the world.
His tracks recorded on Coke Studio are prime examples of the sensitive fusion of styles that has made Shafqat an artist beloved by both Pakistani and Indian music fans. He has used his voice to help call for understanding between the two nations and has been quoted on his conviction for cross cultural exchange, saying “we artists contribute a great deal towards that, but I would consider myself very fortunate to support anyone who works towards making it into a reality.”
This special concert on May 31st promises to be an extraordinary night of music with one of the preeminent artists in South Asian music.