Ali Zafar

Ali Zafar (Urdu, Punjabi: علی ظفر) also known as Prince of Pop, is a Pakistani musician, actor, painter and model probably most noted around South Asia for his music, including his hit songs like "Channo", "Rangeen", "Chal Dil Merey", "Dekha", "Masty" and "Sajania". He started his singing career with his hit song "Jugnuon se bhar le aanchal" in the film Shararat directed by Pakistani actress and director Samina Peerzada.
Zafar recently won the "Youth Icon" award from the Lux Style Awards 2007, in Malaysia
Early life

Ali Zafar was born in Lahore, Pakistan to two professors who teach at Punjab University. He initially attended the C.A.A. Public School and later moved to the Beaconhouse School System from where he topped in his matric examinations. He later graduated from the National College of Arts as an artist in 2002 with honours. Ali Zafar has often spoken about his childhood battle with obesity and this is reflected in his song 'Pant-Shirt'.
Early career

Before entering the Pakistani musical scene, Ali Zafar worked as a model for several commercial advertisement besides acting in television. He worked in the Pakistani television serial Lunda-Bazar, Kanch Ke Par and in the teenage sitcom College Jeans (which was an immediate hit among youngsters). He was also in the music video of Preeto sung by Abrar-ul-Haq.

Music career

Ali Zafar made his debut as a musician with the album Huqa Pani, released in Pakistan in 2003 and worldwide in 2005. The album was an instant hit, selling over 600,000 worldwide and winning several major awards and nominations. It also put Ali into the league of the most popular artists ever to have come out of Pakistan with a massive fan following locally and internationally. It was described by [[Indians] as "take a Kishore Kumar-like voice, club it with yuppie Ibiza-ish electronic beats, and add a bit of nostalgic lyrics".

His comparison to Kishore Kumar has been frequently made; in one interview Zafar, asked about the vocal resemblance, remarked "you're the lucky hundredth person to tell me that".
Ali won award for "Best Album" category at the Lux Style Awards in 2004 for his massive hit album Huqa Pani. In addition to the album's popularity being reflected in the shops and by critics, it has been widely claimed that Himesh Reshammiya plagiarised one of the most well-known tracks from the album, Rangeen, for the song Dillagi Mein Jo .Soon Pritam too copied his track "Chhano" as "Choreen ki Baatein"(Fightclub).
Ali Zafar launched his second album "Masty" nationwide in Pakistan in November 2006. He has since released four tracks from the album called "Masty", "Sajania", "Dekha" and "Aasman". A press conference for the release of the album was held in Lahore. The album has been released by Fire Records.

Ali Zafar released his second album "Masty" in India in February 2007. The album contains two additional remix tracks and has been launched by "FrankFinn Records".

Ali recently released his third and long awaited single, "Dekha", off his second album, which was the most expensive music video of Pakistan costing more than seven million rupees but song was a failure on charts, video was shot in Malaysia, produced by the Lux Company, and has the famous Pakistani actresses/models, Reema Khan, Meera, and Amina Haq, starring in it.
Ali has a multitalented personality besides a singer, painter, model and an actor, he proved himself as a good music director and producer by directing and producing his music video "Ek Pal" from his first album Huqa Pani which was a big hit nationwide.

  • Indus Music Award 2005 - Best Pop Artist
  • Asian Bollywood Music Award 2005 - Best Pop Music Album in Pakistan
  • Indus Music Award 2004 - The Best Album
  • Indus Music Award 2004 - The Best Debut Artist
  • Lux Style Award 2004 - Best Music Album

