Khalil Qureshi talks about his musical journey to his debut solo project 'In Your Light'

Khalil Qureshi's musical journey took an unexpected turn in 2019 when he set out on a trip to explore the breathtaking mountains of northern Pakistan. However, it wasn't the scenic landscapes alone that made this journey memorable. It was a chance encounter in Karachi with a young woman named Iram that would later influence his creative path in a profound way.

As Khalil spent time in Karachi before embarking on his mountain adventure, he met Iram, a passionate and dedicated student of classical vocal music. During their conversation, Iram shared an interesting tidbit about her life – she was currently taking classical vocal lessons, and her teacher was Ustad Azam Bakhshi. This conversation sparked Khalil's curiosity about the traditional music scene in Pakistan, a subject he found fascinating.
Khalil's curiosity led him to ask Iram if he could listen to her music lessons. In response, Iram shared a phone recording sample from her vocal training sessions. When Khalil heard this recording, he was struck by the wisdom and purity present in the musical relationship between teacher and student. The recording held an essence of tradition and cultural significance that deeply resonated with him.

Although captivated by the recording, Khalil carried on with his mountain journey, putting it on the backburner. Little did he know that this recording would return to his life with new significance, bringing with it a sense of purpose and emotion.

Fast forward to 2023, Khalil casually revisited the recording while reminiscing about his journey and the reasons behind it. What began as a casual review of his footage from the trip soon transformed into a creative endeavor. Khalil decided to turn this unique and emotionally charged experience into a full-fledged musical track.
Intriguingly, the artist chose to play all the musical instruments and took charge of production and mixing, a testament to the personal and emotional investment in the project. However, one mystery remained: the identity of Ustad Azam Bakhshi, the teacher heard in the audio clip.

"I knew there was something about this track"

Khalil's determination to unravel this mystery led him to reach out to Iram once more. Through their correspondence, he not only discovered the teacher's name but also learned that Ustad Azam Bakhshi had sadly passed away the year following the recording.

This revelation added another layer of depth and emotion to Khalil's project. Iram further suggested contacting the Bakhshi family to obtain their blessing for the use of the sample. Khalil acted upon this suggestion and initiated contact with Bilal Bakhshi, the son of Ustad Azam Bakhshi. Bilal confirmed that the voice on the track belonged to his father, and he was deeply moved by Khalil's explanation of how he had obtained the recording.

In an act of generosity, Bilal Bakhshi not only gave his permission for the sample's use but also offered the prospect of future collaborations. This heartwarming connection with the Bakhshi family brought a sense of blessing and validation to Khalil's mission. With this newfound purpose, the track was lovingly completed and is now scheduled for release on November 3rd, available to a global audience on various streaming platforms. Khalil's journey, which started in the mountains of Pakistan and continued through an unexpected recording, now culminates in a heartfelt musical tribute to Ustad Azam Bakhshi's memory.

This song is dedicated to My Father Abdul Qadir Quraishi who I see as my teacher and the Ustad Azam Bakhshi the teacher in the song

REGIONAL is musivv’s segment featuring Arab artists in the Middle East. Features under this segment are eligible for a nomination under this category in the Musivv Awards’ annual recognition.

November 4, 2023

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