British singer Tanya Wells is not a new name when it comes to lovers of ghazal and Urdu poetry in India and Pakistan.
Her rendition of Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s ghazals and Saghar Siddiqui’s Dama Dam Mast Qalandar has already won hearts of fans in the subcontinent but these days a video of her singing Fayyaz Hashmi’s “Aaj Jaane ki Zid Na Karo” is going viral on social media.
Originally from London, Tanya had spent several childhood years in India where language, diverse music and culture informed the ears and imagination of this talented singer and this perhaps is the reason she knows how to speak chaste Urdu in desi accent.
Tanya lived in India for over three years, attending school in the foothills of the Himalayas. She later returned to study Indian classical music (including light classical, thumri, bhajan and ghazal) and has performed original material in a number of clubs and festivals on the Indian sub continent.
She has recently formed her band Seven Eyes which include Paulo Vinicius on guitar and a host of other musicians worldwide. Seven Eyes’ says its philosophy is to build bridges with music.
The video shows her singing “Aaj Jaane ki Zid Naa Karo” live at this year’s Jashn-e-Rekhta, which was held in Delhi in December 2017.
The festival was organized annually in Delhi, under the aegis of Rekhta Foundation – a not for profit organization devoted to the preservation and promotion of Urdu language and culture.
Back in December, her rendition of the famous Sufi song “Dama Dam Mast Qalandar” on a street in Dubai had everyone in awe of her singing skills.