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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Bakhtyar Khatak Interview

Yadoona" was not my first song - Bakhtiar
Monday, 05 June 2006
Aimal Khan - UAE

Bakhtiar Khatak is a new emerging star on the horizon of Pashto music. He is not only a brilliant singer, but an educated man who has taste for fine literature and to top it all off he has a wonderful personality. It was a great opportunity for me to meet him as my assignment for Khyber Watch.

This young Pukhtun is a cultural representative of our generation. Through the course of our conversation, Bakhtiar gave us insight into his personality and his hopes and dreams of the future. 'Human life is very important and it must have a clear-cut aim. My aim is to internationalize Pashto music and show the world the color and force of Pashto folklore'. With an MBA in hand this handsome brother of our says that he is pulled to Pushto music and song because of its strong emotional expression and he really is fascinated with Ghani Khans poetry. Bakhtiar Khatak admits that inspiration changes with the span of time and that as a singer it’s his duty to listen to every one. This gives him an opportunity to polish his skills. He in particular mentioned Haroon Bacha and Fiza Fayyaz as his favorite artists, and if he was influenced by anyone then it would be them, since he found his inspiration from heir singing. Bakhtiar Khatak’s family migrated from Manki Shareef to Nowshehra Cantt during the 1950’s. He stressed that our Bandey and villages always have and will play a major role in grooming the culture and tradition of music and the Nowshehra being a combination of rural and urban life brought him into in contact with Pashtun cultural heritage and traditional music. He also pointed out that YADOONA was not his first song and that in fact he had first sung an Urdu song for PTV. He also played a role in a PTV drama "Tasweroona". Having gone to audition as a singer, he was surprised to find himself cast in Tasweroona due to his typical Pukhtun features and personality. Here is some more excerpts from his interview: -

Q.1. How did you come towards singing?

Bakhtiar: You could say I have been singing since birth, because I was already singing in school when I was 4 years old. Q. Was your family supportive or did they not see eye to eye on your choice? Bakhtiar: My Family was strictly opposed to my inclination towards music. They even boycotted me. My youngest brother was supportive of me. The reason was that they were all business oriented and here I was the first one from my family to enter into the arts and that too as a singer.

Q: Who sets the music to the songs you sing?

Bakhtiar: In the beginning, I would try to compose myself, but then I took some advice and let more experienced musicians guide me. "Yadoona" has a lot of input from renowned musician Sahib Gul.

Q. What are the criteria for choosing a song?

Bakhtiar. The only criteria I have is that the poetry be of high quality so that the words speak for themselves. I don’t pay much attention to whom the poet is, but the words have to be moving and that is why in my new album I have selected some songs of lesser known poets.

Q. What is your favorite song?

Bakhtiar: is a song that not only introduced me, but made me a house hold name. Though personally the poem closest to my heart is "GHUM".

Q. Among the songs that you have sung, is there any that hold significance to you?

Bakhtiar. Any of my songs have no particular significance towards any particular person in my life, but the pain which you feel in my voice is probably due to the fact that I lost my mother at a very young age and I miss her very much.

Q. Tell us what you want your fans to know about you.

Bakhtiar. The respect and love they have shown me is not only heart warming, but serves as an inspiration. Che sok yo zal pa meena awaz raki wayem che shal zala awaz warkram.

Q. If you were to describe yourself in one word what would it be?

Bakhtiar:..INSAN Yam GHANAM khuram.

Q. Your favorite flower and food?

Bakhtiar. My favorite flower is jasmine and I like Pashtun traditional food'

Q. If you were able to change one thing in your personality?

Bakhtiar: I am trying my best to make myself "Stable minded".

Q. Ok. That's good. If you were given chance to change one thing in World!

Bakhtiar: Yes sure, my nation should free of all tragedies.

Q. Well. So we should not ask you be what you will change in AVT Khyber.

Bakhtair: If you ask, I will definitely reply.

Q. Ok, what you dislike in most?

Bakhtiar: Lies, double standards.

Q. What are your plans for the future?

Bakhtiar: I intend to serve Pakhto music and do what ever I have to be remembered.

Q. How did you hook up with AVCOM Dubai?

Bakhtyar: .I have joined AvCOM in order to make some new projects regarding music. AVCOM is the best platform for producing new ideas and good production work.

Q. Khyal Mohammd played a pioneering role in popularizing the ghazal in Pashto music; Sardar Ali Takar conveyed the Pashto music to educated and young generation as well. Looking to these legends what is your inspirations?

Bakhtiar Khatak: When I started listening the music, my favorite was Sardar Ali Takar, and I also found Khyal Mohammad very fascinating, but myself, my greatest inspiration has come from Haroon Bacha, who has managed to adopt a middle ground style between both Khyal and Takkar.

Q. How much of a factor so you think looks play when an educated Pukhtunwants to make it in the music industry?

Bakhtiar Khatak...............Unfortunately a lot of peoples are joining the industry only for fame, but luckily Pashto literature is so rich that it forces one to embrace it and sing (da pukhto music punga war sara drana she ) We are fortunate that there are sincere and motivated people devoted to music are making their way into this field.

Q.........What are your views about western Influence. The arts have been commercialized, devotion seems to lacking? Bakhtiar.....Well ..........I am personally not in favor of putting any ban on any type of music to be entered in Pashto music. Every one is free for to experience and experiment, with the passage of time it will be filtered out. Only quality music remains in the market with a mild influence of western music. The reason for this filtration is that our Pashto literature and poetry is so strong that it will not allow us to fit it into a different mold or format and I best sung in traditional and folk tunes. On asking him if he had ever felt this love that he is always singing of he surprised us with his reply ‘My love is eternal, since it is an unfulfilled love. A very painful feeling, I love and adore my mother, ever since she died I feel a void and emptiness. These are painful feelings and I can not forget her. It would be unfair to make anyone compete with that. I loved my mother and so that is my tragedy', Bakhtiar sighed.

A message for his fans:

Da Da meney kore rabandey wran na shee

Zai che da Tofan lasoona oneesoo

Pukhtuns should forget their petty differences and unit for their social and cultural revival. A nation who forgets its roots finds no place in community of nations. I love every Pukhtun, they are the most beautiful, bold and sincere people of the world.

Aemal khan

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