Ustad Ghulam Ali (Urdu: غلام علی, Hindi: ग़ुलाम अली (born 1940) is a Pakistani ghazal singer of the Patiala gharana. He is not to be confused with the Indian singer Bade Ghulam Ali Khan (of whom he was a disciple) or Chhote Ghulam Ali, who is another Pakistani singer in the Qual Bachon Gharana.
Ghulam Ali is considered as one of the best ghazal singers of his era. His style and variations in singing Ghazals has been noted as unique, as he blended Hindustani classical music with ghazals, unlike any other Ghazal singer. Highly popular in Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, as well as amongst South Asian Diaspora in the USA, the UK and the Middle Eastern Countries. Many of his hit ghazals have been used in Bollywood movies. His famous ghazals are Chup ké chup ké, Kal chaudvi ki chand, Hungama hai kyun berpa, Kiya hai pyar jisé, May nazar sé pee rahahoon, Mastana peeyé, Yé dil yé pagal dil, Apni dhoon mein.
Early life and background:-
Ali was born in the village of Galotian in the Tehsil Daska Sialkot District of Punjab,on 5th Dec 1940 in British India now Pakistan. He belongs to a musical family, his father was a vocalist and a sarangi player who initiated Ghulam Ali to music from his childhood.
Ali’s father named him after Bade Ghulam Ali. At 15, he became a student of Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, a master of the Patiala Gharana of Hindustani music. Due to the busy schedule of Bade Ghulam Ali, he was trained mainly by Bade Ghulam Ali Khan’s three brothers, Barqat Ali Khan, Mubarak Ali Khan, and Amanat Ali Khan, in Lahore.
All these distinguished classical musicians taught him the finer nuances of classical music. His solid foundation of classical music included studying Thumri and learning to sing raga.
Ghulam Ali started singing for Radio Lahore in 1960. Along with singing ghazals, Ghulam Ali composes music for his bhajan. His compositions are raga-based and sometimes include a scientific mixture of ragas. He is known for blending gharana-gaayaki into ghazal and this gives his singing the capability to touch hearts. He beautifully sings Punjabi songs too. Most of his Punjabi songs have been extremely popular. Though from Pakistan, Ghulam Ali remains as popular in India as in Pakistan.He entered Hindi Cinema with a Hindi film song Chupke Chupke Raat Din in B. R. Chopra’s film, Nikaah. Other popular ghazals include Hungama Hai Kyon Barpa and Awaargi.
On being questioned about Pakistani pop groups, Ghulam Ali replied, “Frankly, I am really bewildered at their style of singing. How can you sing a song by running and jumping around the stage? The stage is meant for performing not for acrobatics.”
Ghulam Ali in Hyderabad, 2007
Ali has also sung some beautiful ghazals like Kina kina timro tasveer, Gajalu tee thula thula aankha, Lolaaeka tee thula and Ke chha ra diun in Nepali language with Narayan Gopal, a well known Nepali singer, and composer Deepak Jangam.Those songs were written by King Mahendra of Nepal These songs were compiled in an album entitled Narayan Gopal, Ghulam Ali Ra Ma, and are popular among Nepali music lovers to this day.