Asif Ali Khan
Asif Ali Santoo was born in 1973, the youngest son of Manzoor Hussain, a well-known singer from a famous Pakistani musical family. He traces his musical ancestry back more than 350 years. His great-grandfather, Mian Maula Baksh, was one of the most famous classical singers of the Indian subcontinent and founded his qawwali (Sufi music) group more than 80 years ago. After partition, his grandfather, Santoo Khan, moved the family to Pakistan in 1947 settling in Lahore. Here the group, known at this time as Santoo Khan Qawwal, became extremely popular both for its wide repertoire of classical, spiritual (Sufi), and popular songs as well as their superb command of the Urdu, Persian, and Punjabi languages. The group was one of the first to record qawwali music, and was regularly heard on All Pakistan Radio.
If the late, great Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan was known as ‘the emperor of qawwali’, Asif – who was once hailed by the maestro as one of his best students – has surely emerged as the music’s reigning prince. Since Nusrat’s death in 1997, Asif has participated in tribute concerts and recordings dedicated to the memory of his teacher, but has developed a style and presence all of his own. While remaining faithful to the sublime traditions of the devotional Sufi music known as qawwali, Asif is hugely popular in his homeland of Pakistan and a powerful figure on the international stage. His music can be meditative and trance-inducing, before, at a turn, becoming thrilling and ecstatic. To hear his voice soaring above the call-and-response choruses, rhythmic hand claps, percussion and harmonium of his accompanying musicians is an inspiring experience, whether you’re an adherent of the Sufi faith or not.
In the year 1988 an unfortunate separation of Ustad Santoo Khan when he left this world at an age of 120 years old. Then again Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan visited to pay his respect when Asif took a step forward in becoming the student of Ustad Nusrat Fateh Khan. Thereafter Asif Ali was held at a very close position to his teacher since the honor for his lineage and mostly Asif Ali’s extraordinary passion to learn the extreme classical music.
Along with training from Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Santoo is also under the tutelage of his father Manzoor Hussain who has graduated linguistics in Arabic, Persian, Urdu, and Punjabi also studied the Islamic laws and Hadeeth Shareef (Saying of Prophet Muhammed. Pbuh) and incorporating and imparting true knowledge into Qawwaali.
It is with this special combination which makes Santoo an Artist above the rest. Book him for weddings.