Every time I met Amjad Sabri, he had a big smile: Rahat Fateh Ali Khan remembers the late qawwal
The news of Amjad Sabri's death had everyone stop in their tracks; the shock reverberated beyond Pakistan.
A few weeks before the "rockstar" qawwal was assassinated in Karachi, Sabri had recorded his much-anticipated Coke Studio debut alongside another legend, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan.
"Whenever I met Amjad bhai, it was with a lot of love and mutual respect, with his big smile," shares Khan.
"It was a wonderful experience to sing the kalaam 'Aj Rang Hai' with him. The environment created at that time was different, very soulful, roohani (spiritual). It was simply great."
"I think about it now and feel sad that it was our last meeting. He will be missed very dearly, he was an Ashiq-e-Rasool," he adds.
Amjad Sabri himself had recently talked about his appearance on show: “About 40 years ago, my father and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan read this Kalaam at a dargah in Karachi and 40 years later, Rahat and I are reading it again (on Coke Studio Season 9).”
The Coca-Cola team also launched a statement on Amjad Sabri in Coke Studio stating, “The tragic death of Amjad Sabri is a huge national loss. In spite of his great success nationally and internationally, he was a gentle and humble person, treasured and respected by everyone who met him."
"Amjad Sabri will be seen performing in Season 9 of Coke Studio, together with Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, in what is probably the last studio recording done by him before his untimely death."
Sabri is credited with making the qawwali musical style accessible to Pakistan's youth. He was a sought-after performer for large-scale events in Pakistan, like the annual Lux Style Awards and cultural exchange programme, Shaan-e-Pakistan.