The youth in Kashmir, most of them, have stayed deprived of the soulful lyrics and thoughtful poetry written by valley’s poets in Kashmiri, a language that binds them all.
The traditional music of Kashmir Chakr has always kept the elderly men and women glued. But many youth considered it a ‘noise’ and found their way to Hindi/English music.
However, over the last few years, youth in Kashmir have started finding solace in the very poetry. What is different now is that apart from the traditional Kashmiri musical instruments, modern instruments like electric guitars, drums etc. are being used by young Kashmiris who are also fusing Urdu, Kashmiri and English language, composing Rap music and experimenting with their traditional music.
Here is a list of Ten song written by Kashmiris, composed on modern lines that you need add to your playlist, if you haven’t already.
1) I Protest: Raushan Ellahi aka MC Kash, a Kashmiri rapper gained popularity during the mass uprising of 2010 in Kashmir against the Indian forces when he released this English rap song. Born in 1990, Kash had experienced a life under the constant shadows of guns and fear. In 2010, he came up with his first rap song that not only depicted his feeling but also touched many Kashmiris who related to it.
2) Jhelemus: Published on 24 June 2016, ‘Jhelemus’ is a Sufi-rock ode to the river Jhelum written by Alif’s Muhammad Muneem who has sung the song in Kashmiri. This song was also released on 101 India’s website. Muneem says that he was inspired to write the song after witnessing the devastating September 2014 floods. Apart from the beautifully written and well-sung song, the video includes a woman, who ends up jumping into the River Jhelum, a rare but emotive scene.
3) Like a Sufi: The music video was released on 101 India website on 21 June 2016. It became India’s first Sufi-rap mix sung by Kashmiri duo MC Kash and Muhammad Muneem Nazir, a Kashmir-based engineer and member of a Sufi-rock band group in Pune called Alif that is an act founded by Muziclub Co-Founders Hardik Vaghela and Muneem. Alif’s poetry and Kash’s rap mesmerise the listeners. The song recently won the Best Music Producer (Independent) at the eleventh edition of Indian Recording Arts Academy Awards at the Palm Expo 2017.
4) Roz Roz Boz Meyn Zaar: The song was written by Kashmir’s legendary poet Mehjoor. It was originally sung by Kashmiri singers including Ghulam Hassan Sofi and Raj Begum. However, the popularity of the song among the youth then and now can clearly be depicted by the number of Youtube views of the song sung by Sofi and the same song sung by Khalid Ahamed (Parvaaz – Music Mojo Season 4 – Kappa TV Mathrubhumi Kappa TV Production): 92895 views on Parvaaz’s video and 24633 on Sofi’s.
5) Gaste Wasiye: Written by a prominent 19th century Kashmiri poet Rasul Mir, this song was already popular among locals, especially Kashmiri women who take the opportunity to sing it during wedding ceremonies, however, after a Kashmir youth Tanveer Ali sung and composed it in 2016 the song also became popular among the youth. The song, among many other sung songs, has been featured by Gyawun, an online magazine, Kashmiri digital music service provider & e-commerce portal which focuses on promoting Kashmir.
6) Tamanna: This song was released on 2 June 2017. The song has been sung and produced by Yawar Abdal and the Video is done by KnightMotion Media. The multilingual song is based on the poetry of the marvels including ‘Mehjoor’, ‘Mirza Ghalib’ and ‘Ameeri Khusrow’. This song speaks for itself. Listen!
7) Rah Bakshtam: It’s a song written by a 16th century Kashmiri poetess Habba Khatoon who is also known as the Nightingale of Kashmir. The songs written by her are already popular in Kashmir. After a difficult first marriage which ended in divorce, she married Kashmir’s last independent King, Yousuf Shah Chak. When the Mughal King Akbar conquered Kashmir through deceit/treachery and exiled Chak, Habba Khatoon spent the rest of her life wandering across the Valley singing her songs. It’s more of a prayer than a song. Sung by many Kashmiri singers, the song was published by Ali Saffudin, a popular young Kashmiri singer on 5 April 2017 who sung it on his own tenor. This song was recorded in December 2016. Ali has sung, written and composed many other Kashmiri songs as well. Another beautiful song sung by him is Chol Hama Roshay that has gained popularity among the masses here.
8) Ya Tuly Khanjar Maray: Written by a Kashmiri Poet Abdul Ahad nazim, the song was popularly sung by Abdul Rashid Hafiz, a Kashmiri Sufiana singer. However, after Abid Aly, Irfan Bilal sung it, the song gained popularity in 2017 immediately after its release. It has become a part of youth gatherings in Kashmir.
9) Bedard Daadi Chaane: Again a song by Habba Khatoon, that was originally sung by Kailash Mehra, was reproduced by KNK Productions. Sung by Aamir Khan, the song is upbeat yet soothing. The song was published on 1 Jan 2017.
10) Harmukh Bartal: It’s a bilingual song sung by Vibha Saraf and Laakhi Relia. It was a popular Kashmiri Bhajan song which was reproduced by Being Indian Music that published it on 14 March 2016.