The Pakistani singer Faiz Ali Faiz sings qawwali, the local form of Sufi praise song, with a voice which might remind you of the great master Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. According to the tradition, Qawwali music speaks of love, not of politics, and Faiz Ali Faiz has never personally encountered music censorship. But as he states in this short interview videoclip which was recorded at the Roskilde Festival in Denmark in July 2005: “I want music to be free. And one should have the right to freely express music.”
Faiz Ali Faiz was nominated in the BBC Radio 3 Awards for World Music 2005 in the Asia Pacific category. Born in 1962, he received training in classical music and qawwali, beginning his professional career in 1978. Faiz Ali Faiz’s uncle, Rehmat Ali Khan plays harmonium in his group, and used to do the same for Nusrat. And when the great master fell ill, it was Faiz Ali Faiz that Nusrat called on to take his place at a qawwali, even though he was not a member of his family. However, Faiz Ali Faiz’s family has been steeped in qawwali for seven generations, and he has made numerous recordings.