Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

The late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan is one of the key artists on Real World Records and certainly one of the most influential. His voice is universally recognised as one of the great voices in musical history and he was key in bringing the Qawwali music tradition to the Western world.

Qawwali is a form of Sufi devotional music popular in South Asia, particularly in areas with a historically strong Muslim presence, such as southern Pakistan and parts of North India.

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s legacy has enraptured millions across the globe with his magnificent and haunting voice. In his lifetime he collaborated with many Western musicians, including Peter Gabriel, Eddie Vedder and Michael Brook. His vocals appeared on soundtracks to films directed by Martin Scorsese, Oliver Stone and Tim Robbins.

‘Seminal’ is a word which often gets overused when describing great works of art but it is directly applicable to two of the albums he recorded for Real World Records, both of which were collaborations with Michael Brook: 1990’s Mustt Mustt and 1996’s Night Song. The latter was nominated for a Grammy, and was described by Billboard as ‘a work of great beauty… an album for the ages, defying genre and solidifying Khan’s stature as one of the world’s pre-eminent singers.’

In 1993, the late American singer-songwriter Jeff Buckley described Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan as ‘my Elvis.’

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan (1948-1997)

Further reading

Society of Sound: The Gloaming 3

The March release on Bowers & Wilkins Society of Sound features the world renowned Irish American gr...

Rizwan-Muazzam Qawwali debut album re-released ahead of UK tour

The album was recorded in the Qawwali group’s home city of Lahore when they were teenagers.

All In The Family

Music journalist Campbell Stevenson takes a look at the relationship between musicians and family.

What Heat: Track by Track

Delving deeper into Bokanté's What Heat with Michael League & Malika Tirolien.