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Faiz Mohammad Baloch: A True Performer

Posted on February 11, 2007
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Music, People, TV, Movies & Theatre
22 Comments
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Adil Najam

I suspect that many of our readers have never even heard of – let alone seen a performance by – Faiz Mohammad Baluch. If so, you do not know what you have missed; so watch this video!

This video may look quaint to some, but there was music performance well before there were music videos or the era of MTV or even PTV! There was an entire generation of wonderful (mostly folk) singers in Pakistan whose stage was neither film nor television, but the local mela, the village chopaal, the dera. Like Alam Lohar, Sain Akhtar, Tufail Niazi, and many others, Faiz Baloch belonged to this generation. Their audiences were live and intimate; their sound was rough but authentic; and their performances were unchoreographed but heartfelt. They never mastered the skills of looking into the camera, but they always did look into the eyes of their audiences. Their cues came not from the video director, but from the reactions of their listeners.

I remember listening to a few of these greats as a very young child and I still remember that their was something quite electric about those live performances. Something, that never translated to the television screen. This is why I offer this video hesitantly. It does not really do justice to the magic of Faiz Baloch performing live. His signature song used to be ‘Laila O Laila’ and he would go rather wild with his dance steps (Michael Jackson, make way). The song in this video, is also set to a traditional Baloch tune but is, I think, one of Uxi Mufti’s efforts in the early Bhutto days to create national songs around folk tunes and have them sung by famous folk singers.

It is not a bad song, and you do see the skill of Faiz Baloch as a singer and as a performer here. But it is more stiffled than what I recall. Partly, this may be because there is no audience and this was not a man used to performing to machines. Partly, it may be because he is singing in Urdu here while most of his work was sung in Makrani and Balochi (I think). But despite all this, it is a fascinating performance – note, especially, the dance steps around 2:30 into the video.

I have been watching it repeatedly over the last many days and enjoyed it tremendously. So have my young kids. I hope you do too.

22 Comments on “Faiz Mohammad Baloch: A True Performer”

  1. Daktar says:
    February 11th, 2007 4:05 pm

    Interesting find. I remember seeing him on TV years ago. Yes, his dance steps are interesting ;-)

  2. The Pakistanian says:
    February 11th, 2007 9:49 pm

    I remember in the early to mid 80s the late Didlar Pervaiz Bhatti did punjabi stage shows called “Lok Tamasha” and then “Lok Funkar” from Lahore Station. These shows used to have folk singers like Faiz Baloch and Tufail Niazi and many other unknowns who used to sing and dance in the same fashion as in this video. Dildar Pervaiz Bhatti was an awesome host and one of the funniest and most witty guys on PTV, sadly he left so early. Nice video!

  3. Salma Khan says:
    February 11th, 2007 10:19 pm

    They were talented and spiritual people, great folk singers,an inspiration to new comers and greatly missed by all.A great tribute…

  4. hakim says:
    February 12th, 2007 7:17 am

    The only folk singer I remember well is Alan Faqeer. His duet with Shaikhi would have to be one of my favourite chidhood songs. It was called Allah Allah Kar Bhaiya. A truly brilliant song. It could be one of the earliest ‘fusion’ songs mixing Sindhi folk with Urdu pop.

  5. Naveed says:
    February 12th, 2007 7:49 am

    Adil, thanks for the memories. I had never heard this song (“Pakistan Hamara”) but I clearly remember the traditional balochi folk song this seems to be based on. It was called “Naaz Husn”; probably singing the praise of the Beloved’s beauty but that is purely based on my recollection of what i heard in the early 70s & scant knowledge of balochi. (due apologies to any Baloch readers if I am not on the right track)

    Thanks to regional tv channels, folk singers are getting a lot of encouragement which is certainly good news

  6. Razi says:
    February 12th, 2007 5:07 pm

    Adil:

    Once again thank you for making some of us walk down memory lane :) This must be the early to mid 70s.

    I still recall the Lok Tamasha days with Uxi Mufti and the future Mrs. Salma Beg. Faiz Mohammad Baloch was a regular performer along with some other greats of folk music….such as Suleman Shah, Masooq Sultan, Tufail Niazi etc.

    Why doesn’t someone in PTV or the world of television in Pakistan revive these old tapes and air them once again for their viewers?

  7. February 13th, 2007 8:20 am

    Dear Adil Najam,

    Thanks for writing about our nako faizuk. He indeed was a true performer. Totally illiterate but knew thousands of balochi classical verses by heart.

    The video that you have posted is the pakistanized version of the balochi folk song ‘Ae Naaz Husn e wala’.

    The small Mp3 File below might give you an idea of Nako Faizuk’s language skills.

    http://gedroshian.tripod.com/Faizuk_Interview.mp3

    Thanks, and a small note: Balochi and Makrani are not two seperate languages. Makrani is a dialect of Balochi.

