(Tasvir Afghanistan): Iconic Afghan singer Ahmad Zahir has been
named one of NPR’s 50 Greatest Voices.
Ahmad Zahir, who famously mixed elements of Western Rock and Roll with traditional Afghan instruments and the poetry of Jalaluddin Mohammad Balkhi Rumi is dubbed "The Voice of The Golden Years" for the memories attached to his music by millions of Afghans the world over.
Ahmad Zahir, whose resemblance to Elvis Presley may very well be more than just physical, is seen as the voice of a time gone by in Afghanistan. Like Presley, Ahmad Zahir’s embrace of Western styles and frank lyrics about love were met with controversy among more conservative circles in Afghanistan. Unlike Presley who appropriated Black music and made it safer for White consumption, Zahir used the music he wrote to express the desires and emotions all Afghans were afraid to state publicly.
Ahmad Zahir has become legend whose music and the memories evoke have come to symbolize the spirit and hopes of the people of Afghanistan.
For Zahir it was the frankness of his lyrics coupled with the adaptation of Western musical elements, and later the political nature of his own lyrics. Thus, no matter the subject matter of their art, the iconography of all three artists have forever become politicized.
It seems fitting that Ahmad Zahir is known for his mixture of Western aesthetics and musical styles with the classical poetry of the world's best selling poet, who just happens to be Persian from an ancient city in Afghanistan.
In fact, it could be said that in Afghanistan Ahmad Zahir can be freely heard throughout the nation on the radio, television, and the mouths of the people.
Ahmad Zahir Albums Released By Tasvir Afghanistan in Cooperation with Ahmadzahir.Org