The warm smile and irresistible energy with which Ustad Ashraf Hydroz talks about Sufi music exhibits his ardent love for this age-old musical tradition. Disciple of renowned Hindustani musician and Sarangi player, Ustad Faiyaz Khan, Hydroz has performed on various prestigious stages all over India including Delhi, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Kerala. “I still remember the days, holding my father's hands, I attended various singing concerts and even Kathakali and Sopana performances. During these performances, a realisation dawned on me that I was meant to be a performer and not a spectator,” says Ustad Ashraf Hydroz.
Inspired by the Sabri Brothers, he went on to pursue a Masters and M.Phil in music from Delhi University.
Born in Kochi, settled in Bengaluru, Hydroz inherited his taste in music from his father, who was a versatile artist. "Sufi is all about seeing the beauty in every culture and community and imbibing their essence to spread the message of love and unity,” says Hydroz. Performing with a motive to create awareness among people regarding the present unrest in the world, Hydroz sees his music as an instrument which can break down the unnecessary divisions which man created for himself.
Unhappy with the current imitative tendencies, which many singers practice, he believes that a true singer should always give his own interpretation to a given piece of music. Having performed in more than 150 events, Hydroz customises his music according to the audience. “While singing, I feel one with the Almighty. There is a spiritual union, a divine ecstasy which I cannot put into words,” says the Sufi maestro.
From chanting Hindu slokas to performing in Parsi, Ustad Hydroz is a versatile musician who is striving towards a fusion between Western and Sufi Music. His recent performance in Kochi of ‘The Fire of Love’ was received with great enthusiasm by the audience. Keen on passing down the Sufi legacy, he is training not only his children but also various budding Sufi enthusiasts. With a hope to unite the divided masses, Hydroz, endeavours to scale greater heights....