The legendary Gujarati folk singer Osman Mir –widely known as the “Pride of Gujarat” – rocked the UK last weekend with a series of vibrant performances.
Osman’s shows at the De Montfort Hall in Leicester and the Watford Colosseum in London were both sell outs. The shows were unique in their ability to bring audiences from all ages together. Many of the spectators were young, signifying a new appetite amongst British Indians for traditional folk music.
Mir who was born in Kutch, is today a name to be reckoned with in the Indian music industry. Osman, a practising Muslim, is also a listener and performer of Morari Bapu. After performing for Bapu at a musical concert in Bapu’s home town of Talajarda, Osman has since sung hundreds of Ghazals and Bhajans for him.
Having started out as a traditional folk singer, Mir made headlines when he made his Bollywood playback breakthrough with “Mor Bani Thanghat Kare” from Sanjay Leela Bansali’s movie ‘Ramleela’.
During Mir’s UK tour last week, he also gave an exclusive musical programme on the Terrace of the House of Lords. For one night only, Parliament was transformed into the Royal Albert Hall.
The event was a fully-fledged three hour music programme, with the legendary Osman Mir making history by becoming the first singer and musician to have been given the opportunity to perform in the Mother of all Parliament.
The event was hosted by Lord Popat to pay tribute to a number of British Indian musicians and singers for their contribution to music in the UK over the last 40 years. Musical guests included the legendary Mohammed Kasam, Deepak Khazanchi, Anila Gohil, Mahesh and Nitu Gadhvi, Bhavesh Parmar and many more.
Lord Popat had organised a similar musical event exactly 40 years ago called the “Deepak-Shailesh Night” with singers Deepak Khazanchi and Shailesh Poojara to bring and unite musicians. Speaking at the event, Lord Popat managed to do the same 40 years later and honoured all the musicians and singers present:
“Music is central to our lives, and Parliament plays a central role in that. Tonight, in this historic building, we are honouring some of the finest musicians in the world. It is my opportunity as a member of the House of Lords to thank them for all of the times they have inspired us, to honour their decades of service and to hear the amazing Osman Mir perform in these unique surroundings.”
Following the success and popularity of Osman Mir’s shows in the UK, there are calls for him to return next year.