They don't come from a family of qawwals. Most of them are trained in Hindustani classical music but also in western music in American campuses. They are a qawwali group in the United States, far away from south Asia, where qawwals can be found dime a dozen.
It is not surprising that the Houston-based Riyaaz Qawwali group has been experimenting with the form, using the qawwali genre to sing in praise of Ganpati, or having a violinist in the group.
The latest experiment from the group is to put out short excerpts of their qawwalis rather than the full performance. The idea is to let listeners enjoy some qawwali while they are on the go, from hostel to class, or between meetings.