Singer Naghma-The voice of Afghanistan

Singer Naghma-The voice of Afghanistan

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With her great skill and ability, Singer Naghma proved to be a trailblazer in the annals of Afghan music. Naghma’s birthday falls on the 1 st of January 1964. She is turning 56 this year. As a young woman, she has decided to be in the worlds of arts, particularly performing art and by learning music from Mangal, a musician from Laghman, and her ex-husband, Moreover,  she found the most illustrious family of musicians —it could not be imagined that she would live a life away from music.

Being the daughter of Bibi Mashala, it must be difficult for her to curve her own identity. Though her mother did not like her to be a singer. However, she did not object to it openly and allowed her to decide her future. In the beginning, she was not alone as she was joined by her husband Mangal and both were destined to carve a place for themselves in a world that was totally new to them.

Carrier of Singer Naghma

She was known to the wider public when she started to appear in popular films. So, this medium has an unprecedented outreach. And it has now been matched by television channels both terrestrial and satellite. Singer Naghma began her career from school making a girl’s band and performing as a vocalist.
Furthermore, when she moved to foreign countries for greener pasture after the impending civil war in 1992, she was loved and admired by an audience that knew little about her valiant and brilliant past.

Read this: Kalasha, Importance of music in Kalash culture

In Afghanistan, daughters are only supposed to become dutiful wives

In Afghanistan, it has been the norm that daughters are only supposed to become dutiful wives and mothers. For a young Muslim woman to have chosen this area for herself must have resulted from the opposition on many fronts. It was extremely rare and almost unheard-of as arts and show business was almost out of the bound territory for pardah observing Muslim women of the ashraaf.  Even the debate about sending women to school, let alone college was violently eating into the foundation of a male-dominated environment. It was like walking on burning coals. But Naghma was made of sterner stuff. At the age of five, her father died. And she moved to Kabul with her paternal uncle and discovered totally new perspective of life by choosing a career in music. Her songs were far more authentic and steeped in tradition than many of her contemporaries.

These days, many Afghan musicians play the rubab to audiences at some places, especially in London, Paris, Berlin, and New York.

One does not know how well looked after these musicians are or have been. But it is sad that they only perform in exile or have performed in exile. While the country where their sonic peculiarity originated has many layers of prohibitions in place.

Historically, Afghan musicians have moved among Afghanistan and the Pakistan Pushtun area, relying on the circumstance of both facets of the Durand Line. With the current flip of occasions in Afghanistan. Lots of them have left the country to carry out in the West. It appears that during a bid to survive. The Afghan musical sound will, too, be heard away from the land of its origins.

Basically, Naghma was a folk singer

Basically, she was a folk singer. She was popular among those interested in listening to something that was more authentic among vocalists who sing folk music ang is the distinguishing feature of their music. Since folk music is not much formalized and does not attempt to achieve the standardization of classical vocalists or an instrumentalist. So, its distinct flavor is the most important aspect that sets it apart from others.

It is usually the area that one hails from that determines the ang of singing. Since Naghma was born around the region of Qandahar the region had a distinct coloration both in pronunciation of words as well as the sur was intoned. The lyrics that she sang too were in the same poetic tradition as well as pronunciation of Dari and Pushto dialect. It seemed far more authentic than the song of other vocalists who have fused their music with contemporary instrumentation and lyrics that speak of current reality rather than something that is more steeped in tradition. She started her career in the 1980s after seeking some guidance from Mangal, her ex-husband

It was the era of cassettes

She was one of the major beneficiaries of the cassette revolution that made music assessable to a large number of people. These cassettes were easy to handle. And did not demand a great deal of maintenance. They were cheap and could be played on machines that did not need a power connection. These battery or dry battery contraptions were also portable and people could carry them wherever they want. The biggest beneficiary of the cassette revolution was undoubtedly Naghma and Mangal. Both Naghma and Mangal then developed a sizeable fan club in the urban area of Afghanistan. Moreover, they have fans in Tajikistan, Pakistan, and the US.

Naghma performed in different shows

Whenever Singer Naghma performed in urban centers like Kabul, Dubai, and European countries.  The skepticism of the organizers whether the urban audience would come to listen to her and respond warmly was proved unfounded because people came in large numbers once they knew that she was to perform in the city. Being adequately familiar with her music they made fervent requests for specific numbers.
It was the sheer popularity of  Naghma that they were considered later to be worthwhile in whatever they were doing. And this kind of music in recorded form was able to match the popularity of film music during the 80s and 90s.

The opening of the various radio stations in Kabul and Peshawar and later the regional channel under Kabul Television corporation made it possible for the artists to be given air time. Actually, the media capitalized on their popularity. It was only the role of media that these artists were, lifted from backbenches to be placed in front rows.
From then on, folk music was looked anew and it came out of the shadow of being uncouth, raw, and
unfinished. It was seen as the expression of the underprivileged who actually mattered. The tables were turned on high culture. Since then this line of argument has stated its course. Her real forte was the songs or the geets that may have been traditional folk but re-worked on new lyrics, written with the intention of expressing the sentiment of the common man.

Some of the lists of her album are as follows:

“Bachi Hamsaya “,”Aros” ,“Shekesta Chelamey”,”Imroz “,”Tu Ra Meparastam “,”O Dilbar Janim “,”O
Bacha”,” Ba Yin Sazi Mahali “,”Ghataghani “,”O Bacha “,”Jama Narinje “,”Charsi Halika Stargi “,”Maida
Maida “,”Nazi Jan “

Moreover, Singer Naghma recorded more than 500 songs in a period of 32 years in Afghanistan. She was the voice and face of Pushto traditional music. In 2006 Naghma’s Muhabbat was released and was the first time she made a pop song. She received Tamgha-e-Imtiaz and pride of performance which is the highest Pakistani presidential award.

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