Ustad Noor Bakhsh made our hearts swell when a viral video on Twitter showed him playing to an enthralled bar in Berlin. The video received more than a million likes on social media platforms, which is amazing because this was the Baloch musician’s first ever tour to Europe.

Now, Noor Bakhsh has been featured in the prestigious Guardian, where he opened up about how he came to embrace his musical talent. He revealed that he was born in a nomadic family that herded goats and cattle across Makran in Balochistan. At the age of 12, he was selected by his master, Ustaad Khuda Baksh, to become his pupil. Two years later, Noor Bakhsh began performing at weddings and healing ceremonies, and a year later he was singer Sabzal Sami’s accompanist.

When Noor Bakhsh was 16, he relocated to Turbat where Sami arranged his marriage so he would stay there- and continued to do so for the next 30 years. Noor Baksh still kept pushing himself to learn to sing by listening to the legendary benju player Bilawal and Misri Khan Jamali, who played the alghoza. He went through tragedies in the meantime, including the death of his first wife and then two sons.


It was through meeting Ahmed, his manager, who teaches Anthropology at Habib University and discovered him after watching a viral video of him on Facebook, when Noor Bakhsh catapulted to fame. He introduced Noor Bakhsh to British-Pakistani DJ and producer Nabihah Iqbal who was organising the first Boiler Room show in Karachi, and described the Baloch musician as incredible, whom she couldn’t just ignore:

“His music is just incredible and [his instrument] is kind of unusual, even in Pakistan,” gushed Iqbal.