Srinagar: Music is deep-rooted in the living paradise of Kashmir. It signifies its cultural glories and not just as means of entertainment and leisure, but as a central part of heritage. Its divine music is like food for the soul – birthed in the congregations of Saints and Sufis that would surpass the physical world into the metaphysical through music.
It is a gift of nature – heard through winds in the trees, countryside calm, willow orchards, and shades of Chinar through seasons. Trees in Kashmir have granted a natural sense of rhythm to artists; it is said with the changing atmosphere and moods of the Valley, the wind carries emotions passing through a variety of trees, paving way for music that only true artists can hear.
Kashmir also has a history of traditional musical instruments like Tumbaknar, Sarang, Rabab, Noet, Nai, Santoor, Sitar, Saz-e-Kashmir, etc., having a unique sound, importance, and reason. They were given a centre stage in Bollywood movies like ‘Fitoor’, ‘Haider’, and ‘Raazi’.
Lately, many music studios are coming up in Kashmir. Kashmiri music is gaining popularity in the mainstream as artists across India are taking interest in Kashmiri folk music and language. Once again like the early Bollywood era, artists are choosing Kashmir as their video shooting destination. Perhaps this is the new beginning, the revival of the Kashmiri music and culture that we have been waiting for.
AR Music Studios, a Mumbai-based Music Record Label aims to revive the eternal appeal in music by blending traditional melody with modern demands. The founder, known by a popular Kashmiri song ‘Harmukh Bartal’, Jaan Nissar Lone from north Kashmir’s Baramulla has created waves in Bollywood for his forte, Sufi tradition meets modern acoustics. Their Sufi super hit soundtrack ‘Allah Teri Kya Shaan Hai’ was even chosen as the best Sufi song of the year by Mirchi Music Awards! He has established himself as a Bollywood music director, producer, and singer, lately having composed music and sung for the hit OTT series ‘The Family Man’ Season-1.
Jaan Nissar has also taken a hands-on initiative, a live project like Coke Studio, the first of its kind in Kashmir where Kashmiri singers will sing in Kashmiri with guests artists from South Asian countries to create fusions with languages like Pashto, Persian, etc.
The music of this ‘Paradise on Earth’ has given expression to human tendencies, sentiments, and passions with its universal appeal and ability to enlighten the soul and it must be propagated and preserved at all costs.