Around 2 weeks ago I got a call telling me that a man called Sain Zahoor was coming to the UK and I should get ready because I had 2 tickets to go see him live at the Symphony Hall in Birmingham Town Centre. In all honesty, I had no idea who this man was and I had no clue as to what type of songs he sang.
After doing a little bit of research I found that he was a Sufi singer (a genre of music I listen to quite frequently), so naturally I went over to YouTube to see if I could find out a bit more about this guy. I came across a video where Sain was singing live at the Coke Studios. The song which he was singing was titled ‘Allah Hu’, quite a popular song sang by the Sufi artists and the so called “Sufi artists” of today. The live performance was supported by Abrar Ul Haq at certain parts.
My initial response to the video I was watching was “Wow, this man is old”, I believe his age is 78 if I recall correctly. The way the Sain sang Allah Hu in the video blew me away, I hadn’t heard such powerful vocals since I first came across Kanwar Grewal. He had a very unique way of singing and it sounded so fresh and original. Not like half of these “Sufi” songs which follow the same composition and have nothing unique about them.
After watching a few more videos of Sain, I became very excited about seeing him live and tried my hardest to listen to everything he had ever released. The more videos I watched, the more this man amazed me with his voice.
So the day of the event came, I had been invited to the press conference just before the event to meet Sain and listen to what he had to say. There were a range of questions asked by the other press crews there and as I do not speak Urdu it was hard for me to understand what Sain’s replies were. Luckily Sain had bought a translator with him which also happened to be his manager. I was shocked to find that when Sain was first approached by his manager, he didn’t even know how to open a car door.
Another thing which surprised me about Sain was the fact that he was illiterate. How can a man with so much deep meaning behind all his songs possibly be illiterate? Sain cannot read or write in any language and uses his mind to construct his songs. How many artists of today would be able to perform live on stage with no queues and sing songs which had been written in their head with no physical copies? I’m yet to see one.
So the press conference finished and it was time for the live performance to start. The performance was set to start at half 8, and it started at half 8. For me, I was very surprised. Usually these types of events follow Indian Standard Time which means they will start 2 hours later than the time advertised. Kudos to the Symphony Hall for starting right on time!
5 men walked onto stage, which turned out to be his band. His band is made up of a Flute player, Dholki player, Tabla player, Harmonium player and there was one man playing another instrument but I couldn’t see what he was playing unfortunately. Following his band, Sain walked on to stage with his famous Tumba, which he takes to every event and plays it throughout every song.
As soon as Sain started singing I felt goosebumps, his voice was so powerful and so unique. It was so much better than the videos I had been watching. He started with his world famous song; Okhay Painde and then slowly went on to some songs which I hadn’t heard before.
Overall the night was a very memorable night and I will definitely be going to Sain Zahoor live again! He is an amazing man with an amazing talent. The beautiful Symphony Hall was very lucky to have such a performer walk onto their stage.
I would lastly like to thank UK Premier PR & Marketing for giving me the chance to meet such a talented individual and I would like to thank Symphony Hall for the hospitality shown to myself and The Bhangra Zone on the night.