Harmonious Hearts: The Musical Bond of Raaza and Beegum


The enchanting melodies and the poignant verses of ghazals have a mystical power that can connect souls, and it is in this realm of music that Raaza Razaq and Imthiyas Beegum found their harmony. Well-regarded in music circles as Raaza Beegum or simply Raaza and Beegum, the duo is scheduled to grace the stage with their captivating performance in the city on March 9.

Raaza Razaq’s hometown of Kannur laid the foundation for their musical romance more than a decade ago at a cultural meet, although both families were acquainted, it was music that truly brought Raaza and Beegum together. Recalling their first musical collaboration, Beegum shares, “Once, when I sang at a programme, he accompanied me on the keyboard. That was just the beginning of many performances together which eventually led us down the path of love, culminating in our marriage in 2011.”

Their artistic encounters stemmed from a mutual adoration of ghazals. “It was the love for ghazals that brought us together,” Raaza says. However, they do not confine themselves solely to ghazals, but create independent music that draws inspiration from the timeless classics of old Hindi and Malayalam songs. They deliver a rich tapestry of Urdu ghazals, Malayalam tunes, Hindi retro-Indian film music, and their original Malayalam songs at their shows.

The diversity in their musical knowledge and background only enhances their partnership. Beegum, originally from Thiruvananthapuram, has pursued Carnatic music for a decade. She developed a penchant for ghazals through her father, a devout fan of the legendary Jagjit Singh. “His music—soft and melodious—became deeply ingrained in my soul because I grew up listening to it,” she reflects fondly. In contrast, Raaza, who has not undergone formal musical training, finds his strength in his natural talent, particularly on the harmonium and as a composer.

It was their original composition, ‘Omalale ninne orthu,’ penned by Yoonus Salim, that served as a springboard for their ascent in the music industry. This melody, once lying dormant as a home-recorded track, catapulted to social media fame upon sharing, with the added charm of featuring their daughter, Zainab Yusra, then a toddler. This song, along with others like ‘Salaam cholli’, ‘Mizhikondu mathram’, ‘Aye khuda’, and the recent ‘Pandathe pattu’, have become staples of their shows. Their daughter has also contributed her voice in productions such as ‘Neeyerinja kallu’ and ‘Pathummante aadu’.

Notably, a few years earlier, Imtiyas and Zainab delighted social media audiences with their rendition of ‘Kani kanum neram,’ a beloved devotional track during the festival of Vishu.

Speaking about their creative process, Raaza emphasizes the importance of lyrics. “We delight in simple yet impactful words that can convey deep meanings. The songs we cherish most are born from lyrics we have chosen together,” he explains. Despite his absence of formal training, Raaza’s explorative approach to composing and music production continues to be a journey of self-education in the realm of indie music.

Beegum and Raaza acknowledge the complementary nature of their partnership. “While Raaza’s musical intuition is self-taught, my background is formal training. Yet his compositional and harmonium skills surpass mine. As musicians, we create a balance,” Beegum shares.

Taking their music in a new direction, they have begun performing solo as well, allowing them to delve into personal favorites that are unable to be showcased in their joint performances. Raaza’s additional talent extends into the art world, as he experiments with acrylic and watercolor – with a particular affinity for the latter medium – and he harbors dreams of blending his art and music to offer a combined audio-visual experience.

Residing in Kozhikode, the duo takes heart in the flourishing appreciation for ghazals and melodies, especially among younger audiences. Beegum recalls an assertion from singer Hariharan, noting the eternal connection between love and ghazals, and adds, “I believe two more emotions – pain and separation – also keep ghazals alive. It is profoundly touching to see the youth embrace the classics at our shows.”

With great anticipation, music lovers can look forward to experiencing the magic of Raaza and Beegum’s performance at WOW Week at Kerala Arts and Crafts Village on March 9 at 8 pm.

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