A Devotee to Music – The Story of Ustad Ghulam Siraj Niazi.

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Everyone is given a life but very few make something out of it. We are all destined to serve our purpose but very few go through with it, imagine someone dedicating all of their life to their passion and their true calling. Such is the story of Ustad Ghulam Siraj Niazi. He is a hindustani musical genius among our midst carrying the knowledge of generations. He has been in the industry for well over three decades and now at 58 years of age he still has more to give. True passion never dies out even when the hair silvers.

Ustad Ghulam Siraj Niazi comes from the house of musicians and artists from Rampur, Uttar Pradesh, the Rampur-Sahaswan Gharana. He is the grandson of late Padma Bhushan Ustad Mushtaq Hussain Khan and the son of late Ustad Ghulam Husain Khan, who himself was a legendary Hindustani classical vocalist, he was taught music from the tender age of nine and grew up with such legends arounds, music practically coursed through his veins.

Ustad Siraj Niazi is now the Chairman of Padmabhushan Ustad Mushtaq Husain Khan Association (PUMHKA), founded in India and Hong Kong ten years ago. Ustad ji has been based in hong Kong for a while now and has begun to impart his genius there as well. A little more on his proficiency in music, he was trained in the typical traditional style and format training, also known as “Seena Baseena” by his father but, he has meandered and experimented with many other styles but his core remains hindustani classical. He also has great command in ‘Khayal Gayaki’ and sharp skills in semi-classical and light vocals as well. In honor of his lineage he named PHUMKA as the “Ustad Ghulam Husain Khan Academy” in Hong Kong in the memory of his father.

In PHUMKA he keeps the memory of his grandfather intact and gives a platform to prominent newer artists all over India, apart from this he also teaches Hindustani classical music, and has many students all over the world. He gets never wants the music of hindustani tradition to die out and gets excited when anyone seeks to pursue it. He pushes young minds to get into music as well, a piece of advice from the man himself, “I strongly to acquire proper format training, as it leads to an exponential growth of individual creativity, originality, and versatility”.

He has learnt a lot throughout the years and how has a lot more to impart. When we asked him what keeps him excited about music even after so long he stated in an obvious manner, “Just the fact that I get to experiment so much instad of restraining myself to one style is prize enough for me but the joy of promoting our beautiful art and culture on a global scale is just unmatched. My profession and my motive is what keeps me going and excited”. The mark of a true artist.

Over a very experienced life he is now passing the torch to the next generation. At PHUMKA they now have their eyes on expanding further, many exciting things are under the works. He plans on hosting grand concerts not only in Hong Kong and India, but in numerous different parts of the world in collaboration with other organisations. He says he has only begun and has a lot more to often. Let’s live this life musically.


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