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Randhir Kanwal- A Ghazal Singer



Singing Ghazal, Sufi kalaam, old melodies and Punjabi geet are the forte of Randhir Kanwal. He inherited love for music & art from his father late Prof. Sulekh Chandar Kanwal, who provided enough exposure to his son into the world of art. Randhir saw his father introducing and encouraging many budding artists of his times, including the famous Punjabi Singer Gurdas Maan, Sufi singer Neelay Khan, noted Film & Stage actors Nirmal Rishi & Aziz Qureshi. Besides, in the initial stages, Randhir Kanwal also got inspiration from one of his maternal uncles, Late Shri S.P. Battish who unfortunately died young.

In ghazal singing he imbibed his own style. He is an ardent listener of ghazals sung by Begum Akhtar, K.L. Sehgal, Mehdi Hasan, Ghulam Ali, Parvez Mehdi and Jagjit Singh. He learnt the emerging trends in ghazal singing. He adopted the style in Ghazal singing in which prominence is given to rendering of poetry and it is backed up by the musical composition capturing the mood of the ghazal.

Randhir Kanwal was born in Rohtak on 20th May, 1959. Soon, his father moved to Patiala along with family in 1962. Thus Randhir Kanwal spent his formative years in the Princely city of Patiala. He got his school, college and university level education from Patiala only. Randhir did M.Phil. (Economics). Later he worked in managerial capacity in Punjab National Bank, before opting for voluntary retirement in 2007 to pursue career in music.

In the year 1985, Randhir moved to Ludhiana. Though learning opportunities came late to Randhir, his love and grip on the poetry helped him to earn place in literary circles. He was quickly noticed and accepted by the audience. He took early lessons in Music from Prof. C.L. Bhalla. In Ludhiana, Randhir got an opportunity to closely work with the famous Punjabi poet Dr. Surjit Patar and known Urdu ghazal scholar Prof. N.K. Kalia 'Aatish' from whom Randhir gathered many of the finer points of Ghazal. Besides, he was closely associated with Dr. Kewal Dheer, the eminent Urdu fiction writer. Randhir Kanwal is associated with famous poets Rahat Indori, Rajesh Reddy, Sardar Panchhi and Khushbir Singh Shaad, whose poetry he relishes and loves to sing.

In June 2013, Randhir Kanwal was invited to Canada by Press Council of Edmonton to participate in their inaugural function to perform as ghazal singer. He endeared his audience with his grip on ghazal singing and won accolades. Today Randhir is a regular performer at Ghazal concerts and is ably supported by his wife Rakhi Kanwal who is also his co-singer at many concerts. He is also the founder president of Dhvani-Association for Promotion of Art, which is promoting very good & meaningful music since 2002. R.K. Ghazal Time is his personal proprietorship.