Renowned singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan performed to a sold-out crowd of nearly 20,000 music lovers at London’s O2 Arena, during which he delivered a message highlighting the urgent need for funds for Pakistan’s flood relief efforts.
The popular qawwal earnestly appealed, “Pakistan is surrounded by a natural disaster of the kind and size it has never seen before. I appeal to the artist community to help those who have been left with nothing but poverty and helplessness. They need our assistance.”
During the mesmerising performance, the Sayonee singer also introduced his son Shah Zaman Ali Khan to the audience as his new band member. Salman Ahmed, Rahat’s producer and global promoter, said, “Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali is following the old tradition of Pakistani qawwals. His brother Wajahat Ali Khan and now his son Shah Zaman Ali Khan also perform with him at all concerts.”
This was the singer’s third performance at the iconic London venue since he started performing globally over ten years ago, after signing an exclusive agreement with Salman’s company, PME Entertainment. “We did our first concert with Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan in Wembley Arena in 2012 and since then, we have been selling [out] in the UK and across the world non-stop. It has been a phenomenal journey,” the producer fondly recalled.
According to Salman, not only has Rahat’s ten-year achievement uncovered a huge market from South Asia to the international stage, but Rahat’s constant variations, innovations, and fusions, produced in every tour ensure people keep coming back for more.
“We have all evolved and our relationship has grown within our team and with the audience. Look at the fusion that we add to every show for at least half of the duration. That has brought a whole new segment to our events because Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali does it so brilliantly,” Salman added.
As politicians, civilians, and non-profits come together to raise funds for the rehabilitation of those displaced, unprecedented and historical flash floods caused by abnormal monsoon rains since mid-July continue to wash away roads, crops, infrastructure, and bridges, killing more than 1,000 people in recent weeks, having affected over 33 million.
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