Naeem Turi sees a bright future for Pashto music
Naeem Turi sees a bright future for Pashto music

Noted Pashto folk singer from Kurram tribal district, Naeemullah Turi, has said that Pashto folk music with purposeful poetry content has a bright future that should contribute to the cause of peace, humanism and universal brotherhood.

The worst law and order situation in tribal districts a few years ago had forced him to move to Islamabad, but he remained associated with folk music.

The new Pashto album with music composition of Zar Mohammad Zaru Ustad would help revive the traditional Pashto music orchestra – rabab, tabla, harmonium, flute and saxophone. The online version would also be available after a week, said the singer.

Mr Turi has recently released his 16th Pashto album attracting audience’s attention owing to its quality music and poetry. He has a large following in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, Afghanistan, and Gulf countries.

Commercialism has robbed originality of art, he said, adding that he used the art of singing for a social cause to motivate others to contribute to the society through their talent.

In a chat with this scribe on Wednesday on the occasion of his 16th Pashto album release, Mr Turi said that though the Pashto music charts had lost its glint over the last few years, folk music with a substance still had circle of tasteful audience and therefore it had a bright future despite lackluster music scene.

“My new Pashto album ‘Zmaka’ (homeland) would register its impact due to traditional music composition and quality poetry content as the poetry I selected has a strong message for my fans and audience at large. The title of my album symbolises love for our homeland, culture and its people,” he said.

Mr Turi said that his new album included poetic pieces of Saadullah Jan Barq, Ali Akbar Sial, Rashid Khattak and Saud Bangash whose impact on audience had been well established due to their creative and genuine thoughts. He said that these Pashto poets enjoyed a good reputation among literary circles for their substance.

Mr Turi belonged to Kas Bilayameen village of Kurram district and ran his property business and also looked after two orphanages, one each in his village and Islamabad. He had done his master’s in Social Work in 1997 from the University of Peshawar.

He said that he had learnt basics of music from Humayoun Sakhi, a noted rabab player now based in US, and also benefited from other music maestros.

“I had launched my music career in 2006 by bringing out my maiden album carrying poetic pieces of nationalist poet, Rahmat Shah Sail. I have sung the Kalam of Khushal Khan Khattak, Hamza Baba, Fazle Subhan Abid, and a few other poets. I strongly believe that pop singers would turn to traditional music because it appeals to both heart and mind,” Mr Turi stated.

Maas Khan, a music director while commenting on the new Pashto album, said that Turi’s way of expression and choice of poetry shot him to fame.

He said that the poetry contents corresponded well with the music composition and would motivate other folk singers to follow in his footsteps.

Originally published in Dawn, January 10th, 2019