The recreated version of popular Qawwali- Mere Rashke Qamar in Ajay Devgn-starrer Baadshaho – became a major chart-buster just days after its release. It’s not only the music and singing that makes this song special, the finer nuances of its great poetry is another fascinating aspect of this great song. The very first phrase of the first line ‘Rashk-e-Qamar‘ means-Such great beauty that makes even the Moon jealous-a little effort is required to unravel the multiple layers of this great poetry that celebrates the beauty of love. It’s a well-known fact that this song was written by lyricist Fana Buland Shehri and composed by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, arguably the greatest exponent of Sufi music in modern times. While there are different renditions of this great song, none has come ever close to the original composition.
Still, we have prepared a list of singers who tried to pay a tribute to Nusrat Saheb with this famous Qawalli. We are not putting Nusrat Saheb in this list as the great singer transcends categorization.
1) Rabi Pirzada:
The 26-year-old pop singer who arrived on Pakistani music scene with hits like Dahdi Kurree (2005), Mujhe Ishq Hai, Kisi Ke Ho Ke Raho has done complete injustice to this beautiful Qawwali. The music is quite dissonant as if the beats are thrusting in our head. Also her improvisation fails miserably with her discordant voice. It’s not the rendition only , the violence incorporated in the video kills the very essence of this great Qawwali. The singer can be seen romancing a huge cobra around voodoo dolls and killing the kidnappers with guns and daggers.
2) Fadia Shaboroz:
The UK based Pakistani singer’s rendition has over 16 million views on YouTube. However, it’s flaws are too hard to ignore. First things first, her voice may have some sexual appeal but it was definitely lacking in Sur. Music could have been more enjoyable if they had done away with a few of the effects. Even if we say she was trying to churn out the modern version of this great Qawwali, using Yayy just after a flute could not be pardoned.
3) Tulsi Kumar:
If you take a look at the YouTube hits of this song, it’s nearly 5 million hits. However, it’s difficult to say whether it’s the song or the new instruments or the chemistry between Ileana and Ajay Devgn that made this song a smashing hit. Truth be told here, this version has more glamour than good music. It seemed T-Series released this version to cash in on Rahat’s rendition that was already a chart-buster.
4) Baba Sehgal:
India’s first Hindi rapper Baba Sehgal who is also a great fan of Nusrat Saheb, sung this song rather passionately using a Jambay Drum only and we must say that it’s a very honest attempt. You can easily gauge his excellent sense of rhythm complementing his unique voice. If he did all this with just a Jambay drum, one could easily imagine the outcome of the actual recording.
5) Sonu Kakkar:
The 31-year-old singer shot to fame with famous item song Babuji Zara Dhire Chalo in Vivek Oberoi starrer Dum. She released her version of the popular Qawalli on YouTube on March 24. The song has gone on to garner nearly 13 million views in last six months. Sung in her husky voice with optimal use of music, Kakkar’s Talffuz (pronunciation) is nearly perfect and impactful as well.
6) Junaid Asghar:
The Pakistani singer’s solo version of this song is totally worth it. In fact, Junaid first sang this song in a television show which led to the resurgence in its popularity. Later, Asghar also released the duet and solo version of the song. Sung with utmost purity of heart in his beautiful voice, it’s a fitting tribute to Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.
7) Rahat Fateh Ali Khan:
The song was reframed and presented in a refreshingly new way by the Baadshaho team. The lyrics were rewritten by Manoj Muntashir and composer Tanishk Bagchi used modern instruments to great effect. A heartfelt tribute from Rahat to his mentor and uncle Nusrat, the song went on to become a massive hit. Be it his Taankari or his powerful Aalaap, Rahat is undoubtedly one of the best Qawalli singers of our times.
However, If you want to delve little deeper, you should rather listen to his live concerts. Rahat’s version of Nusrat Saheb’s song remains closest to the original one.