"I had a dream. That dream became reality in 2003 with the huge success of my first album “Huqa Pani”. It was the fulfillment of that dream that made me realize that we only dream what is real. Nothing exists that can only be imagined and not achieved one day. It’s all about working hard and putting the right things at the right time in their right place. For this we’re nurtured with the appetite of hope. But I learned that it’s not only about working hard and putting the right things at the right time in their right place. It’s about Faith. The moment you lose it, it loses you. Your dreams start looking unreal, too big for you. In the course of working day and night on the album traveling to different studios in different countries working with all sorts of people, good and bad, nasty and nice, liars and honest ones, I sometimes almost dropped in disappointment and fatigue thinking to myself that it’s not worth it. But what kept me going was faith. Faith in God. This album is about that and the realization of our dreams that follows. If my music helps one single soul to accomplish his dream, my job is done. Love to all." - Ali Zafar


Junoon (Urdu: جنون) is South Asia's biggest and Pakistan's most popular Rock band from Lahore. It was formed in 1990 by guitarist, songwriter and medical doctor Salman Ahmad. They are also regarded as the pioneers of Sufi rock. Q magazine calls them "One of the biggest bands in the world". Billboard says Junoon is the Subcontinent's "biggest crossover successes after the late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan".

They sing mostly in the language of Urdu, in a style blending Western hard rock with Sindhi and Punjabi folk and Qawwali. Junoon, in effect, had to create an audience for rock music in Pakistan. "The band's appeal reaches beyond the Westernised elite", says Newsweek.
The New York Times called Junoon as " the U2 of Pakistan". In a preview to Junoon's performance at the House of Blues in Los Angeles, the L.A. Times says Junoon's "ability to captivate audiences" is "inspiring Beatles-like reactions".

Early years (1990-1996)

The name Junoon came to lead guitarist Salman Ahmad in a dream where one of his teachers shook him and said "Tumhey mousiqui ka Junoon hai!" (You have an obsession for music!). He formed Junoon soon after with two friends, Ali Azmat and Brian O Connell.
Heavily influenced by rock bands like Led Zeppelin, Junoon aimed to combine loud guitar riffs with the tranquility of sufi poetry by the likes of Maulana Rumi, Allama Iqbal and Bulleh Shah. The band were one of the first bands in Pakistan to insist on playing live music where most music was sampled and programmed synthpop.
The band's first album, self titled released in 1990 "Junoon" barely made a dent in the Pakistani music industry, their second album "Talaash" began creating a cult following for Junoon.
Junoon was no overnight success. The band struggled financially for the first few years. Group members remember months of eating 'daal' and rice, the modest Pakistani's staple. It was only after their 1996 release of their third album "Inquilaab" (Revolution), that Junoon developed a nationwide fan following, blending rock guitars and bluesy vocals with eastern elements like the use of tablas (traditional south Asian hand drums), raga-inspired melodies, traditional Pakistani folk music, and Eastern inspired poetryIn the spring of 1996, Junoon scored its first big hit with the song "Jazba-e-Junoon", single from their album Inquilaab.

Mainstream success (1997-2003)

In 1997, Junoon recorded their fifth album, Azadi. Azadi, meaning freedom, was released by EMI/Virgin Records, and became Junoon's debut album in India. "Sayonee", the first single off Azadi, became an instant hit in South Asia and the Middle East, shooting to the top of all the Asian charts, and staying at #1 on both Channel V and MTV Asia for over 2 months. Azadi hit platinum sales status in a record of 4 weeks. Zee TV invited Junoon to perform at the star-studded Zee Cine Awards in Mumbai in March 1998, where the group received accolades from the creme de la creme of India's entertainment industry.

In 1998, Junoon won the "Best International Group" title at the Channel V Music Awards, where they performed along with world-wide icons Sting, The Prodigy and Def Leppard. Azadi was nominated for Best International Album, having achieved the prestigious honour of being the highest selling album in Pakistan, Bangladesh and India in 1998 and 1999.
Junoon headlined the BBC Mega Mela in 1998, which was the largest Asian festival outside of the Sub-Continent.

