Mir Zeeshan

Meet Sanam Singh – Kashmir’s new singing sensation

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Pulwama, Oct 03: For the past couple of weeks, Harkrishan Singh Sanam, a resident of Nageenpora Haffo village of Tral in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district has taken the social media by storm through his rendition of Kashmiri songs.

Sanam is becoming a new singing sensation among Kashmiri youth after he posted his video on Facebook which got thousands of likes, views and shares.

Sanam hails from Nageenpora, a picturesque village, few miles away from Tral town towards the east, which is inhibited by both Sikhs and Muslims.

According to Sanam, he was passionate about music right from his childhood days. “My family always encouraged and assisted me.”

He says he started his singing career back in 2008-09 when he participated in ‘Milley-Sur’ competition organized by Doordarshan Kendera Srinagar.

“I passed the first rounds in this competition but did not make it to finals, but the judges of the music competition suggested that I should join music and fine arts after completing my secondary school studies. Heeding their suggestion, I completed my Bachelors in Music and Vocals through Kashmir University in 2012.

“Initially I started singing Ghazals, Punjabi and Hindi songs, but later I began singing Kashmiri songs as well. While doing B.A, I participated in ‘Sonzal’ music competition organized by University of Kashmir and secured second position in it,” says Sanam.

“Singing Kashmiri songs was not as easy as singing Hindi and Punjabi because my pronunciation of Kashmiri was not good. But the faculty of Music and Fine Arts was immensely supportive as they helped me to learn Kashmiri vocabulary,” says the budding singer.

“Then I went to Guru Granth Sahib World University in Fathepur Punjab for pursuing Masters in Music and Arts, and participating in the ‘Geet’ competition at the said university I secured second position for singing a Kashmiri song – ‘Harmukh Bartal’.

“The response from the judges was overwhelming — after the show was over they asked me to sing this song again. It was watershed moment, and from that day I switched my focus on singing Kashmiri songs,” he says.

For improving his pronunciation of Kashmiri language, he started visiting one Mohammad Ismail Shah, a resident of adjacent village Nayi Basti Tral, who mentors him now.

“Nadeem Salamat Khan Sahab of Lahore Pakistan is my inspiration and I am in touch with him through social media. I recorded a Ghazal — ‘Loag Har Moad Pae Ruk Ruk Ke Sambalte Kyu Hae’ — and forwarded it to him on Whatsapp. He was impressed with my singing and later after meeting him at Bangkok, he formally selected me as one of his disciples.”

Sanam says his family, father in particular, also persuades him to sing Kashmiri songs. “Kashmiri is our mother tongue and I am also enthusiastic to learn singing in this language,” says he.

Sanam’s Kashmiri song ‘Harmukh Bartal’ has gone viral on social media.

Sanam’s Muslim neighbours and locals of the Hoffo village say that Harkrishan Singh “has made us proud by his singing skills and we are happy for his success, and wish him luck”.

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