Schumaila Rehmat Hussain has built up an excellent body of work in staggeringly quick time. A stellar album, Jani, was released in 2021. I am now enjoying listening to her latest album Gulmohar Se.
My best description of her music is coffeehouse acoustic classical. What is moving to me about her style is how seamlessly it marries two traditions: eastern classical vocal paired with a more global, urbanized acoustic guitar. The result is music that should appeal to advocates of both sides of this divide.
Not many artists are able to cross this bridge, let alone make a habit of it. Perhaps as a reminder, a good fraction of what we now recall as the greatest of Pakistani pop over the last 30 years – Nusrat, Junoon, Fuzon, Coke Studio, Zeb & Haniya – did this exact thing. For repeating this feat, Schumaila Rehmat Hussain deserves extreme credit.