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Aabha Hanjura aims to revive the sounds of the Valley

Aabha Hanjura shot to fame in 2005 with her stint at the music reality show, Indian Idol-2. The second wave of success hit her only seven years later as she formed a band, Sufistication, and released a single, Kithe Nain, to promote Kashmiri and Sufi folk music. And, there’s been no looking back since for the Kashmiri singer-songwriter, who’s made Bengaluru her home.
At the moment, Hanjura’s calendar is blocked with shows across the city, with her next gig coming up at blueFROG. Since 2015 happens to be the 18th death anniversary of qawwali legend Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, her six-member band will revive a lot of his classics. They will also play Kashmiri, Punjabi and Dogri folk songs, with a blend of reggae, soft rock and jazz.
Talks for shows in Delhi and Mumbai are also keeping Hanjura busy. So much so that her dream album, Aabha and The Sound of Kashmir, has reached only three songs so far since 2013. She isn’t complaining though. Good things take time to come, she says.
Hanjura tells us how Kashmir came back calling, “After doing a lot of commercial shows post-Indian Idol, I decided to revive folk music from Kashmir and Punjab. This is the music I grew up with in the Valley. Kashmiri songs are beautiful and calm. They resound as if mountains are calling out to you. But sadly they are not very popular, they are fading away. So if not for me or my generation, who will take them forward?”
And, her transition was readily accepted. Crediting the resurgence of folk music to her contemporaries, Hanjura says, “Papon has taken Assamese music to another level. Then Raghu Dixit has made Kannada folk popular. There are artistes in Kolkata doing amazing work with Baul music. If your music is good and unique, you will find an audience.”
September 13. 9 pm. At Church Street.

Tickets (`1,000) on
bookmyshow.com
—Barkha Kumari

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