By Kittu Randhawa.
The Enigma from Kashmir that quietly came to Sydney is called Mudasir Ali; he entertained in Western Sydney between Christmas and New Year break, enthralling the small audience.
So just who is Mudasir Ali? An odd question perhaps to some, but the name raises that reaction from many people. Mudasir Ali is an upcoming talent hailing from Kashmir who has a flair for Sufi music and a voice that gives it rendition.
Mudasir’s talent brought passion and life into the crowd to the point some couldn’t help but join in the singing. This young artist embraced the crowd’s participation like a true professional and an Aussie mate flair.
In Western music, there are a lot of ‘original track & artist’ tragics (that means we don’t like hearing other people copy – destroys the pleasure). In recent years that has changed, but the standards are high; the mark of a successful copy is either to give it an original twist or sing it so well that it doesn’t matter. Mudasir Ali managed to do both.
Singing Sufi is clearly an energetic activity, we’ve seen many artists on stage who sweat profusely, need to keep water handy and by the end of the evening their clothes are drenched. Not Mudasir Ali! He sang and sang without even breaking a single bead of perspiration. His voice was clear, deep, his delivery was perfect with not a single visible sign that he was making an effort. Seeing was believing in this case.
Suddenly that seemingly unbreakable cool and calm exterior changed when he sang the first Kashmiri song of the evening. Mudasir Ali came to a new life; the depth of singing heightened, he moved quickly around the room and his soulful passion was visibly undeniable. It didn’t matter if you couldn’t understand the language, the music and his singing brought everyone in the room to life. The Kashmiri’s in the audience fully participated and the atmosphere was of vibrant and addictive entertainment.
That was Mudasir Ali the artist, but what about the man? The man is that he is modest, but the sincerity of his artistry and ambition was unmistakable.
Mudasir Ali 28 year old Sufi singer was born in Kashmir and started singing at the age of seven (7), in a surprising twist; it was his older brother that used to sing on the local radio network Radio Kashmir who asked him to try. Mudasir Ali formally trained under Ustaad Ankhoon where the teaching included discipline which has produced the talent of today which includes playing more than ten instruments and singing in various languages. The discipline he says taught him to keep a strict diet, full exercise regime and a clean living lifestyle, which delivers the professionalism of a relaxed artist when performing.
In 2011, Sonu Nigham heard Mudasir Ali and thus the career in Bollywood began, singing songs as a playback singer. In rather an odd eventuality Mudasir went to sing a song for the Punjabi movie Sant te Sipahi (released June 2015), instead he found his first acting job. He never ended up singing in the movie in the end.
The modest, Mudasir Ali refuses to be drawn into comparisons, drawing on himself as the one that has much more to achieve so cannot be compared to todays successful artists. In another daring move, Mudasir Ali sang a song: Sayoni Sayoni, for the Indian Norwegian movie Dunno Y (Na Janne Kyun) 2013. The movie however did very well on the international scene receiving nine international awards.
Mudasir Ali has a burning ambition for Kashmir to prosper once again. He wants everyone to know the potential of Kashmir, not just the current fighting and conflicts. He spoke of the Kashmir that has six areas, eight languages and many traditions. No less in the nine traditional dresses for women in Kashmir: Gilgiti, Hunza, Balti, Pahari, Koshur, Gujri, Dogra, Ladakhi and Kargili; all equally unique and beautiful.
Much the same as the Punjabis have Bhangra or the Gujuratis have Garba, Mudasir Ali want to see instant recognition of Roahni music and Kashmiri talent as an inspiration to other young Kashmiris.
The stories of the beauty, serenity and rich tapestry of the area where once people went to honeymoon, dream, write, paint and fall in love once again become a reality.
It is indeed a beautiful and worthy dream. Mudasir Ali is probably not the only one that would like to visit that Kashmir of past; let’s hope it becomes a reality. In the meantime the world over can enjoy the language, music and soul of Kashmir through the growing talent that is Mudasir Ali.
Sydney will be seeing Mudasir Ali in action again very soon.