In the foothills of the Pennines lies the vibrant and multicultural city of Bradford woven with over half a million people. Amongst all the clattering sounds found within this city, there is one voice that melodiously rises and raises the listener.
A voice poetically singing Humnds (odes of love in honour of Allah), can be heard. A voice carrying the tokens of love written by the saints and sages of yesterday and presenting them to the Muslims of today. A voice belonging to the young gifted talent; Ismail Hussain.
Ismail Hussain was born into a traditional Pakistani family in the heart of Bradford. At the tender age of five, Ismail ascended the pulpit of his local mosque and moved the congregation into spiritual ecstasy with his ode. He was subsequently implored to recite at religious events held by the wider community.
Recognising and acknowledging his gift, Ismail’s father became an integral support for him, both morally and socially.
As Ismail’s voice was carried further and wider within the local community, there was an opportunity beckoning that would allow his voice to have a resonance much further afield. Ismail participated in a national competition in ‘faith-inspired singing’; a competition in which he was awarded first place.
The success in the competition was a catalyst in opening further doors of opportunity for Ismail as he received various training and guidance from established and renowned professionals. He further developed his style of reciting whereby being able to engage with the older Urdu-speaking generation as well as the young English-speaking generation.
Within a very short time Ismail’s voice started reaching lovers of the Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) far and wide and as a result he travelled across the UK and worldwide to places such as, Mauritius, South Africa, Pakistan, Kuwait and many others.
Ismail was able to sit amongst luminary Islamic singers through whose tutelage he was able to develop and enhance various methods and styles found within the Urdu, Punjabi, Farsi and Arabic traditional odes.
Ismail continued to pursue his dream and took determined milestone steps in self-improvement in his discipline by attending workshops and classes for classical training.
From the onset until his teenage years, Ismail performed as a solo Acapella act, balancing his passion with his education and social life. Ismail remained motivated and determined upon his goals and his education.
His school acknowledged and accommodated his passion for singing whereby granting him suitable time off school for his traveling and performances all the while assisting in educational material. Ismail’s teachers also had a profound hand in helping to mould him into an inspiration for the youth.
As he continued to gain further experience and enhance his skills through music lessons and rehearsals, Ismail became more musically adept having listened to artists of different genres from the subcontinent and Middle East. Ismail realised that he wanted to pursue his passion further as a career.
Concerned about the growing disparity between the new generation and the classical odes with respect to language as well as understanding, Ismail found himself in a position where he was able to connect the two drastically different worlds.
Although having been influenced by sounds and musical genres from the East, Ismail sought to present the classical Sufi music to the English audience with the intention to bridge the gap between the two. Having an innovative and open mindset, he set out to earnestly make the Eastern sounds more accessible to the Western audience.
After his successful Urdu/Punjabi album release in 2014/2015, Ismail’s bilingualism was acknowledged as a great way to connect with his fan base across the worldwide South-Asian community. He continued to use his love and inspiration from his faith to support further releases in 2017 and subsequent release ‘Ya Rab’ (O Lord) in May 2019.
‘Ya Rab’, a Sufi poem in the Punjabi language, became a very popular release which explores the concept of mysticism and dependency upon the Lord. Through his modern presentation of the Sufi poetry, Ismail was successfully able to provide and instil this concept of devotion and dependency upon the younger generation.
Along with his Urdu/Punjabi works, Ismail successfully began working on innovative compositions in liaison with experienced and renowned individuals of the discipline.
His most recent works, a compilation of five, faith inspired, collections of poetry (in English), written by N.B Sahibzadi and produced by MU-SYNC Arts, has been released in early 2020.
Despite hundreds of performances throughout the world and many successful albums, Ismail’s passion for singing Acapella poetry and faith inspired odes, in which he praises Allah and the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) remains as strong as ever – he readily and humbly accepts invitations to spread the love and passion of the faith.
You can visit his website for more information: https://ismail-hussain.com/