With his album sitting on top of the Billboard charts and on Itunes Australia, UK, France, Turkey. Mexico and Switzerland Mahmood Khan’s work has taken the music scene into a whole new dimension. Creating a mainstream global music brand with solid songwriting as its foundation coupled with top of the line craftsmanship, production and feel, he has created a path as original as his sound, giving the world a gift of new sounding music. In 1997 while recording an album with Mahmood, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan was quoted as saying, ‘I am impressed by this young man’s values, hard work, and dedication. He possesses a rare combination of skills from sound engineering to production, writing and his involvement with American Black music. This is why I am working with him today and it is the reason that one day he will be known for his work the world over’. This is not an overnight success story, 2020 marks Mahmood’s 40th year in the music industry. A career patented with learning and development and churning out production year after year it puts the 10,000 rule to shame. His adventures in the music business began when at 18 years of age he travelled to Los Angeles in hopes of finding work in a recording studio as a sound engineer. He did just that and soon developed a reputation at several production houses, mainly Jam Power productions, a hub for Black Funk music where Hip hop was the mainstay. These were the early days of Hip hop and he rubbed shoulders with budding stars like Snoop, Easy E, and the West Coast Crew, David Jones, Leon Sylvers and Ced Malone. Funk rubbed off on him and as his work developed it became the bedrock of his custom unique sound. He had the honour of working at studios where Tom Petty, Kenny Rogers, Richard Marx, Quincy Jones, Keith Olsen, Ray Parker Jr, and George Tobin among many others regularly recorded. He was in the midst of music royalty for almost 2 decades learning and soaking in greatness while working on his writing with an endless passion that creates timelessness. His quest to grow his voice led him to the greatest vocal coach in the western world ‘Seth Riggz’ and then the legendary Pakistani Artist Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. In 1997 his biggest break arrived in the shape of a collaboration with Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, an album named ‘Only One’. To date, it is commercially the most successful album recorded by Nusrat selling over 6 million copies worldwide introducing Mahmood to US radio stations and MTV Asia. The songs from the album were pirated by Bollywood. Recently Mahmood released an Ebook titled Stayin Alive, an account of his struggles and adventures in the music business. Here is an excerpt from the book. “ZINDA is a true-life coming of age, “Fish Out of Water” story of a young, innocent Pakistani boy, MAHMOOD who fell utterly, totally, completely in love with American music, and the passion that burned in his heart and soul to get to America and make it happen for himself. It is this remarkable journey Zinda took to actually get to the States – and learn everything he possibly could about all things music that drove him from his childhood beginnings in Islamabad to – having a number 1 song and performing at the Sydney Opera House for thousands of people. His remarkable, unshakable quest nearly cost him everything – the dangers he encountered were beyond anything he could have ever imagined – from almost dying from a gang attack in North Carolina – to Al Qaeda threatening to kill him if he doesn’t leave his own country – forever. It started in the 70’s – watching an old black and white TV sitting cross-legged on the floor in Pakistan. They were sorta kinda upper class. Zinda’s father owned a paint factory and wanted his son to become an engineer. He was watching a UNICEF Special, and like most kids – anything with music was a draw – a big draw. He jumped up and played a few simple riffs on the old stand up piano – before he was shushed and told to sit down. At that moment the Bee Gees began singing: “Too Much Heaven” That was it. Those voices. That harmony. That Sound. He was obsessed. One day a box arrived from his favorite Aunt who had moved to Switzerland. As he tore it open there was a note that said: ” Zinda! This is real music – Enjoy!” No kid at Christmas was ever happier than this boy as he gingerly lifted out a turntable and boxes and boxes of MOTOWN hits Stevie Wonder, Temptations, Four Tops, Smoky Robinson, The Supremes, Marvin Gaye, James Brown – it was heaven. American music was all he listened to – all he thought about. Zinda begged for a guitar for his next birthday, and because of his good grades – he got it. He began taking guitar lessons from a dry-witted, Scottish, hippy guy – who though very tough on his student – got a kick out of this skinny little kid’s enthusiasm and work ethic. It was this intense, incredible work ethic that Zinda possessed that would continue to surprise and impress people throughout his decades-long journey. Zinda knew he had to get to America. That’s where the music business lived. So – he wangled his father into letting him to go to college in North Carolina to study engineering. The Ebook was on Amazon’s bestseller list and continues to attract a new audience. In 1997 while recording an album with Mahmood, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan was quoted as saying, ‘I am impressed by this young man’s values, hard work and dedication. He possesses a rare combination of skills from sound engineering to production, writing and his involvement with American Black music’ Over the course of a variegated and internationally-focused career, Khan has achieved a number of firsts within his field. Commercial success came as far back as 1997 when Khan became the first Pakistani-born artist to feature on the U.S. World Music Charts. In 2009, Khan recorded “Like the River” recorded Live at the Sydney Opera House, leading the Rudd government to grant him honorary dual citizenship in recognition of his contribution to the alternative music scene in Australia. That same year, Khan became the first Pakistani-born artist to hit #1 on the Australian Pop Charts. In more recent years, Khan became the first Asian-born artist to have performed live on Australian national television, after appearing on Channel Nine’s Kerri Anne Show to celebrate 50 million views on YouTube with a rendition of “Like a River.” Khan is a celebrated public face of the Pakistani-Australian community, which numbers around 91,000 according to the latest data available from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)-largely spread between the states of New South Wales and Victoria. Khan regularly interviews with SBS Urdu, the dedicated division of Australia’s publicly-funded foreign language broadcaster. Mahmood Khan was born to Matloob ur Rahman Khan and Durdana Matloob, in Lahore-the capital of the Pakistani province of Punjab. His parents migrated from India