Junoon released their sixth studio album "Parvaaz", which was based mostly on the poetry of Bulleh Shah. "Parvaaz" was recorded and mixed at Abbey Road Studios in London and was hailed by critics as Junoon's finest work to date and was released by EMI and Lips Records.
Singles like "Bulleya", "Sajna", "Ghoom" and "Mitti" were a success and did well at the music charts.

UNESCO presented Junoon with an award for thei achievements towards Peace in South Asia. Junoon was invited to perform at UNESCO's "Music for Peace" concert held in Paris, along with Lionel Richie, Montserrat Caballe, Zubin Mehta,Yesudas and many other great artists from around the world. In London, BBC presented Junoon an award for their contribution towards Asian Culture.

Junoon closed 1999 with a tour of Bangladesh, where 45,000 ecstatic fans attended the concert in Dhaka's Army Stadium.

In 2000, Junoon released a compilation of their albums and videos, Junoon Millenium 1990-2000. The compilation album consisted of singles like "Azadi", "Muk gaye Nay" and "Allah Hu (live version)". The album was released by Lips Records.

Later on the same year Junoon performed in Japan and as well as at the Roskilde Festival outside Copenhagen, Denmark, which is the premier summer European Rock Festival, along with Pearl Jam, Iron Maiden, The Cure and many others. Junoon performed the largest ever concert in Dubai, UAE, with Bollywood singer Sonu Nigam, with nearly 20,000 in attendance.
In 2001, Junoon released their latest album, Andaz (titled Ishq in Pakistan), which topped the charts in Pakistan as well as in the Gulf and South Asia, with its first single entitled "Zamane ke Andaz (Saqi-nama)" which made it to #1 in the Gulf, and to #5 on the Asian charts.

Junoon sold out Wembley Arena in London in April, and performed at "United for Gujarat", the first South Asian rock conert in New Delhi, with bands from India and Bangladesh, singing together to raise funds for the Gujrat Earthquake.
In June, Salman Ahmad was appointed 'Goodwill Ambassador' of Pakistan by United Nations, attending the UN General Assembly in New York. In September, Junoon performed in Norway with Morten Harket of A-HA, and went on to perform in China.

Following the 9/11 attacks, Junoon helped to organise a concert at the General Assembly on UN Day with Junoon and an Indian group performing at the Assembly Hall, a first of its kind. They also released their what they called their first English-language single, "No More", an anti-violence song which deals directly with the events of that day. However, before "No More" they had released English songs on their first two albums, including "Our Land", "Lady Magic", "Downtown Princes", "Game Of Chance". The song "No More" is the first English song for which Junoon made a video.

CNN aired a 30 minute interview of Junoon on the program Talk Asian. They rave reviews in The New York Times, Billboard Magazine, The New York Post, Newsweek, and others.

In December, the President of Pakistan at that time, General Pervez Musharraf invited Junoon to perform at the mausoleum of Pakistan's founder, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, on Jinnah's birthday.

In 2002, Junoon released their eighth album, "Daur-e-Junoon" and in 2003, they released their ninth "Dewaar". "Garaj Baras" single from their album, "Dewaar", was selected as part of a Bollywood movie soundtrack in 2003 for the film Paap directed by Pooja Bhatt. The song topped the charts again in the country in 2004 and their controversial single "Pappu Yaar" shot to the #1 spot in Pakistan.

Recent years (2003-present)

In 2003 Ali Azmat, the lead vocalist, left the band to start his solo career. His first solo album "Social Circle" was released in 2005 and received critical acclaim winning several awards. Salman Ahmad also released his solo album. In 2005, Brian O'Connell returned to his native New York.[8] Pakistani musician Mekaal Hasan and the band's producer John Alec have been playing bass guitar for live shows in his place. A reunion concert took place in Dubai, UAE in March 2006.

In September 2007, Junoon released three albums, Parvaaz, Infiniti, and Azadi with Magnatune. On December 11, 2007, Junoon performed at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert in Oslo, Norway together with a variety of artists, which was broadcast live to over 100 countries. In 2008, the Pakistani rock band Junoon, performed in Srinagar for the first time and turned thousands of music lovers hysterical.

