One of the country's finest qawwals known for his soul-stirring performances of mystic poetry, Amjad Sabri was born on December 23, 1976. Descendent of the qawwali icons, great Sabri brothers, who cemented a unique identity in
One of the country’s finest qawwals known for his soul-stirring performances of mystic poetry, Amjad Sabri was born on December 23, 1976. Descendent of the qawwali icons, great Sabri brothers, who cemented a unique identity in Qawwali singing all around the world. Amjad was the son of renowned qawwal Ghulam Fareed Sabri. He started to learn to sing qawwali at the age of 9.
Amjad Sabri enthralled music enthusiasts with his brand of spirituality, mysticism and ecstasy for years. He was not only well-versed with the structure and aesthetics of qawwali but also knew how to make it adaptive to the contemporary music keeping its essence alive.
The Sabri family rose to fame in the 1970s when the dynamic duo of Ghulam Farid Sabri and Maqbool Ahmed Sabri went on to redefining the old genre of Qawwali singing. They formed a formidable qawwali group in the mid-50s and became known for their soul-stirring renditions of arifana kalam (mystic poetry).
They were equally well-versed in compositions made in the Persian language and sang Nami Danam Che Manzil Bood with equal ease and facility. The brothers’ rendition of Hazrat Amir Khusrau’s kalam was one of their marked areas of excellence.
It was Amjad who took the reins from his father Ghulam Farid and Uncle Maqbool Sabri and took the family name forward carving a more popular and less niche identity for himself and his family. Almost whatever the Sabri brothers sang became an instant hit. But some of their most memorable and famous qawwalis were Bhar Do Jholi Meri, Tajdar-i-Haram and Mera Koi Nahin Hai Teray Siwa, which have been re-rendered by Amjad for the modern audiences.
One thing that always stood out about Amjad was that despite hailing from a family of musicians, he never restricted his contributions to the music industry at large and always remained a seminal part of artist’s protests, celebrations at large.
Amjad Sabri, 45, was tragically shot dead on 22 June, 2016 in Liaquatabad 10 area of Karachi. He was travelling with an associate in a car, when unidentified gunmen fired at their vehicle, critically injuring him. The two were shifted to Abbasi Shaheed hospital immediately, where Sabri succumbed to his injuries.
Whether it was lending his family’s Qawwali to Coke Studio or playing for the celebrity team at a Ramazan cricket match, Amjad could be seen everywhere that too in full spirit. He was very excited about his song in the upcoming season of Coke Studio. His loss has been felt beyond borders, ideologies and art forms.