Music

Music is her life

Singer Nazia Alam

Singer Nazia Alam   | Photo Credit: By Arrangements

Central Sangeet Natak Akademi announcement of the Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Prativa Puraskar (young talent award) for Orissa's Nazia Alam has made the people of the state doubly delighted. For the first time, the award has gone to Odissi music which is struggling for a distinct identity at the national level and claiming the coveted classical status.

Daughter of legendary singer Sikandar Alam and Naima Alam — a gifted singer and her first music teacher — it was, apparently, the couple's dream that their daughter be a popular singer like Nazia Hassan and hence had named their daughter after her. Nazia took to music as a duck takes to water. Despite having an impressive academic record, Nazia resolved to take up music as a career. A Sangeet Visharad in Hindustani classical vocal from Akhil Bharatiya Gandharva Mahavidyalaya Mandal, Mumbai, and a Sangeet Bhaskar degree holder in Odissi vocal, she is pursuing higher training in Hindustani music under Ustad Mashqoor Ali Khan Sahab of Kirana Gharana at ITC Sangeet Research Academy, Kolkata, and in Odissi music under Guru Keshab Chandra Rout in Bhubaneswar.

Equally adept in rendition of the classical, popular, pop, ghazal and devotional genres of singing, the young singer has performed in India and abroad. Solo recitals apart, she has been a regular vocal accompanist for stalwarts in Odissi dance like Gangadhara Pradhan, Sarmila Biswas and Aloka Kanungo.

A regular performer on All India Radio and Doordarshan, Nazia, who was a finalist in Saregama competitions held by Zee TV , has sung at least 500 songs besides lending her voice for popular television serials like Duhita, Bidhatara Khela, and Mu Tumaku Bhalapae. She has cut nine albums in Oriya, Hindi and Bengali during the short span of her career.

Like her father, who is revered in Orissa for his devotion to Lord Jagannath despite being a Muslim, Nazia has also won hearts as a singer of bhajans.

“You are destined to go very far in the field of music. You are very dedicated in your pursuit of music. Please keep it up,” legendary singer Manna Dey had remarked after Nazia sang with him during a stage show in Bhubaneswar a few years ago. His words were never an exaggeration.

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Printable version | Sep 19, 2020 2:36:02 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/music/Music-is-her-life/article16215504.ece

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