Sufiyan Malik, a rababist from Kashmir, will perform at the opening ceremony of the Bhimthadi Festival on December 22 in Pune.
Malik, who is an engineering student at a city college and started playing musical instruments at age of six, said, “I got hooked to music after hearing the old artists in Kashmir. I play both the rabab and guitar. I learned the Rabab myself, and for a month took guitar lessons. After that, I mostly taught myself from YouTube,” he said.
Rabab is a rectangular musical instrument with strings and pegs connected to a dome-shaped structure. It is also the national musical instrument of Afghanistan. “I mainly compose instrumental music, film and documentary scoring. I have two tracks of my own, one is Firdous and the other is a Kashmiri tribute to the popular TV series ‘Game of Thrones’. They became viral all over Kashmiri media,” he said, adding, “I compose both in English and the Kashmiri language. I am trying new music forms also and have a single album coming out soon in English. It is an EDM song, a type of electronic music.”
“After an article about me was published in an English daily, I received a phone call and ended up getting the opportunity to perform at the Bhimthadi Festival,” he said.
Bhimthadi Jatra is a rural carnival with an array of displays like cultural items, packaged and homemade food items, flea market goods, live cultural performances, and handmade goods, among others. This festival began in 2006 and Pune was considered a favorable location for its reputation as a cultural and educational centre of Maharashtra.
Other than encouraging traditional practices of the country, this carnival also provides a platform to women to exhibit their skills.
A few months ago, Malik had also performed in Los Angeles. Apart from being a professional rababist, he also works for his state tourism. “I compose music in videos for Jammu and Kashmir Tourism — actually I have a job there. I also collaborate with many Kashmiri artists here in Pune to create music,” he added. This will be Malik’s first performance outside his home state.