Singers hop the Naat, Hamd bandwagon ahead of Ramazan
LAHORE: In the month of Ramazan, many singers release naats and hamds in order to stay relevant in the industry. Likewise, even those who have been out of sight for not making enough money from their regular albums are able to make some profits composing religious hymns and selling them in the form of CDs and videos. Like every year, shooting and recording of naats is in full swing in various mosques and sacred places in Lahore.
Singers who have joined the bandwagon this year include Humaira Arshad, Shahida Mini, Arif Lohar, Shabnam Majeed, Anwar Rafi, Akram Rahi, Nasir Beraj Mehdi, Maham Rehman and Imran Shaukat Ali. With most compilations to be out in June, singers weigh in on the trend and its increasing popularity
Mini’s full-fledged naat album last year turned out to be a great hit. Following suit, she will be unveiling two new naat videos this year. “It’s a tradition that after taking out my other albums throughout the year, I sing naats and launch videos in Ramazan,” said Mini. “It is my religious commitment that makes me want to release albums without keeping any form of profit in mind.” On the same note, Arshad shared she has kept all her other work aside and is working on her upcoming videos which will be released in the first week of Ramazan. “I have left all sorts of activities and am enthusiastically working on my naat videos,” added Arshad. Arshad also hinted at launching videos of Qasidas and Marsiyas close to the month of Muharram.
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According to many artists, Ramazan proves to be a fruitful month in terms of their business earnings as well. “It is a month of blessings and helps our singers and artists community at large. Singers become part of many private television programmes as Naat Khawans,” mentioned Akram Rahi. “This is a good opportunity for artists and this year I will be launching a complete naat album as well.” Well-known playback singer Shabnam Majeed will also be releasing two naat videos which she has recorded in her own studio.
Releasing religious hymns in Ramazan proves not only beneficial for solo artists, but studio owners as well. “Studio owners wait for the month before Ramazan because it helps us earn a good amount. We are recording Arif Lohar, Maham Rehman and Nasir Beraj Mehdi’s naats at our studio these days,” said music director Raza Shah. He laments the fact that many recording studios have shut down in Lahore and singers are not regularly releasing new albums. However, he felt the increasing trend of recording naat albums has given both singers and studio owners something to look forward to every year. “Everyone related with the music business is suffering in some way or another. So it is a good thing that now we have something to do and keep ourselves occupied with. Even if it is for a month”