Young rising Pashto singer Gulpanra has decided to launch her singing career in Urdu to reach out to a large number of audiences, following a pressing demand from her fans countrywide.
She has recorded recently her maiden Urdu album in Lahore. After having topped all Pashto music charts in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the young singer is set to get her silky voice across the country to fulfil demand of her fans.
Gulpanra has been to UAE and Kabul several times for public concerts but keeps limited herself to TV and radio shows owing to security reasons in and around Peshawar.
Besides reaching out to a larger audience, Gulpanra also wants to give global recognition to Pashto music.
“My greatest wish is that more and more educated class and tasteful Pakhtuns listen and like my songs. I want to give a global recognition to Pashto music,” she said.
Gulpanra said that she avoided private shows and wedding ceremonies to attend. “I don’t have any threats. I keep my activities only to studio recordings, private TV and radio shows. Following my family instructions, it’s always good to be extra vigilant in a place like Peshawar. Also I have no time for local performances,” she said.
in Peshawar at a local recording studio, Gulpanra said that she had determined to launch her singing career in Urdu too as she claimed that she had the talent to carve out a niche for herself in the national language.
“I am prepared to test my luck in Urdu as well. I want to reach out to a wider audience and capture more space at national level. I am sponsoring the project myself. I have got its audio version and now I am going to get its video, looking for a better idea to shoot it in a befitting manner,” Gulpanra said.
Her album ‘Zama ghazal’ containing numbers of senior and junior Pashto poets got one million ‘likes’ on the social media. “I love Gulpanra’s songs because of its quality content, music and strength of voice,” Arshad Khan from Dir a student of Engineering and Technology in Dhaka University, Bangladesh said.
“Although I am away from my country yet I love Pashto music only because of Gulpanra as she has revived true Pashto music. I have bought all albums of my favourite singer,” he remarked.
Hailing from Peshawar, Gulpanra started her singing career about three years ago as she had a penchant for singing but also continued her education. Elder of her six sisters and one brother, she completed her master degree in social work recently from University of Peshawar.
Gulpanra regularly attended music classes with Ustad Nazeer Gul while noted music director Master Ali Haider launched her velvety voice with her first-ever super hit Pashto song ‘Za lalparee yem’ (I am a fairy).
Master Ali Haider said Gulpanra, being a qualified young Pakhtun girl, showed a path to other educated people especially females to exhibit their talent.
“When she first time came up to me for audition, I had judged she could prove her inborn talent and she did prove herself beyond my expectations. She worked hard and left far behind many of her contemporary singers in a short span of time,” he said.
Gulpanra said that she loved Pashto poetry. “I have sung the poetry of young poet Fitrat Buneri, who at times helps me to select good numbers for my albums. I am working on a new Pashto album to be released in the near future,” she said.
The soft-spoken singer complained that a section of media sometime ran baseless news about her. “I think media should play a responsible role. Recently news of my death ran on media which pained me and also hurt my family members and fans. I can only request to please confirm any news about artists and celebrities,” Gulpanra said.
She said that she wanted to learn harmonium from an ustad but she had a tight schedule. She has only four Pashto studio albums to her credit. Her last Pashto album ‘Zama ghazal’ released on Eidul Fitr got an unprecedented popularity as it broke record of all previous Pashto music charts in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
“My future plan is to do some social welfare service along with singing in Urdu and Pashto. No mind to marry at this stage. Pashto music now is on its peak in terms of quality and popularity,” the young singer claimed. Samina, the younger sister of Gulpanra said that she liked her sister’s songs but she herself was not interested in following her as she too had done master degree in social work and joined a government service recently. “I like her voice as she picks up quality content,” she said.
Gulpanra has sung for about 30 Pashto movies. “I have many offers from film directors on my table but I think ‘acting’ is not my forte. I am focused only on producing quality music,” Gulpanra said.
She will fly to Dubai to participate in a Pashto musical concert. “I am totally on producer’s disposal when it comes to Pasho movie’s songs selection but I always select poetry for my own albums. Even in Pashto movies, I sign only songs having a message compatible with our Pakhtun social norms. I believe that quality poetry content should go with melody, harmony and rhythm,” the young singer said.
Published in Dawn, October 12th, 2014