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Interview with Fateh Ali Khan Sitar maestro in Indian Classical music

Posted on : 06/06/2017 05:40pm
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What do you think of the present trend – fusion music?


People find it new and different from the usual music that they listen to in day to day life. They find the music attractive and soothing to ears. They feel connected to their heritage and what the Indian classical music is all about. And not just today people have liked this form of music since ages and it is growing gradually amongst the youth.


How are you influenced by Pundit Ravi Shankar ji?


Lt. Pandit Ravi Shankar Ji is known for his contribution to Indian Classical music. He has popularized this form of music India & Abroad. So it is our duty as well to try and do our best from our side as well as this Tribute shall be small attempt to foster what he has been doing and continuously upholding throughout his life.


You belong to the family of Sarangi players. Your grandfather was an eminent Sarangi maestro. What inspired you to carve a niche as a Sitar player?


Me and my twin brother, Murad Ali Khan started learning to sing when we were 4 years old. But I always had the urge to play sitar and tried playing it often. My father thought that I was inclined to playing sitar so he propagated my interest. Patience has led to wear I am. I have been performing since the year 1988 starting from small shows. Year 1991 was my first stage performance.


Who has been your mentor – Grandfather Ustad Siddique Ahmed Khan Sahab or Ustad Shamshudding Khan at the initial phase of your career?


As far as music is concerned my inspiration was my grandfather, Ustad Siddique Ahmed Khan Sahab and the technique of Sitar was taught by (late) Sri Satish Kumar Ji.


Most of today’s youngsters in urban India are die-hard fans of rock, pop, hip-hop, electronica and jazz music. What is your view on the future of Indian Classical Music?

In every era, everywhere in any genre, every kind of music that is good is heard by people and admired. Classical Music is evergreen, but the problem lies that not every kind of media promotes or publicizes it, there are very few. If you see bands that play contemporary music or music that is heard the most give a constant recall to the listeners. Since classical form of music is not heard greatly therefore we really need to keep promoting and not let it die out.


How is your style different from that of contemporary Sitar players across India?


My style is not different from others, I do what everyone does. What I believe is to give my best wherever I perform and make maximum efforts to ensure that my audience likes it. That is where I feel I’m honored and achieved success.


You have performed in several music festivals at international levels. How popular is Indian Classical Music abroad?


It is as popular Abroad as in India, in fact people there find it something very different to look forward to. World renowned maestros such as Lt. Pt. Ravi Shankar Ji, Ustad Bilas Khan Sahab, Ustad Zakir Hussain have been continuously enriching Indian Classical music internationally. They literally close their eyes and listen to the music as if they are meditating.


What is the latest achievement of yours as a Sitar player till date?


Uco Ono wife of John Lenon, Bettles Band have played with her in Norway also shared stage with Lady Gaga, and the biggest of all that I’m going to be a part of this event which is a Tribute to Pt. Ravi Shankar ji.


Indian culture has been enriched with the contributions from legendary classical musicians of India for ages? What is your contribution to the Classical Music of India?


I am a very small entity of this Indian Classical Music fraternity; I could contribute by taking our cultural heritage to the next generation and continuously try to ensure that it remains alive for centuries to come.


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