By Ayaz Raza

PESHAWAR, 10 January: Like other cultural identities of Pakhtuns, music is also witnessing regular changes in its style and presentation over the years.

It will be unfair not to mention Karan Khan whenever there is discussion about Pashto music. Karan Khan, a resident of Swat, who is a PhD fellow at the Pashto Academy at the University of Peshawar, has introduced several new genres in Pashto music. TNN has conducted a detailed discussion with Kiran Khan about his life and love for Pashto music.

TNN: How did you develop liking for Pashto music?

Karan Khan: I used to participate in the national songs competitions on school level since my childhood and my friends appreciated and encouraged me a lot. Initially, I participated in the Rabab Mangay programmes at the village level and then I started sitting with Ustad AR Anwar in Karachi from the year 2000 and then with Ustad Sher Jan from 2004 to 2008. After learning the art from my respected teachers, I produced a personal album and also continued my studies.

TNN: When you started singing songs?

Karan Khan: My songs came to the market in the year 2008 after which I got considerable recognition among the music circles. After completing my learning, I produced an album ‘Mazegar’ which was greatly liked by the people. ‘Da Da Baran Shpa’ was my favourite song in that album which got immense appreciation.

TNN: You are credited with introducing Tappa Iza on the media. How good was that experience?

Karan Khan: I initially saw different styles of Tappa Iza in a magazine written by Dr Hanif Hairan. I selected one of the Tappa Izza and added my own input into it which was liked by the people. Now many writers are writing in this style and songs are also coming to the market. It has now become a well-known genre which belongs to the public.

TNN: Did you get any support from the family to promote your art?

Karan Khan: No one in my family was in favour of this activity. I didn’t get any support at all.

TNN: How did you manage to get higher education despite being associated with many radio platforms, writing and so many other activities?

Karan Khan: I will like to tell the people that one should not lose heart. I left education when I was a 9th class student in 1998. Then I went to Karachi in 2000 and worked in different companies. I came back to Swat in 2004-05 and completed my matriculation in 2007 and continued my studies from thereon. I am still happy that I finally managed to give time to my studies.

TNN: What is your method of selecting poetry from the bulk of work available in written and other forms?

Karan Khan: I read many books for selecting good poetry. If I can’t write good poetry then at least I know how to select good poetry from the available work. I also have the company of some very good friends who are always there for my help in this regard. Late Habibullah Baitab was very helpful to me. Atal is also like a brother to me and I also personally work very hard to collect good pieces of poetry.

TNN: Has you collected enough material for publication of your own book?

Karan Khan: My book is in the final stages of publication. I had earlier published a book of poetry selection ‘Naghma Zar’ and now a book on my own poetry is near publication. I am also working on two other books of poetry collection.