Pakistan is a land of rich culture, with diverse religions, languages, and customs. While truck art, blue pottery, and other handmade artifacts are recognized nationally and internationally, Pakistan’s folk music is also widely appreciated. Through folk music, locals promote their cultural values throughout the world and connect regions. Pakistani folk singers earn huge respect and love globally for their unique genres. The following are five renowned folk singers of Pakistan:
Alam Lohar is a big name in folk music for his distinct style of singing. He recorded his first album at the young age of 13 in the early 1930s. Known for his ‘chimta’, Alam got popular in folk singing because of his unique style of bringing the folk tale into song format. One of the most famous songs of his time is Jugni. Named ‘Sher-e-Punjab’ by his people, Alam Lohar was awarded a gold medal which he won in the UK during a singing competition. He passed away in Punjab in 1979.
Abida Praveen- known as Queen of Sufi music is a singer, composer, and musician of Sufi music. She is acclaimed for her impassioned and loud voice in Sufi music. Praveen started her career as a singer and got popular in the early 1990s. Throughout her career, she has been loved by locals and foreigners alike and has performed many concerts globally. She has sung a variety of genres such as ghazals, Sufi rock, and Qawali, etc.
Arif Lohar is a Punjabi folk singer in Pakistan, famous for singing with ‘chimta’ – a native musical instrument that looks like tongs. He represents the traditional heritage of Punjab in his songs. In his career, Lohar has created more than 150 albums and 3000 songs mostly in the Punjabi language. Moreover, he was awarded the Pride of Performance by the government in 2015.
Attaullah Khan Esakhelvi
Attaullah Khan Esakhelvi is another celebrated folk singer in Pakistan. He started his career in folk music by performing on Radio Pakistan. Later on, he was invited by a company to record folk music in their studio. The album was released and became the national bestseller at that time. Esakhelvi has recorded 50,000 songs in different languages and was awarded a lifetime achievement award by the Queen of Great Britain. In 1994 entered his name in the Guinness Book of World Records for releasing a higher number of audio albums.
Allan Fakir was a renowned folk singer of Pakistan in Sufi music. His uniqueness was his style of performance which was marked with extreme devotion and Sufi-dance along with singing. He was trained by his father initially but soon after developed more interest in Sufi dancing. His songs usually revolve around Sufism and philosophy, mostly in the Sindhi language. Eventually, he became a performing legend, gained tremendous popularity worldwide. Humma Humma is one of his popular hits of times.