Watch video: Sona Mohapatra releases a female interpretation of the classic Sufi hit Nit Khair Manga

Published: Jun 08, 2020, 12:15 IST | mid-day online correspondent | Mumbai

Sona Mohapatra's Nit Khair Manga is the first of its kind collaboration in India of art pieces and music. The song has been composed by Ram Sampath

Picture courtesy/PR
Picture courtesy/PR

The songstress Sona Mohapatra becomes the first Indian female singer to bring to life the traditional Sufi Qawali, Nit Khair Manga sung by many male music stars across the ages but made famous by Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. Sona Mohapatra has now included a funk-fusion rendition of the same in her documentary film "Shut Up Sona", which is currently playing at the largest documentary festival in North America, Hot Docs Toronto.

Retaining the soul and authenticity of the original, Sona's rendition is fresh and powerful yet keeps alive the essence of this ode to unconditional love. Nit Khair Manga has a special place in her heart. Getting a world-class production in place for the same is the genius of Ram Sampath who has always innovated with his music.

Check out the song right here:

Nit Khair Manga video is inspired by the Paintings of Artist Asit Kumar Patnaik. It features Sona donning red hair like Patnaik's semi-clad muse does in his works across a two-decade career, and captures complex emotions of a woman in a man's world, navigating desire and other intricate feelings as in like his paintings. Patnaik's paintings feature semi-clad male figures and a repeated motif of a sensual but robust red-haired female figure.

Sona conceptualised this music video. She feels that the red-haired muse of Patnaik deeply resonates with her artist alter ego, Lal Pari Mastani, also a moniker her fans know her by for over a decade.

A big admirer of Sufi music, the artist and performer, Sona abides by the genre's message of love and peace but also wanted to push the boundaries by challenging the notion of most of the genre being sung only by male singers traditionally. At a time when the world stands divided and distraught by the pandemic, Sona hopes the song is a reminder of the goodness that exists around us.

Sona feels that there couldn't have been a more incredible and fulfilling experience than doing something fresh and new instead of the usual music video format. She feels there's a spiritual quality to the 'Nit Khair' song that finds synergy with the mystical and sensual quality of Asit's paintings & hopes that the languid pace, uplifting music and art in this music video makes people feel better in these anxious and uncertain times.

Sona says, "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 and 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 and love above all."

Artist Asit Patnaik added, "Renowned singer Sona Mohapatra is releasing Dua na koi aur mangdi, amid a strange moment. It is a mere coincidence that she has used my work as a backdrop. It is entirely her own creation, but I could not feel more honoured. In the current moment, when the whole world, including our country, is undergoing terrible suffering and losses, she sings of love, hope, life and well being of every human life."

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