BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

Accessibility help
Text only
BBC Homepage
BBC Music
BBC Radio 3

Radio 3

Contact Us

Like this page?
Send it to a friend!


Awards for World Music 2006
Faiz Ali Faiz
Of all the Indian subcontinent's many Sufi or mystical Islamic praise song forms, qawwali is the best known. And that word is synonymous with the late, great Pakistani singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. Any novice male qawwali singer has inevitably to contend with comparisons, and this second-time nominee is no exception. Faiz Ali Faiz adheres to the basic qawwali template, though he brings his own distinctive identity to it. His vocal flexibility and range have generated great respect among rasikas (informed connoisseurs). His uncle Rehmat Ali Khan ­ who plays harmonium in his qawwali party ­ used to do the same for Nusrat, and when the great master fell ill, it was Faiz Ali Faiz that he 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 producing qawwali singers for seven generations.
Born in 1962, he received training in Hindustani (Northern Indian) classical music and Sufi devotional music, beginning his professional career in 1978. He has become known as a popular exponent of the Punjabi doaba style, and is also influenced by the Shams-chaurasi school of light-classical khyal singing. He has made numerous recordings for Pakistan's domestic market, and for the best part of a decade has enjoyed an international recording and concert performance career. Revealing his wish to keep the flame of traditional qawwali interpretation alive, he has not swerved from performing and recording even standard repertoire items such as Allah Hu ('God is'). His 2004 album Your Love Makes Me Dance (2004) makes his cultural debt to the Master clear as its subtitle Hommage à Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan suggests.
In June 2005, the Faiz Ali Faiz ensemble were joined by Spanish flamenco artists Miguel Poveda, Duquende and Chicuelo for a groundbreaking collaboration at the Fes Festival of World Sacred Music. Their performance underlined the common roots of flamenco and qawwali in the subcontinent.
A month later at Denmark's Roskilde festival, when asked about his attitude to censorship by the Freemuse organization, he said the following:  'As far as music is concerned, it is a free thing. One should have liberty to express as one wants to express music.'

Jon Lusk & Ken Hunt.

Official website
Interview at
A4WM 2005 nomination


Michael - Philadelphia
Rich and resonant vocals - please come to the US to perform.

Jyoti from Toronto
It is nice to hear someone who could potentially continue the tradition and success in Qawwali world after great Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.I wish we can hear him in Toronto live.

True heir to Nusrath Fateh Ali Khan

he is very good but is there not anymore of his qawwalis to listen somewhere on internet please inform me

Ateeque Rahman
He Very Good Musican in the world, we have not any word for Ali Faiz

zhang xiangyun (china)
even i am not a music-fans, i should say i was deeply attract by his voice at the first sec. incredible!

M. Aslam, Toronto, Canada
Majestic, magnificent, and masterly vocal performance, a comprehensive tribute to the 'greatest master of the art of Qawaali'. It's truly Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan reincarnated.

Shahzad Ahmad Tiwana (Copenhagen, Denmark)
Well I must say that when I first listen to him, I was thrilled by his voice. He reminded me of Late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. He sings with the same passion and devotion. I am also a big fan of flamenco music and was amazed to find out that he has made a collaboration with a great spanish flamenco singer Miguel Poveda and mixed Qawwali with flamenco. Its simply beautiful.

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy