Hashmat Sultana

india

Dueting Sufi sisters

Not all contestants on TV talent shows end up going back to their previous lives or becoming supermarket-opening minor celebrities. Sometimes their lives are changed radically. And so it was with the young sisters, Hashmat and Sultana. Born into straitened circumstances in the small Punjabi city of Hoshiarpur and having received no formal music training, the singing siblings auditioned for the long-running programme Sa Re Ga Ma Pa in 2016 and charmed both judges and audiences alike. Although they didn’t reach the final stages, a musical career subsequently opened up for them. Versatile across a range of music, their true inspiration is Sufism and their musical hero is Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. And there are distinct echoes of the great man when they open their lungs and their voices rise up, riding the air currents, inducing ecstasy with each syllable.

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