Noted Pashto singer Haroon Bacha has recently caught the attention of fans by releasing his album titled Sta Da Laas Piala despite being far away from his homeland.
He has been working with Pashto radio abroad and has occasionally released audio and video albums. His new releases always overwhelm the Pashto music charts.
Mr Bacha completed his 25 years in his music career in July 2017 and then settled abroad. He continued contributing to Pashto traditional music and remained in touch with local artists and singers.
In an online chat with Dawn, Bacha said, “My new album carries poetic pieces of Mumtaz Orakzai, Dr Khaliq Ziar and Maiwand Fida. It proved a social media sensation like my other items. We should accept a positive change and introduce new trends but should stick to our folk music. KP artists have great talent but lack support and patronage,” said Mr Bacha.
Hailing from Punjpir village of Swabi, he did his graduation from Edwardes College, Peshawar, and later received master’s degree in social work from the University of Peshawar in 1994.
Mr Bacha broke a social taboo by launching his music career and introduced new tunes in traditional folk music and thus paved for other aspiring artists. He inspired young folk singers through his quality work. His recent album gained more than a million likes.
“I promise I will continue contributing to Pashto folk music because it is our identity. I am always in search of a poetic piece that best translates condition of Pakhtuns. I think Mumtaz Orakzai and a few other poets fulfil this criterion. Social media has changed everything and I advise that artists and folk singers to adopt it. Without adopting modern digital tools, they would not be able to market their talent,” said Mr Bacha.
About 29 years ago, he launched his singing career and had to face family resistance but seeking his love for music, his family gave him a tacit permission and he found time to change the course of traditional Pashto music and chose Pashto tapa, a two liner folk genre, and sang it in a unique style but singing light ghazal also became his identity.
He set new trends in Pashto folk music to the extent that large number of young artists began copying his style of singing and even haircut and dress.
He said that despite his tough job, he took out time for working on new music ideas and never left his fans without giving them the best of his talent occasionally.
Originally published in Dawn, June 14th, 2019