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In concert: Sanam sings Abida

A homage to the queen of Sufi music and living legend Abida Parveen was recently held featuring Sanam Marvi with a fabulous arsenal of Abida’s soulful and mystical renditions.

Born in Hyderabad, Sanam started singing at the age of seven under the tutelage of her father, Faqeer Ghulam Rasool, a Sufi singer. Singing at shrines helped her further hone her vocal talent and discover her true self. She says that her father used to take her to an open area outside a nearby radio station to sing in front of the masses with the hope of getting noticed. She never gave up in the face of adversity and finally a local channel put her on air. However, she landed her big break with Virsa Heritage on PTV where she truly made her presence felt. Later, she delivered scintillating performances on Coke Studio for two consecutive seasons.

CS provided an ideal platform to Sanam where she got the opportunity to collaborate with Pakistan’s music legends. Her songs Rang Laga with Sajjad Ali, Manzil-i-Sufi with Strings, Haq Maujood with Amanat Ali, Koi Labda with Symt, Pritam & Sanwal Yar familiarises her with contemporary trends besides giving her a career boost. Among her upcoming projects, Sanam has high hopes from director Shahzad Rafiq’s much-awaited film, Ishq Khuda, in which she makes her debut in Lollywood as a playback singer with a composition penned by Riaz-ur-Rehman Sagar and veteran music composer Wajahat Attre. Declaring it as a milestone in her career, Sanam is more excited about the team that she says she is honoured to work with.

A recipient of the Saarc Award, Sanam has performed internationally with the performance she rendered in 2011 with Indian playback singer Rekha Bhardwaj garnering much acclaim. She made her Bollywood debut as a playback singer with the Bollywood production London, Paris, New York and sang with Ali Zafar and Hadiqa Kiyani. These days she can be heard lending her vocal talent to the soundtracks of endless TV serials and plays, and has a number of title tracks to her credit that she has sung for projects such as Sandal, Kokh, Hazaron Saal, Jahez, Baimaan, Ae Dasht-i-Junoon, etc.

Sanam selected the mystical, soulful kalam of Bulleh Shah to open her performance at the Royale Rodale in Karachi and then Yaar ko Hum Ne Ja Baja Dekha, Munn Kunto Maula, Jab Se Tu Ne Mujhe Dewana Bana Rakha Hai. She displayed an amazing vocal range, a phenomenal voice throw and the gift of eloquent singing.

After a break, memorable hits started coming thick and fast with Zulqurnain on the flute, Shahid Ali on the keyboards, Saleem on the trumpet and Irfan Ali on the tabla. Sanam brought the house down with Tere Ishq Nachaya followed by Chaap Tilak Sub Cheen. Her powerhouse vocals on Yaar Di Gharoli took the evening the way of dhamaal, followed by Lal Meri Pat. She struck the right chord with youngsters who danced away while those seated joined in with swaying hands and heads.