that changed my life.
IT STARTED WITH
AN ENDLESS PASSION FOR MUSIC
FOR DISCOVERY, FOR LIFE AND FOR PEOPLE
The genesis for Sabrang International started out rather simply a few years ago, at an outdoor café in London’s bustling Leicester Square. Sitting there sipping a cup of coffee one afternoon, Tauseef Akhtar broodily contemplated passersby tossing coins into an open guitar case as a busker crooned love songs huskily. It was a relatively frustrating time Tauseef was facing…although he had achieved name and fame as a ghazal singer to be reckoned with, it was a constant uphill struggle to connect modern Indians brought up on a diet of Bollywood raucous music with poetic, soulful ghazal and Sufi renditions. The business end of finding sponsors and arranging concerts was sapping his creative energy and diverting his attention from his passion, which was simply to create music.
Tauseef shared these thoughts with his longtime friend Devinder Walia, himself a lover of Hindustani music who had a keen interest in keeping traditional Indian music forms flourishing for generations to come. Devinder knew of Roop Sagar, a gifted poet and lyricist who was looking for a mellifluous voice that would do justice to his compositions. Together, the duo approached Tauseef with the idea of an artistic collaboration that would create immortal memories for music lovers.
Devinder was a businessman and entrepreneur, who quickly grasped that the lacuna lay not in music itself, but in ensuring that artistes were left free to dream, to create, to bring alive melody and poetry in this age of smartphones and social media…and for this, there needed to be a viable, inclusive platform that would support artistes with technical expertise while connecting them with audiences as well as promoters.
And thus, the ardent music savants formed Sabrang International as a UK-based record label. An ingenious idea, it is an exclusive platform that talent scouts for deserving artistes along the length and breadth of India, hones and nurtures their skills and presents them before a wide-ranging audience in the form of bespoke live stream videos and recording programmes.
Once acknowledged and renowned for its literature and achingly tragic love poems, Sufism today is a fast-dying out music form that Tauseef hopes to revive. He also remains committed to the genre of ghazals, an ancient music form that traces its roots to Arabic and Persian, before being introduced to India where it was amalgamated with the Hindustani styles of ‘Dadra’, ‘Thumri’ and ‘Qawwali’.
IT NEVER ENDS
PASSION NEVER DIE. IT GROWS
Stay Hungry and Funny
Although Sabrang International is born from a passion to keep Indian classical and traditional musical forms alive and fresh, the music label encompasses eclectic forms of music as well as musicians from around the world. Sabrang International is committed to promoting marginalized artistes who often languish on the fringes of obscurity despite their undeniable talent, for lack of a sponsor, funds or technical know-how in terms of music post-production. The label has worked with renowned global names and will soon be introducing its new discoveries and protégées to the world of music.
OUR CORE TEAM
Devinder Walia hails from Patiala, a city steeped in architectural beauty and elegance, famed for its patronage of the arts. Devinder had a passionate interest in Hindustani music from an early age.
A passion for travel also exposed him to various international genres of music. His keen entrepreneurial spirit quickly recognised the lacuna that existed for budding talent who was often frustrated by the lack of opportunities or platforms that would be willing to invest in and nurture hitherto unknown singers and musicians.
The germ of an idea sprouted in his mind and quickly took root and thus was Sabrang International founded in 2017, as an all-inclusive platform that would identify, foster, develop and promote performers to become consummate artistes and gain their rightful spot in the sun.
Tauseef Akhtar was quite literally born with an appreciation for Urdu shairi and ghazals flowing through his veins. Son of the legendary poet Janab Akhtar Azad and brought up under his wise tutelage, Tauseef’s latent talent for singing was further honed in childhood by the late Pandit Govind Prasad Jaipurwaale.
He has also received training in the Kirana gharana by Ustad Dilshad Khan Saheb. After Panditji’s demise, Tauseef then became ghazal maestro Jagjit Singh’s ardent disciple. Jagjit not only fostered Tauseef’s love of ghazals, but inculcated a strict discipline in him so far as riyaaz is concerned and also imparted his own inimitable style of stage presence to his young student.
Tauseef has also composed music and sung for the Hindi film industry, in close collaboration with music directors Nadeem-Shravan. His passion lies in creating incomparable fusion compositions of traditional ghazal singing accompanied by contemporary western musical instruments.
MUSIC & VIDEO PRODUCER
Rehaan Akhtar is the scion of an illustrious family with strong roots in music. He has learnt Indian classical vocal training from his father, renowned ghazal singer Tauseef Akhtar and has imbibed knowledge in poetry and Urdu from his grandfather Janab Akhtar Azad, a well-known Qawwal and poet.
Rehaan himself is an emerging young talent whose skills lie in music arrangement and direction. Apart from collaborating with Sabrang International on albums, he has also been a music producer for singers and composers such as Sonu Nigam and Salim Sulaiman.
Rehaan is a guitarist as well as pianist with a keen interest in cinematography as well. He was also the video director for the Indian Films and Television Association’s Masterclass.