after the Indo-Pakistani war of 1947. According to an interview with triple J unearthed, he found his passion for song writing at an early age, after studying and learning piano at one of the most prestigious schools of Pakistan, Sadiq Public School Bahawalpur. After relocating to the United States in his adolescence, Khan enrolled at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. In 1987, Khan moved to Los Angeles to seek fame and fortune in the city’s burgeoning music industry. He soon found work as a sound engineer at Jam Power Productions in Northridge, CA; which focussed on R&B, jazz, and hip hop. Serving at the studio for the next 12 years, he cites assisting with production on Coolio’s “Gangster’s Paradise” as a career highlight during this period. Within the space of just a few years, Khan assumed the role of chief composer, producer, and engineer within the production house, collaborating, engineering and writing for producers and artists such as Peanut, Collective Thoughts, Ced Malone and Livio Harris. It was also at this time that Khan began planning to embark on a solo career, learning to write music, produce, and sing independently. In 1995, Khan released his first album, “Fairytale.” The work attracted the attention of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, an internationally-acclaimed Pakistani vocalist, musician, and director primarily associated with Qawwali, a form of Sufi Islamic devotional music. The two collaborated in 1997 on “Only One,” which was released by Anarkali Records that year. Releasing works in quick succession, Khan then penned the track “Alive,” which was picked up by Dubai-based label Vanilla Music. Reports at the time stated that the single was considered by many in the industry to be “ahead of its time.” Prior to emigrating to Australia in the mid-2000s, Khan returned to Pakistan for several years. Producing music for a female singer and national icon Fariha Parvez and Baray Ghulam Ali. He also continued to work on video production and digital editing skills. Khan was commissioned by Islamabad to compose music for the 9th South Asian Games. He was then signed to Mumbai’s Magnasound Records, where he produced the album “Panah”. That year, MTV announced Khan Artist of the Month. Khan relocated to Australia in the mid-2000s. After completing a degree in films he achieved mainstream success with break-out hit “Like a River’, which was recorded live at the Sydney Opera House. The song was an ARIA pop #1 hit. He was awarded honorary dual citizenship by the Rudd Government in 2009 for his contribution to the Australian music scene and the Pakistani-Australian community. In March 2020, Khan went viral internationally after releasing a suite of new singles.”Runaway” reached #1 on the iTunes Australia charts and #2 in the United States. His May 2020 track “Ginoo” once again hit #2 on the iTunes US charts. Sources in the industry say that this is the first that an Urdu/Hindi song has broken into the US charts. The song is produced by veteran producer and trumpet player Gary Grant. Some of the many artists Gary has recorded with include: Barbara Streisand, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, Toni Braxton, Brian McKnight, Frank Sinatra, Natalie Cole, Earth Wind & Fire, Go West, Take Six, Elton John and Aerosmith. Gary has also recorded with one of the most respected producers of our time, Quincy Jones on albums, Back On the Block, and Q’s Juke Joint. Other producers Gary has worked with include: David Foster, Glenn Ballard, Dave Grusin, and Baby Face. Gary was also a guest artist with the “Chicago 17” horns. In 2020 Mahmood had a string of top-charting singles in the USA and Australia. ‘One line down’ stayed at number 2 on the Itunes USA charts for 3 weeks. ‘GINOO’ entered the US Billboard charts at number 8 peaking at number 2. His album TERE BAGHAIR became the first foreign-language album to debut at number 1 on the Australian and US Itunes charts. “RUNAWAY’ also topped the Australian Charts. And- ‘MERRY GO ROUND’ made its debut at number 1 on the Australian Itunes chart. In 2019 Mahmood recorded an album with the Willoughby Symphony Orchestra. Conducted and arranged by David Griffin and Doug Emery the album was a groundbreaking fusion of World and Classical music. Khan wrote and produced the songs and also directed the music videos. That same year, he also released the album “Made in Australia”; which featured, amongst others, keyboard player Doug Emery, Grammy-winning Drummer Lee Levin, legendary saxophonist Ed Calle, bass player Julio Hernandez, guitar maestro Camilo Velandia and multiple Grammy winner guitarist the late Dan Warner. In August 2020 Mahmood’s album with the Willoughby Symphony Orchestra reached number 1 on the Billboard Classical crossover charts creating music history at multiple levels. No other artist from the Sub Continent or Australia has seen this overwhelming success. The album’s first single ‘Jagamarra’ went to number 1 in Australia. This song is dedicated to Aboriginal Australia. Mahmood’s work has flourished in Australia and he credits this to the diverse Australian culture and its community radio and TV network which continuously supports his new sounding musical works. In 2019 Mahmood completed an Australian Radio tour making incredible personal connections with volunteers who run community radio stations. Australia retains traditional indigenous cultures dating back thousands of years and has financial resources and supporting policies in place to preserve the old and foster new growth. Australian music assets are now starting to show some diversity. It is home to singer-songwriters from many different parts of the world. Australia is constantly improving in the way it accepts immigrants into the country. It is how they are treated and managed by the society and the community in which they live and the access to language, culture, and integration programs when they are here, which is critically important. There is no such dedicated system is in place for artists and singer-songwriters which makes Mahmood Khan’s story even more incredible. Pakistan has no music labels, no publishers, and no entity that protects intellectual property rights. The music industry was hijacked by soft drink manufacturers years ago. These brands now use popular music as a platform to promote their products while ignoring the important artist ownership factors of originality and intellectual property and growth that are in place in the Western world to curb exploitation. Still, in the future, it’s possible that Pakistani artists with Western music industry knowledge will become the energy that propels transfer technology to create a legitimate and vibrant music industry. Meanwhile, in Canberra, Australia’s multicultural national capital, the performance of Sufi music is becoming more frequent. Australian Sufi music is just starting to emerge and more than anything it seems to be about respect and celebration of the abundance of this continent.