Valley’s YouTube sensation now sings door to door to make both ends meet

Srinagar: Nearly two years back, a mobile video of Noor Mohammad Shah singing traditional Kashmiri songs on a roadside while playing ‘rabab’ was uploaded on YouTube. Shah, a folk singer, then became Valley’s own YouTube sensation by registering nearly 1.75 lakh views on his video.Later, Shah’s other videos singing at home and roadsides went viral on social networking websites. Despite his fame and a few recordings for television and radio as part of a troupe, Shah continues to sing door to door to eke out a living. “When people see me at their doorsteps, they tell me I don’t know how popular I am on YouTube. However, I struggle to make a living and I earn by singing door to door and at Sufi shrines,” said Shah, after singing at a house in the uptown Rawalpora area. Shah, in his fifties, hails from Handwara in the Kupwara district and also used to play ‘rabab’ – a traditional musical instrument for the troupe of folk singer GM Shah. “I was a part of the troupe of GM Shah. We did a few recordings for Doordarshan and radio but for over a year now, we have not been given a chance to perform. Now, I have no choice but to survive on money given to me by people when I sing at their homes or at shrines,” he said.Shah said he fell in love with singing as a child during a ‘mehfil’ held at the house of a local Sufi saint at his village. “When I sang at the peer’s (saint’s) house, people said there was spirituality in my voice. Then, I decided to become a singer,” he added.He said there was a time when he used to make a decent earning but now he was going through hard times. Despite that, Shah said he was singing ‘for God’ and would pass on his art to his son.“Yes, I am not earning much. However, Sufi music is divine and I sing for God. I will continue to sing and I hope my son carries forward my legacy,” he said. (TNS)