1943/1944 (age 74–75)|
Barmer district, Rajasthan, British Raj
|Genres||Marwari and Sindhi folk music|
|Associated acts||The Sketches, Lahooti Live Sessions, Saif Samejo, Coke Studio, Strings, Atif Aslam, Karam Abbas Khan|
Mai Dhai (Urdu: مای دهای) is a Pakistani classical singer hailing from Tharparkar, Sindh. She formed a folk-band called Mai Dhai Band composed of Jamal Shab, a harmonium player and dhol player, Muhammad Fakir. Mai and her band has performed in US at SXSW Music 2015, where her music style was met with extravagant positive response. She rose to prominence on national television after appearing as a featured artist in eight season of music series Coke Studio.
Background and career
Mai belongs to the Muslim Langha tribe of Manganiar origin from Rajasthan, India. Her mother was a well known singer of her tribe from Jodhpur. After the independence of Pakistan in 1947, Mai settled in 'Haveli' Umerkot, Sindh Pakistan. At the age of ten, she started her music training from her mother. In 2013, she appeared in Lahooti Live Sessions a Live Music Sessions to promote Indigenous Music Sufi/Folk music, musicians, instruments among masses specially youth which is produced by the band The Sketches. She rose to fame after performing in Lahooti Live Sessions. In March 2015, as a part of DubMC collaboration with the US embassy in Pakistan and Foundation for Arts, Culture and Education (FACE) at SXSW Music 2015 Global program, Mai performed in New York City at Graduate Center of City University. In an interview with Broadway world, she said, "I have confidence in my voice and the culture I come from," she states. "Things around here are getting stricter, especially when it comes to a woman singing on stage. I am the only women from the Manganiyar Tribe who has performed on a big stage But I am hopeful that things will get better, maybe for the next generation. And as long as my voice is with me I will keep singing."
The Sketches & Lahooti Live Sessions helped Mai Dhai to appear in Coke Studio Pakistan. In 2015, she debuted in the eight season of Pakistani music reality television series Coke Studio, where she sang two songs including "Aankhaṛli Phaṛookai" and "Kadi Ao Ni with artists Karam Abbas Khan & Atif Aslam respectively. Mai's appearance with Atif on Coke studio was received well by critics and viewers.
Before appearing in Coke Studio, Saif Samejo of The Sketches collaborated with Mai, in an interview with Express Tribune he said, "The style in which Mai Dhai is performing on Coke Studio is her natural style, whereas we have tried to incorporate our style of music into hers, so that it retains its original Rajasthani flavour while also sounding like a dialogue between us.” She sang two songs with the band.
- "Doro" (with Saif Samejo) The Sketches (Lahooti Live Sessions) (2013)
- "Moriya (with Saif Samejo) The Sketches (Lahooti Live Sessions) (2015)
- "Sarak Sarak" - Mai Dhai Band
- "La Gorey" - Mai Dhai Band
- "Aankhaṛli Phaṛookai" (with Karam Abbas Khan) - Coke Studio Pakistan (season 8)
- "Kadi Ao Ni" (with Atif Aslam) - Coke Studio Pakistan (season 8)
- Ho Mann Jahaan - "Sarak Sarak"
- Menghwar, Govind (21 February 2016), "Culture: Song of the desert", DAWN, archived from the original on 18 November 2017, retrieved 27 March 2018
- "SXSW Music 2015: Ancient Songs With a Rocking Beat". Jon Pareles. The New York Times. March 19, 2015. Retrieved September 30, 2015.
- "Mai Dhai embarks on a musical journey to the US". The News. March 21, 2015. Retrieved September 30, 2015.
- "Coke Studio Season 8 Artists' List Released". The Daily Times. June 20, 2015. Archived from the original on July 23, 2015. Retrieved August 14, 2015.
- "Coke Studio Season 8 Songs & Artists Revealed!". Pakistan Advertisers Society. Retrieved August 14, 2015.
- "From Sindh to Nunavut: SXSW Gone Global in 2015". DubMC. April 2, 2015. Retrieved September 30, 2015.
- "At SXSW, Stepping Back to Allow Hopeful Artists to Step Up". Jon Pareles. the New York Times. March 21, 2015. Retrieved September 30, 2015.
- "Mai Dhai to bring songs of Thar to New York". The Express Tribune. February 21, 2015. Retrieved September 30, 2015.
- "Mai Dhai to sing desert songs in New York". Aag TV. February 22, 2015. Retrieved September 30, 2015.
- "US Debut of Traditional Pakistani Singer, Mai Dhai, Set for Tonight". Broadway World.com. March 12, 2015. Retrieved September 30, 2015.
- "Evolution of music: For the love of music and making money off it". The Express Tribune. April 12, 2016. Retrieved 10 May 2016.
- "Coke Studio Season 8 Episode 1". Asad Haroon. Dispatch News Desk. August 15, 2015. Retrieved August 17, 2015.
- "Coke Studio Season 8-Episode 1: From boys to men". Ali Raj. The Express Tribune. August 17, 2015. Retrieved August 18, 2015.
- "Coke Studio 8: Atif Aslam, Mai Dhai's 'Kadi Aao Ni' shake music charts". TNT. Retrieved September 19, 2015.
- "The Sketches collaborate with Mai Dhai". The Express Tribune. September 23, 2015. Retrieved September 30, 2015.