Many people are crazy about late Mohammad Rafi Sahab. But today we would like to introduce this man, who sings only the crooner’s songs in his shows.
Popular as Aziz Baksh, this British Guyana-born singer Ahmed Hussain has made it his life’s mission to keep alive the melodious voice of iconic singer Mohd. Rafi; in fact, such is his love for the artiste’s velvety voice, that Aziz Baksh has only sung Padma Shri’s (as he likes to reverently call him) songs in his long career spanning over four decades!
From winning a district level singing competition with ‘Takdeer Ka Fasana (Sehra) to making radio appearances on Guyana Radio Station, Aziz went on to make his mark on television in Trinidad and Tobago with country-wide competition ‘Mastana Bahar’ in 1974. Since then he has featured in various audio records, singing shows and even conducted innumerable stage shows, parties and events, earning him the tag of ‘Holland Rafi’! Since 1985, Aziz has been based out of Netherlands and has featured in 11 CD compilations dedicated to his idol. Aziz considers it an honour to have rubbed shoulders with the likes of Naushadji, Ravinder Jain, Usha Khanna and Lakshmikant-Pyarelal.
The following is what he told A Journalist Reveals about himself:
It all started when I very young and not even started going to school. I would place myself near to the radio, waiting to hear my master. The first song of PADMA SHRI that I heard was Sun sun meri kahani… (Rangila 1953) and I was about 4 or 5 years of age. My mother’s brother was a musician and played the violin. He visited us regularly and played and sang at the same time.
I had a brother just after me and at that time my father was a small worker with a sugar company– – and had to report to duty very early in the morning about 4 or 4:30 in the morning and because my brother was crying so much I was asked to shake him in the hammock and get him to sleep. Here is where I took the advantage to singing as much as I could to put him to sleep. M.r Manna Dey was also on the radio at that time with the song Kaun aaya mere man ke dware, payal ki jhankar liye…, but Padma Shri was already my choice.
AT the age of about 6 when Dil Deke Dekho released, I was more crazy hearing the songs of my Master. My father took me and my older brother to see that film. Well, no one could stop me then. I had made my choice.
Other than singing—well — singing was my pastime- my hobby — I and brother worked with our father in the same sugar company, then moving up to a checker, then moving up again to office clerk, then worked in an electrical factory, then moved to Tobacco work etc.
I have done about 16 CDs in different forms, sang in many shows in Trinidad, on T V and radio as well as for personal parties, weddings and also in competitions. In Trinidad, once I overstayed to take part in a competition and just at that time I was heading for the first prize of 22,000,00 Trinidad dollars, but this did not happen—because I got deported just after I sung a bhajan Ram Ram bhaje Ram Ram… This was the turning point of my singing career.
Now that the style of Bollywood has changed which is not to my likeness, I have eased up a little. But I am still a fan of only PADMA SHRI, in spite of the fact that he has departed from this earth.
I did not achieve what I wanted – to sing at least one song in a Hindi film, but am still content that by singing PADM SHRI Songs, my family and my lives have been immensely changed for the better. The voice of Padma Shri Mohmmad Rafiji, MAY ALLAH BLESS HIS SOUL. We cannot expect anyone better than him. We should not expect it either. I am so happy to be born in his era.
I did try to get work in the film industry in Mumbai –and at T Series–gave a voice test and was hoping for a contract for 2 years, but got terribly sick and returned to the Netherlands–Holland. I saw Shri Gulshan Kumarji in Delhi and he sent me to Mumbai to his brother for voice test. I was greatly acknowledged for my voice in Mumbai. I met a lot of big people in the film industry.
In 1991, when I first visited Mumbai, I took part in a show called Rafi ki Yaadein, which was held in Jacob circle. There I Sang – Meri kahani bhoolnewale… and Pukarta chala hoon main… I have also sung in Anu Kapoorji’s Antakshari programme.
Though for a person, who got a life and recognition singing Rafi Sahab’s songs, it will be hard to say 10 best songs. But I can give you the songs I grew up singing:
Husn wale tera jawab nahin …– Gharana 1961
Zindagi ke safar mein akele the hum …– Nartaki 1963
Hum tum aur yeh sama… – Dil Deke Dekho 1959
Sab jawaan sab haseen, koi tum sa nahin …– Main Suhagan hoon 1964
O mere shahe khuban, o meri jane janana …– Love in Tokyo 1966
Chaudwin ka chand ho … – Chaudwin ka Chand 1960
Koi sagar dil ko behlata nahin… – Dil Diya Dard Liya 1966
Ehsaan tera hoga mujhpar …– Jungli 1961
Jio toh aise jio… – Bahu Beti 1965