Kashmiri folk-fusion singer Aabha Hanjura rejigs poet Majhoor’s Sahibo in her new song
The song is a single from her forthcoming multilingual EP, Sufistication Folk Sessions
Kashmiri folk fusion singer Aabha Hanjura picks up popular poet Majhoor’s prayer and weaves it into a soulful number. Sahibo, one of the finest and most popular works by the Kashmiri poet, also known as Shair e Kashmir, is intrinsic to the culture of the region and is sung in schools in Kashmir. Aabha, the frontwoman of Sufistication, an electric pop fusion band melds the powerful verses of the poetry with folksy notes. The song is a single from her forthcoming multilingual EP, Sufistication Folk Sessions. This whole EP is acoustic and unplugged and is a departure from her first album Sound Of Kashmir, in terms of the sound, languages and a lot more. Hanjura who is known for her songs Hukus Bukus and Roshewalla Dilbaro talks about Sahibo and its relevance today. Excerpts:
What was the idea behind Sahibo?
I have been performing Sahibo live for a long time now and always wanted to adapt this prayer into my songs. Once I was performing the song live in Srinagar and I could see the audience so moved by it that they had tears in their eyes. At that moment, I realised the deep connection that this prayer has with people. I am a big fan of the Kashmiri poet Mahjoor and his words are both powerful yet peaceful and also aid in self-reflection.
What’s the relevance of the poem?
This prayer has been revered across all communities in Kashmir and is very relevant to the times that we are living in today. Everyone has gone through so much during the pandemic and Kashmir, where this poem originated, has been burning for long. I sincerely hope it brings in healing, peace and positivity to everyone.
How have you incorporated the verses in the song?
I have not changed Mahjoor’s verses, however, I have altered the feel completely from how it is usually sung and re-adapted and recomposed some parts to add an imprint of my originality within the song.
I am working on a new EP and Sahibo is a part of it. I have also recorded folk material in different languages that I also perform with my band Sufistication. Listeners will get to hear a lot of pahadi and Punjabi folk in this EP along with Kashmiri folk. Apart from that I am working on releasing some original music in Hindi and some exciting collaborations are in the pipeline too. And I am looking forward to hitting the road with all the new material for a tour soon.