The Bakshi Brothers: Aafi, Bilal, Shehryar and Yawar are miraculously talented cousin-brothers, who joined hands to promote execution of traditional folk music in a modern way by merging their contemporary music with Qawwali. Their mesmerizing voices formed a band that officially launched in 2012 and was introduced to instant praise by the audience.
The Bakshi brothers are Sons of Azam Bakshi, the legendary classical singer, and tabla player Ajmal Khan, winner of the pride of performance award. Their desire for making music is hereditary and runs in their blood. The talented band of Bakshi brothers has been associated with local schools where they gained more than 10 years of experience working as music teachers along with being active performers at various events like SAARC Conference across the country. The Bakshi Brothers have revolutionized old traditional music forms through their Coke studio season 8 inclusion. Their song “Khaalis makhan” was a huge success.
Kainat Kamal, correspondent for The Blush Works, caught up with the Bakshi’s and talked to them, knowing more about these rising stars of the month.
The Blush Works: Who are the bakshi brothers?
Bakshi Brothers: Following the demise of the greats like Ustad Bakshi Salamat Qawal and Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali khan, the source of riveting experiences involving the undiscovered soul of man never stopped. Punjab, the land of rivers, as always, has new things to offer, including moving and dolorous voices, traditional music that never falters: Qawali lives and artists that take birth to let the world know of the culture we were given by our fore fathers.
The Bakshi Brothers are the sons of this rich land. They are an emerging group of young musicians hailing from traditional musical families, or gharana as we call it. Their gripping music features traditional Sufi, folk, rock pop, fusion music and classical songs alongside the use of contemporary instruments in a refreshing way. The result is a brilliant blend of Sufi philosophies and guitar chords. Bakshi brothers are the musicians who have devoted themselves to Qawali as well as classical, ghazal and folks, carrying the banner of Sufism. Bakshi brothers’ elders are famous vocalist and tabla players Azam Bakshi and Mohammad Ajmal khan (pride of performance).
TBW: Did you all receive formal education of music or was music just a passion for you brothers?
BB: Yes, we took formal education of music from our fathers Mohammad Ajmal khan (tabla player) and Mohammad Azam bakshi (classical singer).TBW: Who or what has inspired you guys?
BB: Our inspiration are all such singers,artists or musicians who have some kind of spiritual feel in their music. There are some artists who are really close to our hearts and we pay tribute to them through our music. Mehdi Hassan, Ustad Salamat Ali, Lata Jee, Khawaja Khursheed Anwar, Bakshi Salamat Qawwal, Tufail Niazi, NFAK, Micheal Jackson, sajjad ali,Celein Dion, Zakir Hussain are some of the many endowed musicians that have made an impact in our professional lives.
TBW:Do you guys intend to make your mark in the music industry together or you guys may opt to perform solo sometimes?
BB: There are no restrictions in our band, anyone of us may collaborate with any artist but Bakshi Brothers is our priority. Our member Sherry Bakshi was a part of Nescafe Basement season 2 & 3 and he has made us proud, Aafi & bilal have done many tv commercials music and composed music for different singers. W are flexible and not bound to just make music together.TBW: What advice do you have for other aspiring and striving artists in the music industry?
BB: Our advice to the striving artists or newcomers is that they should learn music in order to know the basic essence of music, especially classical music. Be modest and dont compare your self with any other artist.
TBW: What are your upcoming projects, what would you tell your fans about them?
BB : We are working on our 1st album which will be released by the end of this year and there are 2 upcoming movies of Pakistan in which we are giving background Music and have composed songs of different styles in it.
TBW: Your favorite project up till now?
BB : There are many projects which gave us immense pleasure to be a part of. Yet Coke Studio will always remain at the top of our favorite projects list.TBW: “Khaalis makhan” was a big success, what would you say about it?
BB: Khalis Makhan is a song which is about our tradition and our heritage.it is basically a revival of our past through Music. The youngsters of this generation don’t usually know about the word “makhanay” or “shahanay” . Through this song, we tried to convey it to them, giving them a taste of our tradition.
TBW: Describe the music of bakshi brothers is one word?
BB: Well, our music is, Spontaneous
TBW: Do you guys intend to take your music across the border?
BB: Yes, we intend to make collaborations and take our music across the border.
(The Bakshi Brothers were talking to Kainat Kamal.)