Is This Cleaner From Faisalabad The Pakistani Kailash Kher?

By Haadia Paracha | 30 Jan, 2017

This Faisalabadi cleaner is Patari Tabeer’s latest offering in a list of extremely talented, extremely local singers that we’ve just been introduced to. Patari Tabeer series has become synonymous with not only bringing unheard voices to the forefront but also promising a burst of talent from the heart of Pakistan. Away from the luxuries of recording in a studio, without the know-how of conceptualizing lyrics and the need to complimenting the high notes with just the right instruments, all these future artists bank on is raw talent. And sometimes, that’s just what you need.

Tabeer kicked off with Abid Brohi, the Sibbi boy who knew little about ABC but managed to learn the fundamentals of rapping in his mother tongue. The rap sensation soon took your playlist while simultaneously winning over your heart with his boyish charm.

Then, came the boy wonder from Rohri who wouldn’t sing without some habitual table tapping and you couldn’t help but smile a little at all the opportunities that lay ahead.

The last episode, however, was a whole new ball game. Players of Lyari channeled their frustration and made music their safe haven. The music embodied all the social injustices they witnessed while growing up in one of the biggest slums in Karachi and the result was…well, pretty freakin’ great.

Patari Tabeer’s latest offering is one that quite literally gave birth to the project that eventually took a life of its own. The Patari CEO Khalid Bajwa aptly admitted, “I think my life now exists in two parts. Before and after Tabeer. Still processing it, all the while trying to keep a focus on the next episode.” And one can see why, especially with this particular song.

Nazar Gill hails from Faisalabad, the third most populous city in Pakistan and capital to the melodious Punjabi tappay.

With self-made lyrics and ambition that seared through the roof, Nazar, the Faislabadi cleaner, didn’t wait to be discovered, he took the matter into his own hands.

Speaking to MangoBaaz about Nazar Gill’s ‘discovery’, COO Patari Ahmer Naqvi narrates, “The project was inspired by a chance meeting between me and a man, Nazar Gill, who worked as a cleaner in the apartments I lived in. He came to my flat one day and asked to serenade me with an original composition.”

It was this very strange request that eventually allowed Patari to initiate a whole new platform for budding talents such as these. By acquiring support from an overseas patron Fawzia Naqvi, Patari set out to kickstart a whole new project identifying, helping and extending support to others like Nazar.

Gill has earlier received some training in classical singing from a local teacher despite coming from a very poor background in Faisalabad. 

Nazar was always aware of his true calling in pursuing music, one that he has striven for, from a very young age. He worked multiple jobs to gather enough savings that would allow him to take some sort of training with the ustaads in his vicinity. But other than that, he had little other than the desire to make his mark in the musical world.

The 32-year old recounts marriage as a barrier that led to him relocating to Islamabad and dedicating all his energies to sanitary work in the capital. But despite facing problems financially, Nazar says he never could part with his harmonium. When things got tough, he always turned to music to find solace.

“Jugni” is a song that laments spiritual love with the Divine.

In an interview with Patari, Nazar is quoted as saying, “love for the divine exists in all our hearts, regardless of what faith we follow. It’s important that we learn to love truly, and not through empty words and gestures”

Telling us further about the process of song production, Patari correspondents disclose how Nazar’s ambition and talent were eventually paired with a contemporary producer, Farhan Zameer. The song was recorded in Lahore and a documentary team filmed the video short on Christmas Day, at Nazar’s house amidst family and close friends.

As part of Patari Tabeer series, “Jugni” and it’s priors bear witness to the unsung voices in Pakistan just waiting to be discovered. Tabeer will be focusing on bringing these voices to the forefront allowing Pakistani music enthusiasts to indulge in such homegrown talent. And every play of the song will bring royalties Nazar’s way and ensure that many others like him have a platform that supports and harnesses their dreams.


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