As Pakistan celebrates this Independence Day with zeal and fervor, Spotify is honoring “Shehnshah-e-Qawwali” and the country’s legendary singer, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, with a befitting tribute in the form of an enhanced and updated version of ‘This is Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’ playlist, that showcases some of his evergreen hits that even to this day, are being spun with a touch of modern genres to create stunning compositions for audiences to enjoy.
Even after more than two decades of his passing, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan continues to feature as one of Pakistan’s top streamed artists globally. As per Spotify’s data reveal, he is ranked as the 4th most streamed Pakistani artist on the platform this year, with his tracks inspiring generation after generation of listeners and singers alike. Songs like “Yeh Jo Halka Halka Suroor Hae“, “Afreen Afreen”, “Mustt Mustt ”, and “The Long Road” that features Pearl Jam vocalist Eddie Veddor are some of his most listened tracks, along with his work with international producer Peter Gabriel.
Data from Spotify shows that the youth continues to drive the trend of keeping Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s legacy alive. A substantial 37% of his listeners are between 18 and 22 years old. The second largest segment is 23 to 27-year-olds with 24%, while 28-34 along with those under 18 years of age make up 14% of his audience respectively on the audio streaming service. Overall, the number of monthly listeners of Nusrat’s songs has increased to more than 5 million this year. Also, the top countries for streams of his tracks include India, U.S., U.K., Canada and Australia.
The extent of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s influence on a wide variety of musical compositions can also be gauged from the fact that even today, covers and remakes of his original tracks capture extensive audience attention around the world. Modern renditions including “Lut Gaye”, “Mere Rashke Qamar”, “Kali Kali Zulfon Ke” (Lo-Fi), “Mere Baad Kisko Sataoge” (Lo-Fi)”, and “Dekhte Dekhte” are the top five most streamed remakes inspired by original Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan tracks.
“Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan is by far one of Pakistan’s most celebrated artists. He has inspired many emerging and older, local & international artists and has paved the way for Pakistani music globally before music streaming existed. His albums like Night Song with Michael Brook continue to garner a global audience along with remixes by Massive Attack & cover renditions by artists like Jeff Buckly have also helped spread his music further. Qawwali holds a special place in Pakistani traditional music and we’re excited to see modern artists like Zain Zohaib keeping the genre alive who themselves are largely inspired by Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan” said Khan FM, Artist & Label Partnerships Manager, Spotify Pakistan.
To add a special touch to the celebrations, a tribute video featuring a host of modern artists including Momina Mustehsan, who shot to fame after singing a duet of Nusrat’s iconic “Afreen Afreen” with his nephew, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, as well as Ali Zafar, Sanam Marvi, Natasha Baig and Zain Zohaib, will be released on 14th August where they will talk about how Nusrat and his tracks influenced their journey.
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