When the artist becomes the art: Sona gives ‘Nit Khair Manga’ a female perspective

By Bandook - June 8, 2020

Anyone familiar with Nit Khair Manga is aware that the Sufi qawaali has been sung by a number of male music stars over the years, but best rendered by the late Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. However, with a fresh version of the song that appears in her documentary Shut up Sona, Sona Mohapatra has become the first Indian female singer to release a female interpretation of the classic Sufi hit.

When the artist becomes the art: Sona gives ‘Nit Khair Manga’ a female perspective

Her funk-fusion rendition seeks to keep alive the essence of the ode to unconditional love, with Ram Sampath producing the track.

She abides by the genre’s inherent purpose — spreading love and peace — but wants to push boundaries by singing a genre that is traditionally sung by male singers.

Says Sona, “I am so happy to finally present my recorded version of Nit Khair Manga to the world. I have performed this classic on stage for a decade as an ode to Nusrat Saab & his artistry but my interpretation is very different and from a feminine perspective. As an artist, I believe in taking a stand for what is right and also spreading positivity. The world really needs it at the moment, more than ever before. I hope this release helps carry the message of unity & love above all.”

The video sees Sona in a fresh avatar as the songstress appears in the video as the semi-clad red-haired muse of artist Asit Kumar Patnaik. And just like the muse, who has featured in Asit’s work over two decades, she captures “the complex emotions of a woman in a man’s world”.

The video has been conceptualised by Sona, who felt that Patnaik’s muse resonated deeply with her artist alter-ego ‘Lal Pari Mastani’. She further wanted to break away from the usual music video format.

Watch the video here:

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