Ghulam Ali Biography
Ghulam Ali (Urdu: غلام علی, Hindi: ग़ुलाम अली) is a Pakistani ghazal singer of the Patiala gharana. He is not to be confused with the Indian singer Bade Ghulam Ali Khan (of whom he was a disciple) or Chhote Ghulam Ali, who is another Pakistani singer in the qawwali style.
Early life and background
Ali was born in the village of Kaleke in the Sialkot District of Punjab, pre-partition India (now in Pakistan). He belongs to a musical family, his father was a vocalist and a sarangi player who initiated Ghulam Ali to music from his childhood.
Ali's father named him after Bade Ghulam Ali. At 15, he became a student of Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, a master of the Patiala Gharana (Patiala School) of Hindustani music. Due to the busy schedule of Bade Ghulam Ali, he was trained mainly by Bade Ghulam Ali Khan's three brothers, Barqat Ali Khan, Mubarak Ali Khan, and Amanat Ali Khan, in Lahore.
All these distinguished classical musicians taught him the finer nuances of classical music. His solid foundation of classical music included studying Thumri and learning to sing raga.
Ali started singing for Radio Lahore in 1960. Along with singing ghazals, Ghulam Ali composes music for his ghazals. His compositions are raga-based and sometimes include a scientific mixture of ragas. He is known for blending gharana-gaayaki into ghazal and this gives his singing the capability to touch hearts. He beautifully sings Punjabi songs too. Most of his Punjabi songs have been extremely popular. Though from Pakistan, Ghulam Ali remains as popular in India as in Pakistan.
He entered Bollywood with a Hindi film song Chupke Chupke Raat Din in B. R. Chopra's film, Nikaah. Other popular ghazals include Hungama hai kyon barpaa, Awaargi, and Yeh dil yeh paagal Dil mera.
On being questioned about Pakistani pop groups, Ghulam Ali replied, "Frankly, I am really bewildered at their style of singing. How can you sing a song by running and jumping around the stage? The stage is meant for performing not for acrobatics."
Ali has also sung some beautiful ghazals like Kina kina timro tasveer, Gajalu tee thula thula aankha, Lolaaeka aee thula and Ke chha ra diun in Nepali language with Narayan Gopal, a well known Nepali singer, and composer Deepak Jangam. These songs were compiled in an album entitled Narayan Gopal, Ghulam Ali Ra Ma, and are popular among Nepali music lovers to this day.
One of his memorable concerts was at the Taj Mahal.