Kashmiri Singer Qaiser Nizami In Grammy Race

Srinagar: Noted Kashmiri singer and musician Qaisar Nizami has been nominated for the prestigious Grammy award for his collaborative song ‘Nazninay’ (O Beauty), which forms a part of US-based music composer and santoor player Ehsaan Matoori’s multinational ‘The Voice and Bridges’ project.

The nominations for the 2002 Grammys (or the 64th Grammy Awards) will be formally announced at a live streamed event on November 23.

Nizami’s nomination statement reads: “It is a matter of joy that the famous composer Ehsaan Matoori in collaboration with the greatest musicians of the world brought out an album in which many countries lend their voices and the voice of Qaisar Nizami, the legendary singer of the Kashmir Valley, also is included in the album titled ‘The Voices and Bridges’, which speaks in itself about the music and poetry.”

It is for the first time in Grammy history that a Kashmiri singer has found a place in the list of nominations. The first-round voting for the nominations ended on November 5.

The next round will take place between December 6, 2021, and January 5, 2022, in time for the event slated for January 31, 2022.

“Never before has any singer of the Valley had the privilege of having had any of his songs chosen for the Grammy Awards,” Nizami said, urging all Kashmiri music lovers to participate in the online voting process.

According to previously published media reports, Nizami was connected with Matoori when he found himself stranded in the U.S. as a result of the first Covid-19 lockdown in India.

Nizami had gone to the U.S. to perform in a concert at the University of North Texas College of Music, Denton, Texas, when the lockdown was announced, resulting in the suspension of all international flights.

That was when a professor at the university, Sadaf Munshi, introduced him to Matoori, who was working on ‘The Voice and Bridges’ project since 2019 to explore the musical traditions of different cultures. ‘Nazninay’ has Kashmiri and Farsi lyrics — Kashmiri poet Ibrahim Miskeen’s ‘Pur Mah’ (Full Moon) in Kashmiri and the late Iranian poet Fereydoon Moshiri’s ‘Beneshin Mara’ (Stay With Me) — alternating with each other.

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