Dubai: A struggling folk artist from Rajasthan got a lifeline from a local UAE music studio when his music video was recorded and released on India’s 75th Independence Day.
Jhavar Khan, 32, a traditional folk singer from Rajasthan who came to the UAE in search of employment as a vocalist in an Indian restaurant in February 2021, was struggling to make ends meet. Gulf News highlighted his plight in the first week of August. Following the write-up, Khan received an overwhelming response from generous UAE residents.
Many offered him jobs. However, dedicated to traditional folk renditions, Khan was determined to be a professional vocalist. On the last 10 days of his visit visa, his dream came true.
Khan had borrowed nearly Dh5,000 to come to the UAE as a visitor as COVID-19 had put an end to traditional singing of folk songs at weddings and public functions back home.
“I came here in search of a job as a vocalist. I am humbled by the many job offers I have got from the warm people of Dubai. However, I would like to be a vocalist because music is my life line,” said Khan, father of three kids, with his wife expecting a fourth child. He prefers returning to Sikar district, his hometown in Rajasthan.
Playfield Entertainment, a music studio dedicated to showcasing local and undiscovered talent, came to the aid of Khan by recording and uploading his video free of charge.
The group is run by two friends – Dixit Dev, Harish Mathew - in Al Quoz, Dubai. Recently, they launched an initiative 11.11 to give a platform to homegrown talent. Dev, one of the partners, told Gulf News, “We are delighted to work with Jhavar Khan. My brother Deepak Dev is a celebrated music director in the Malayalam film industry and was the only musician born and brought up in the UAE to be honoured with the 2021 Dada Saheb Phalke Award for his music compositions.
"We both studied at the Indian High School, and I felt there was no platform for local Indian expatriates to display their talent. First, I did the 2020 Comedy Festival initiative to display the local stand-up comedy talent in the UAE from several nationalities. Now 11.11 is our initiative to discover ‘unsung’ heroes of the music world. UAE has a mine of very talented musicians waiting to be discovered and we want to give them a platform. We worked hard with Khan who was raw and talented to shoot this music video. We want him to get an audience and reach out to the right people. It was hard work but this really marked the significance of 11.11,” said Dev.
The four friends worked for several hours to shoot and record the video in their studio. They have uploaded the video on their social media and Youtube as a tribute to India on its 75th Independence Day.