LAHORE ‘: Legendary folk singer Arif Lohar, who has been mostly missing from the limelight barring a few Coke Studio appearances, will be releasing a brand new album right after the month of Muharram. The news comes shortly after other veteran Pakistani singers such as Ustad Hamid Ali Khan and Shabnum Majeed released respective albums as well, thereby reviving the lost trend of producing studio music in the country.
Thanks to technological advancements and the increasing interest of corporations in the music industry, the practice of releasing albums via traditional music studios has been on declining in Pakistan. It wasn’t until acclaimed singer Hamid Ali decided to change this by releasing his own album three months ago that the tables were turned. The record was launched in an elaborate ceremony attended by the who’s who of the local music scene and the ghazal maestro seems to have inspired many other artists like Lohar to follow suit.
“I am releasing this album with a vision to promote our local folk music as there is vast fan-base across the entire world that loves this genre. During my visits to different countries, I have observed that people still want to listen to local Pakistani melodies,” Arif told The Express Tribune.
“Pakistan has produced many legendary folk singers in the past, who earned fame and honour for our nation through their varied music and distinct styles. These were later copied by artists in other countries as well,” continued the Alif Allah hitmaker. “It is our good luck that there are still noteworthy names in various regions of the country that are dabbling with folk music and doing a remarkable job at it. If you ask me, I don’t think the genre of folk music is facing any crisis.”
According to Lohar, the new album includes different renditions of old tracks by his father Alam Lohar, as well as Jugni. “My father was the pioneer to bring Jugni to the realm of pop music. I feel blessed that he still has fans in different parts of the world and this album is a tribute to him,” he shared. “However, I have given the singles a contemporary flavour with a mix of modern instruments and I hope people like them. Soon after the album is released, accompanying videos with the singles will be shared too. The melodies will also be performed during my tours in Western countries,” Lohar added.
The singer believes there is a “distinct soulfulness” in Punjabi music. “I think that, especially when Punjabi songs narrate Sufi poetry in the language, they evoke a surreal, peaceful feel,” Lohar claimed. “I have sung folk songs my entire life with the motto of spreading this love and peace.”
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