Noted Christian folk artist, Azeem Emmanuel, asks KP to promote youth at all levels

Sher Alam Shinwari

PESHAWAR: Azeem Emmanuel, 30, resident of Peshawar christen colony has asked KP government to promote talented youth of Christian community at every level adding that they had fewer opportunities on national media outlets to exhibit their hidden qualities .  He said he started his music career eight years ago and had performed in Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad and represented Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.  

Mr Emmanuel while sharing his views in an informal chat with this scribe told that he was born with the art of singing and playing skin instruments including dholak and drum.  He said that his mother supported him but his father was still reluctant about his joining of music as career. Mr Emmanuel not only can sing songs in Pashto but also is very fluent in it.  

Being a tetrarilingual, Azeem Emmanuel could sing Punjabi, Hindko, Urdu and Pashto numbers with great ease and had sung on many occasions’ popular songs and received public appreciation. He said that christen youth had great talent in them and required proper opportunities for bringing out their latent talent.  

Inspired by performance during Church service, Azeem Emmanuel fell in love with music and would let no opportunity go without singing one or two songs but a wedding ceremony proved a launching pad for him several years ago.  He said that he used to listen to Urdu and Pashto folk singers and the voices of Sajad Ali and Rahim Shah won over his heart but Indian vocalists including Mohammad Aziz and Kumar Sanu also had impacted his music style.  

The young artist stated that once he was invited to perform at a cultural event titled ‘Minority Voice’ in Peshawar Nishtar Hall and it was pledged that the best performers would be given opportunities but it was proved just eyewash. “Despite the fact that I performed well and got great public applause and the organizers promised we would be given incentives but it was just a political stunt,” he regretted.  

The folk singer said though his mother tongue was Punjabi but he had no problem in singing Hindko and Pashto songs and most often audience in Peshawar asked him to sing Pashto tracks. He said that music being a universal Ingo required no language but a spirit and sea of emotions. He said that unfortunately KP had no platform where artists could perform and could provide a forum to the budding singers and if a young talent did not get an opportunity, it got rusted and went into waste land.  

Mr Emmanuel said that the State -run radio and TV should create opportunities for aspiring artists especially for talent emerging out of non-Muslim communities because they had no access to high ups. He regretted that KP culture department ignored young talent on important occasions.    

“Christian youth have multiple talents and should be given a chance to display their art. I suggest a community festival where young folk singers and performers from all communities and cultural groups could be invited to showcase their respective arts,” he maintained.  

Regarding future plan Mr Emmanuel said that he would bring out an album under the title ‘ Pakistan Peace Voice’  which would contain Urdu, Hindko and Pashto tracks and also he would set up his own music band later so that he could organize his own performances and participate in musical concerts arranged under the auspices of private organizations. “My own music band will strengthen my base in music especially in folk singing art,” he observed.  

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