As the home of great musicians, poets, and filmmakers, Balochistan boasts a rich tradition of classical music, art, and literature.
Baloch music, from the classical (zahirok) to the folk (nazenk and sapit), has been modernising. The songs’ beautiful lyrics, captivating rhythms, and emotive appeal, along with the use of traditional musical instruments, make them heartwarming.
As a result, many give up trying to become vocalists after experiencing disappointment. But some people still maintain their optimism, particularly in Balochistan’s Makran Division.
Being passionate about Baloch music since he was young, Bebager Ahmed is a gifted and rising Baloch vocalist. The gifted singer comes from Turbat Hoshab, a remote area of Balochistan.
Musicians in Balochistan are striving to
gain access to platforms that will help them
gain livelihoods, but there are many factors
that work against them…
He claims that his interest in music first developed when he was young. “Some great vocalists who had beautiful songs that touched my soul affected me. I became utterly enamoured with their songs and began to imitate them in the hopes of one day being like them.
Bebager listened to a variety of Baloch vocalists while growing up, including Noor Khan Bezanjo, Khair Jan Baqri, Ameer Baloch, and Arif Baloch.
He persisted in his diligent efforts and sought to improve his musical talent while going through a financial crisis and living in an unfriendly environment.
As he recounts, “all I needed was support from others so that I might achieve my desired aim, but alas, I received no assistance, neither from the government nor from my society.
“They [society people] informed me that singing is worthless and cannot provide me with a living. Despite this, I maintained my optimism and held the conviction that genuine interest always manages to succeed.
However, Bebager continues, “My elder brother, a shopkeeper, was the only person who supported me financially and morally during my adventure in the field of music.
In Turbat, the second-largest city in Balochistan, he tells Eos, there was just one music club he could join to hone his talent.
Bebager initially received instruction in singing from Ustad Sajid Qadir. But subsequently, in 2018, he became a member of the Balochi Art and Music Club to study music with Ustad Shoukat Mur, a performer who mentors novices, at the Balochi Art and Culture Complex, a gallery in Turbat. Due to financial limitations, he was only able to practise for seven months before having to leave.
He admits that managing all of that was difficult. “I sometimes practised while still being hungry. My passion gave me the strength to face my life’s obstacles head-on. I acknowledged the obstacles and carried on.
Bebager, who only made 5,000 rupees a month, was able to cover his rent, the club’s fees, and his own expenses. Bebager had to take a break from school and work to support his dream. He encountered many challenges and complexities, yet he persisted in his progress.
However, Bebager is hardly the only person with such aspirations while receiving no help.
The biggest issue that most newbies struggle with is the ongoing discouragement they experience in the music industry. Poverty also severely stifles their passion of music.
Bebager became well-known right away after he released a few unconventional and avant-garde songs. He is now frequently asked to play at weddings and other special events as a result.
Tump a Banadi Bia o Bia, Zahm o Sagarani, Sammi Doch Geri Hirronki, and Ges Porseege Anth are a few of his well-known songs. In several areas of Balochistan, his songs are wildly popular.
“I had no money when my ustad [teacher] instructed me to purchase a harmonium for practise. So I worked as a labourer to make money,” recalls Bebager, adding that he acquired a few essential musical instruments with his own money and plans to buy the others as soon as he can.
It can be difficult for singers like Bebager and Zabad to find the musical instruments they need to write songs. The musicians are waiting for assistance from the government because their ambition deserves to be supported because it can encourage the next generation.
Bebager counsels aspiring musicians and vocalists to maintain their enthusiasm, cultivate a desire to understand the craft of music, and contribute to Baloch music by taking an active part in its promotion.
He counsels the young person, saying, “At first, society at large may disappoint and discourage you. Later, they’ll assist you in realising your dream. Simply have faith in your abilities and work hard. You’re going to succeed.”
Due to the government’s and the larger community’s carelessness, Baloch music is in ruins and steadily deteriorating. As a result, Baloch music continues to struggle and risk losing its distinctive identity.
Every society requires music to function.