Music style

Heavily influenced by rock bands like Led Zeppelin, Junoon aimed to combine loud guitar riffs with the tranquility of sufi poetry by the likes of Maulana Rumi, Allama Iqbal and Bulleh Shah. The band were one of the first bands in Pakistan to insist on playing live music where most music was sampled and programmed synthpop.

Junoon's music is based upon issues in the world. Their music has been one major force which has truly kept the national spirits high amidst the prevailing social woes which have surely worsened in the last three decades. Such music included songs like "Jazba-e-Junoon", "Sayonee", "Talaash", "Main Kaun Hun" and many more. Junoon's music is compared with the likes of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan or Lata Mangeshkar. Junoon's music has captivated the Pakistani youth for well over ten years and they were the only saving grace to Pakistani music on the international scene after the departure of Pakistani pop-music heavyweights, Nazia and Zoheb and Vital Signs.

One of the legendary tours that Junoon had undertaken was their tour to Denmark and Europe in 2000-2001. This tour played a pivotal role in increasing Junoon's international popularity and standing and in spreading awareness about Pakistani music.


Aaroh is a Pakistani rock band That surfaced into mainstream scene after winning the Battle of the Bands competition in 2002 sponsored by Pepsi. The band split in 2004 and Haider Hashimi was recruited as the band's lead guitarist.
Aaroh's music is a fusion of western rock music and eastern style of vocals. As implied by the word "aaroh", which refers to the ascending scale in the eastern vocals such as "Sa Re Ga Ma",the band's music epitomizes the classical eastern music fused with rock. Aaroh's acclaim to fame is due to their exuberant live performance backed up with thought provoking lyrics.

Band Members

Farooq Ahmed (Vocalist)
Farooq Ahmed has served as the lead vocalist for Aaroh since its beginning. Farooq has received classical music training. His strong background in classical music and the scales, give the band the flavor that goes unparalleled in Pakistani music industry.

Khalid Khan (Bass)
Khalid has worked with almost every major act in Pakistan which include Falam, Collage, Circle, Aamir Zaki, Fuzon, Shehzad Mughal, Mizraab and Najam Sheraz.
He is a major force behind Aaroh's music since the beginning.

Haider Hashmi (Lead & Rhythm Guitars)
Haider has played in Aaroh's latest (2nd) album, Raag Neela. He replaced Nabeel Nihal after the band's breakup. Most of the Raag Neela songs have been written and composed by Haider. His inclusion in the band has been a blessing in disguise as the band now sounds more versatile. With his basic schooling in Karachi, Haider went on to study in Tunner Junior High School and then Frankfurt American High School - Germany. FAHS is where he picked up the guitar and took guitaring as a subject. Moved back to Pakistan in 1989-90, formed an Underground Band (Mind Riot) in Lahore in '94 along with Farhad (Overload's Drummer). Late '96 Haider moved out of Pakistan and said farewell to any prospects in music. Haider moves back to Pakistan in 2000 and re-joins Farhad's band (Rumble Fish)in Lahore. Haider moves to Karachi in 2003. It was not until 2004 when he was auditioned and inducted as Lead Guitarist for Aaroh.
Haider has carved a niche for himself in the Pakistani Music Industry with his distinct playing style which can safely be called his signature playing.

Saeed Ahmad
Saeed serves as the band's drummer. He has played drums in Aaroh second album Raag Neela.

  • Aaroh won the Pepsi' sponsored Battle of the Bands in 2002. Entity Paradigm were the runner-up.

  • Aaroh's single "Na Kaho" received "The Best Lyrics Award" at Indus TV 2nd IM Awards in 2005

Noman Jaleel is AAROH's Band Manager and does all the bookings for their recordings, appearances, live shows and also serves as their Business Manager.


  • Sawal (2003)
  • Raag Neela (2006)

Aaroh Official website