BAND MAKING
Kashmir Life|November 14, 2020
Singing might have been a simple exercise at some point in time. Not anymore. A city singer had to struggle hard, lift a loan from the bank and the family to purchase instruments that his ideal band required. Many years later, he tells Saba Gulzar that he is happy that he owns a band that has a brand value
Saba Gulzar

Kashmiri music holds its own melodies, depths and a distinguishing badge. Most of the famous singers across the political divide have sung Kashmiri numbers.

In Kashmir, traditional music is the soul of culture but strife had an impact. Even modern western influences pushed traditional music to the background. This emerged a challenge to some music artists who worked overtime to revive it by lending it a modern touch. Now, some are passionately choosing music as their career.

Owais Pandit is one such talented young man whose days and nights are spent rehearsing on his keyboard. A resident of Srinagar’s Haft Chinar, Owais is the eldest son in a working-class family.

“At school, I was mediocre in my studies. Books never attracted me,” Owais said. “But I used to participate in all kinds of cultural events. I was popular among my classmates, teachers and the peer group.”

After completing his twelfth, Owais went to Delhi to pursue a course in music and Fine Arts from International Musical Institute Delhi. “I was amazed to see the response of people there for being a Kashmiri. They often used to ask me about our prevailing conditions, Sufi music and folk songs like vaanvun. But I always cleared their misconceptions regarding our identity and music by giving them a befitting reply,” he said.

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