  8. Pervaiz Munir Alvi says:
    February 13th, 2007 12:36 pm

    Adil: Thank you for sharing this video with us. Our Pakistaniat must be so inclusive and all encompassing that each and every ethnic group and members of each and every sect and religion of our country must truly feel one hundred percent Pakistani. You have a hard road ahead but do not give up. We all are with you. Please continue venturing beyond Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad. Pakistan is much much more than these urban centers. God speed.

  9. Samdani says:
    February 15th, 2007 6:55 pm

    I don’t remember him singing Laila O Laila, but I do very well remember Naz Husn-i-walla. Its a great song, and I think one of the new singers also did a song based on that, don’t remember who. Nice clip and great memories.

  10. Jawad says:
    February 24th, 2007 11:33 am

    I have been back in Pakistan for about 2.5 years and have been trying to find the song “laila o laila” with no success and no leads at all. If ANYONE can please let me know how and where to find it, I willbe truly grateful. Email me at Jawad45@aol.com

  11. imran says:
    March 29th, 2007 7:33 pm

    this is nice to see great singers mentioned and remembered:
    ill tell u something Alam Lohar, father of Arif Lohar was a great singer, i remember seeing him sing live from dusk till dawn and he had such a powerful voice.
    Also I remember him going to London for a show in 1974: I went along with some of my indian sikh friend, they just loved his style and voice, this man is a legend and should be remembered as a true punjabi folk singer and the best of pakistan, no doubt.

  12. Sameer Sikander says:
    November 15th, 2007 8:21 pm

    Faiz Baloch, not only great folk singer and memorable TV
    performer, he is true TV Folk songs legend as well.

  13. waheed says:
    December 14th, 2007 12:38 pm

    faiz muhammad (Faizuk) one of the best folk singers of pakistan. adil bhai plz carry on, it well stimulate the people of balochistan and boost their love and affections to their mother land.

  14. Kashif says:
    February 16th, 2008 12:22 pm

    Adil,
    Great post.
    I especially respect your reverence for the performers that honed their skill in live performances and later became an item on TV.
    In retrospect the black and white footage works well to sustain the rawness of these performers.

    I was fortunate enough to see him live at a baloch wedding ceremony in mid-80′s (I think). The man was looking old but performed until 3am in the morning nonetheless. Through out the evening the smile was indellible and the joy infectious.

    May god bless us all with that type of energy and love for what we do.

    -K

  15. Irfan Gul says:
    July 6th, 2008 1:54 am

    What a great find. Brought back memories. I remember seeing him on TV when I was a little kid.

    This site never ceases to amaze me with these gems hidden all over.

  16. Rafay Kashmiri says:
    July 6th, 2008 3:11 pm

    @ Faiz Mohammed Baloch,
    A legend Pakistani cultural icon from head to toe,
    of sheedis and Baluch community in Karachi,
    Curiously one gets the impression that he really
    influenced with his gesticules, the beautiful, splendid
    Tahera Sayed, with her incomparable hands with
    sublime fingers of a Greek Godess.

    Rafay Kashmiri

  17. Possible Baloch says:
    November 20th, 2008 12:39 am

    Salam dear.
    Thanks for the post.
    He is one of the most popular Balochi Language Singer of all times.
    Please correct this, He sung in Baluchi (Makkorani dialect).

    He had a very very high picth in his voice. We can never forget our Nako Faizok (Uncle Faizok, thats the name we Baloch gave him in his love and respect).

    Baloch Zanda Batay (Live Long Baloch People)

  18. soh baloch says:
    January 16th, 2009 4:09 pm

    good ..

  19. August 9th, 2009 6:35 am

    Most recently I discovered the magical art of FAIZ MOHAMMAD BALOCH and instantly became an ardent fan of his mystic and vibrant voice and avery spontaneous style of vocals. An incredible singer and a truly great custodian of traditional art of Balochi singing. regards!

  20. irshad ali baloch says:
    November 27th, 2009 11:23 pm

    thanx for giving such useful informtion. nako faiz mohammad is my grand father and i feel amused and really pride to him.
    GOD bless him.
    he had migrated from irani balochistan ” Qasirqand”.

  21. Omar Jamil says:
    December 21st, 2009 4:07 pm

    One of the great folk singer of Baluchistan-very captivating
    performer indeed.

  22. farhan says:
    December 21st, 2009 5:29 pm

    @ jawad

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_eglCPXHvo

    Even though , its not the original version but u can have urdu remix performed by some lyari folks….

    can some sheedi bros…tell me what it does mean?

    “arrrey nako rrrey nako”? this was the takia kalaam of my childhood friend from chakra goth ..

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