In a move to defy conventions, Aabha Hanjura and her band, ‘Sufistication’, broke the common myth that sufi music is ‘slow’ and performed songs that were of genres like dubstep, Bollywood, jazz, trance and other peppy tunes in the City recently.
Aabha’s tryst with music started when she was a child, when she learnt old Hindi songs from her mother and took her first musical step forward. Recalling her experience on ‘Indian Idol’, she says, “The show was great. There was a lot to learn from all the participants and it was a good feeling when I attained fame at the age of 17. However, I didn’t get carried away as my aim was to sing sufi music and Kashmiri songs.”
Most of her songs are inspired by the picturesque valley of Kashmir and her lyrics try to capture its beauty as best as possible. She considers sufi music as a ‘soul piece’ because of its ability to connect with god.
“It doesn’t explain god as an actual form but just as a concept where god can be interpreted as anyone else. It’s interesting for me because I find that people of those times very radical and bold when compared to now, where barriers have been put across every religion and caste.”
Aabha considers lyrics as the backbone of any song, more than the artiste or the music itself, because the objective of music is to convey a message. She rues that the lyrical quality has drastically decreased but adds that in a time of popular culture, music genres of all kinds are thriving.
“All the music that we now know has evolved and there is a space for all kinds of artistes, and a different kind of market and an audience.”
She says that as one writes songs, they should keep in mind the objective of the song. “We have to be inspired to write and also have the right kind of inspiration. We should really know what we write and our lyrics shouldn’t imitate somebody else. We should stick to our soul and style and not try to compose only because something is popular, otherwise we are insulting the art and craft.”
She further advices youngsters to not take things for granted. “They should practise as many times as possible and also know when to rest your voice.”
She says loves Bangalore for opening up a wide number of opportunities in terms of singing. “Bangalore has been my home for many years and is great for Indian music. It has a thriving audience and opens venues for youngsters like no other city,” she says. Though she cherishes many moments, she savours the time when she met the former President APJ Abdul Kalam, who really liked her single and appreciated her talent.