Qawwali legend Rahat Fateh Ali Khan due to return to ‘second home’ for O2 Arena extravaganza
PUBLISHED: 12:00 16 July 2016
A veteran Qawwali singer is set to perform his greatest hits at a “magical” arena show.
Pakistani musician Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, 42, nephew of eminent vocalist Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, is preparing to take to the stage at the O2 Arena in Greenwich.
Rahat, who became a household name in his own right after mastering the Sufi devotional sound, is set to pay homage to his uncle, who died in 1997.
He will also play music from his Bollywood catalogue – with songs such as O Re Piya from the film Aaja Nachle and Jag Ghoomeya from Sultan sure to be high on the list of what fans want to hear on the night.
Speaking ahead of the show, on Sunday, August 14, Rahat said: “For me, to perform to my audience is always special, however, this year is extremely special as I have some upcoming numbers from Bollywood, which I cannot wait to perform, along with some variations in Qawwalis which will be dedicated to my late uncle.
“I’ll also be performing some hits from my latest album Back 2 Love.”
The artist said he was relishing the chance to perform in London again, after last performing at the O2 Arena in 2013.
“I classify London as my second home,” he said. “So performing in London at any time is always so special, as it revives great memories of my mentor, my uncle.
“I have great memories of being in London with him and my late father, so for this very reason London will always remain very special to me and close to my heart.”
Speaking about his love for the Qawwali style, the singer said it was his “soul”.
“It is all I’ve known from a very young age,” said Rahat, who has released more than 50 albums worldwide. “It is due to Qawwali and the legacy of my family of 600 years and my mentor that has brought me to where I am today and I feel very blessed.
“My father has also been instrumental in my journey since a very young age.”
Looking to continue family traditions, Rahat will be joined on stage by his son Shazmaan.
He said: “My son, I would say, is not just following my footsteps, I see great passion in him which I love to see. He often tells me to guide him and teach him new things and I thoroughly enjoy every moment with him.”
The performance falls on Pakistan’s independence day and a day before India’s independence celebrations.
“The buzz at The O2 will be something different this year,” said the singer.
“It is definitely the icing on the cake as this is a very special time for Indians and Pakistanis and it is time for a celebration again.
“This is a time for love and peace and sharing these wonderful moments with two countries celebrating their independence – it’s an honour for me.”
Tickets are available at axs.com and theo2.co.uk or, alternatively, by calling 0844 856 0202. Doors open at 6pm.
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Ilford Recorder. Click the link in the orange box above for details.