Ustad Rashid Khan Songs – Five Memorable ones from his amazing repertoire showcase his mastery over not just classical, but semi classical and even film songs
Ustad Rashid Khan the Padmabhushan, classical singer from the Rampur Sahaswan Gayaki and by his own admission 31st generation of Sangeet Samrat Mian Tansen was undoubtedly a flag bearer of tradition even while embracing the modern. His untimely demise as he succumbed to his illness leaves a void in the Hindustani classical sphere.
And, his fame surpassing boundaries has touched every classical music lover and through his semi classical and film songs his reach only widened.
While in the classical circles his Vilambit Khayal style of singing gave him a unique place of his own – his ease of adapting other forms like Sufi and teaming with western musicians and other Indian singers has only increased his popularity. His sonorous tone would open up to sing the full throated khayals and raags while also mellowing down to suit the film playback.
Ustad Rashid Khan who the music world sees as one of the last living legacies of the old world – moulded himself to be a great bridge between the old order and new age. His rich legacy is enduring and his soulful songs will live on to tell the tale of this great musician – Ustad Rashid Khan.
Here are some interesting facts about Ustad Rashid Khan –
He belonged to the Rampur-Sahaswan gharana. He was the great-grandson of Inayat Hussain Khan, the founder of the gharana. His early music training was with Ustad Nissar Hussain Khan.
He became the musician after his uncle, Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan who spotted talent and put him through training.
He began to sing at the age of 11 when he gave his first concert performance until his unfortunate passing away. Rashid Khan was 55 when he passed away on January 9, 2024, after fighting cancer for over four years. His grit and determination while he lived, especially during the last days was commendable. He is said to have practiced singing every single day. He is survived by his son, two daughters, and wife.
While his repertoire is expansive including the classical pieces in a wide range of raags, the khayals and thumris, the semi classical pieces done in collaboration with other artistes and film music– here is a curation of a few of Ustad Rashid Khan songs – the semi classical & film numbers that are always on the top of the play lists for music lovers.
Aaoge Jab Tum
It is perhaps the song that secured his place in the hearts of the lesser initiated new gen music lovers who love their Bollywood music. The song is from the super hit film Jab We Met – which did have some of the best compositions – but this one composed by Pritam with its classical touch, will forever be the go-to love song of all times to come – that is because of its timeless quality.
Allah Hi Reham
This song from Shah Rukh Khan’s film – My Name is Khan is composed by Shankar Ehsaan Loy – a crucial song in the film’s narrative peened by Niranjan Iyengar with its Sufi music undertones is addictive to listen to.
Bol Ke Lab Azad Hai Tere
The song penned by the legendary Faiz Ahmed Faiz sung by Rashid Khan – his voice quality and tenor contrasting and complimenting with the unique voice of Vidya Shah, the instruments giving the perfect back ground – especially the string instrument ensemble – peppered with the famous lines of Manto in Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s voice – with score put together by Sneha Khanwilkar turns out to be an intense and impactful piece of music. The song is from Nandita Das’s film ‘Manto’.
Yaad Piya Ki Aaye
This Thumri composed originally by Bade Ghulam Ali Khan Saab of Patiala Gharana has had several versions but when ever Ustad Rashid Khan saab sang it – one felt it got the heartfelt tribute it deserved. It is definitely one of the best versions and his elaborations and treatment of the lines and emphasis on a few words brings out the sensibility and emotions attached to this beautiful and one of the most popular composition, not to mention his navigating the taal taking it to a tempo that delights the audience with the help of yet another legend Shubhankar Banerjee.
Albela Sajan Aayo Re
This classical song was popularised by Ustad Sultan Khan of Indore Gharana before making it into the movies. Yet when Ustadji sings composition in Ahir Bharavi raag with just the harmonium and tabla accompanying him – it is beautiful and soulful to say the least.