Message in the medium


Ghazal singer Shoaib Safi wants to popularise the genre in Afghanistan

Ghazal, the music genre in poetic form, is a very difficult art to master. The thought content of ghazals need to be meaningful, and emote happiness and sorrow, thought and whim at the same time.

Shoiab Safi, born in Kabul, Afghanistan, and now a resident of Melbourne, Australia, is well-known as a versatile ghazal performer.

He possesses an impeccable tonal quality and voice control with which he has proved his courageousness as a performing artiste.


Influenced by the pop, ghazal and qawali music genres, Shoaib unswervingly pursues his life’s passion and love as a musician even though his transport and construction business are taxing on his time and energy.

Shoaib, who is currently taking lessons from UstadTari Khan, says he tries “to send a message across” through each of his singles. His latest single “Ba NigaheKhud”, is a romantic song that truly expresses the emotion of a first love. The single was an instant hit and has been aired in radio stations in Afghanistan repeatedly.

Every artiste has his/her own definition of their role in society. “To me, an artiste is someone who can describe life through art, whether it is singing, playing an instrument, drawing, or writing,” says Shoaib.

“My goal is to be remembered as a good human being,” adds Shoaib

The devotions and practices of ghazals are disappearing in the Afghan music industry, where a majority of artistes prefer running after instant fame. The genre lacks good songwriters and passionate singers. But rare talents such as Shoaib have re-introduced this genre to the younger generation. One can only hope he can keep the energy of the form alive with his passion.

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