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Atif Aslam

Early life

Aslam was born into a Punjabi Muslim family in Wazirabad, Punjab, Pakistan. He began his education in kindergarten at Kimberley Hall School, Lahore. In 1991, he moved to Rawalpindi where he continued his studies in St. Paul’s Cambridge School, Satellite Town, Rawalpindi. In 1995, Aslam returned to Lahore where he continued his studies in Divisional Public School. He attended PICS to do his Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science Raaj Usman (BCs).

Career

On 17 July 2004, Aslam released his first album titled Jal Pari (meaning ‘Mermaid’) which was an instant hit.Several songs from his debut album, such as: “Bheegi Yaadein”, “Ehsaas”, “Mahi Ve”, “Ankhon Sey” and the title track “Jal Pari” went on to become major hits and charted across countries in the subcontinent.

Since Jal’s album, Aadat, and Aslam’s album, Jal Pari, shared certain tracks such as “Aadat”, “Bheegi Yaadein” and “Ankhon se”, a war over rights began which resulted in both sides claiming to possess hard proof to support their respective claims that they alone owned these songs.

He got his first breakthrough in Bollywood when director Mahesh Bhatt called Aslam to seek his consent to include “Woh Lamhey” in the soundtrack of his new motion picture, Zeher (2005).

Following Jal Pari, Aslam released two more successful solo albums, Doorie and Meri Kahani. He also recorded many songs for Bollywood, that were successful too.

International tours

His first international tour, performing in the US and Canada with Rhythm Dhol Bass and Annie Khalid.

Aslam then made his solo debut concert in New Jersey in Summer Beats 2008 at Sovereign Bank Arena, which also featured Kailash Kher, Richa Sharma and Amanat Ali. After a sold-out concert in New Jersey, Aslam returned with his band and special guests to Queens Colden Center, New York to perform on 2 July 2010.

Atif performing in Lahore, Pakistan

Two years later, Aslam returned to the US. Collaborating with vocalist Shreya Ghoshal, their March 2010 tour originally had 10 shows announced in US and Canada. However, the response inspired the organizers to put shows in six more cities.

The following month, Aslam made his debut in South America with a performance at Anthony Nesty Sports Hall, Suriname.[citation needed]

He continued to tour the world with headline performancesat the Royal Albert Hall in London, alongside Jay Sean). He followed that with dates, across major concert venues in the UK in 2010.

Aslam performed with Sunidhi Chauhan for the first time at Hershey Centre, Mississauga, followed by another show at Oracle Arena, San Francisco, Oakland, in July 2011, during their USA and Canada tour. In September 2011, Aslam performed at New York.

Aslam performing at O2 Arena

On 22 April 2012, Aslam became the first Pakistani to perform in London’s O2 Arena a concert spectacular to promote love, peace and unity among India and Pakistan. Aslam performed for four hours. This was followed up by shows in Manchesterand Glasgow.

In 2012, he was invited for three concerts at the World Trade Centre in Dubai. This was followed by his debut concert in Bangkok at the Centara Convention Centre on 6 October 2012.

Aslam then returned to perform in ten major Pakistani cities during his Jazz Jazba Generation Tour.

On 2 November, he performed his first public concert in Malaysia.

In December 2012, Aslam was named among top performers of Dubai for 2012 alongside Pitbull, Enrique Iglesias, Il Divo, Gotye, Evanescence and Swedish House Mafia.

Aslam also is the first man from Asia, and the second artist after Bryan Adams, to be permitted to perform inside the Dashrath Rangasla National Football Stadium in Kathmandu, Nepal.Aslam once again returned to Dubai for multiple concerts in 2013 at the world-famous Atlantis resort.

In April 2013, Aslam performed for the first time at the LG Arena in Birminghamfollowing which he became the first artist from Asia to perform twice at London’s O2 Arena. Also in concert at the O2 were Bollywood stars Shaan, Malaika Arora Khan & Bipasha Basu.

In November 2014, Aslam performed at the Leisure Valley grounds in Gurgaon alongside Arijit Singh in front of thousands.

Hollywood

Four songs from Aslam’s second album Doorie were featured in two films. Two of them; “Yakeen” and “Ehsaas”, and a single “Aadat” from his first album Jal Pari, featured in Ramin Bahrani’s 2005 film Man Push Cart which has won international awards and was praised by the critics. Two other songs, “Doorie” and “Maula”, were selected in 2010 for the soundtrack of the Spanish Beauty, the Hindi version of the 2005 Mexican film La mujer de mi hermano directed by Ricardo de Montreuil. He then sang two songs; “Bol Ke Lab Azaad Hain” and “Mori Araj Suno”, in Mira Nair’s 2012 film The Reluctant Fundamentalist.

Acting career

Aslam made his acting debut in the 2011 Pakistani movie Bol. He has also made special appearances in many film songs.

Television

Aslam at launch of Sur Kshetra

Aslam appeared as a captain of Team Pakistan in a singing talent show called Sur Kshetra which was shot and broadcast from Dubai, where Indian and Pakistani contestants competed against each other. At the end of the show, Nabeel Shaukat Ali from Aslam’s team won the contest.

On 19 April 2017, he hosted the 16th Lux Style Awards ceremony, and it was the first time he was seen hosting the ceremony of Lux Style Awards.

He along with Meesha Shafi, Fawad Khan and Shahi Hasan was also on the judge panel of a nationwide talent show Pepsi Battle of the Bands; emceed by PepsiCo Pakistan from July to September 2017.

On 1 November 2017, Aslam’s rendition of “Tajdar-e-Haram” crossed 100 million views on YouTube, becoming first video origin in Pakistan to achieve the landmark record. The qawwali-song, originally sung by Sabri Brothers, was released on 15 August 2015 in CokeStudio8 and has been viewed in 186 countries across the world. Also, it is Aslam’s first individual video on YouTube to make the record.

Impact and recognition

Aslam’s work has received praise from several artists. Actor Suyyash Rai affirmed that he “developed an interest in singing” because of Aslam. Mika Singh praised Aslam’s singing as well.Ranbir Kapoor likes Aslam.Singer Alamgir thanked Aslam for keeping pop music alive in Pakistan. He said: “I’m thankful to Atif for keeping pop alive. It’s because of them that I feel my music still has a place in today’s music scene.”Actor Varun Dhawan is a big fan of Aslam and always wanted him to sing his tracks in a film. He said: “I am a fan of Atif’s voice and really wanted him to sing for me. I didn’t know it will happen so soon!”,referring to the song “Jeena Jeena” sung by Aslam for the film Badlapur. Mohit Chauhan is all praise for Aslam: “I love this guy and I love his songs”, he said.Bipasha Basu admitted to being a big Aslam fan; she said in an interview: “I am his number one fan. Music is the best vehicle to promote understanding and our music brings people together.”Aslam calls his fans as ‘Aadeez’.

Personal life

He married educationist Sara Bharwana, in Lahore on 29 March 2013. Their son was born in 2014.

Filmography

Film

  • 2011 – Bol; as Mustafa (Film debut as an actor; in Urdu)

Soundtrack music videos

Year Song Film Ref
Pakistani films
2011 “Kaho Aaj Bol Do” Bol
“Hona Tha Pyar”
2015 “Dil Kare” Ho Mann Jahaan
2016 “Dil Yeh Dancer Hogaya” Actor in Law
Hindi films
2006 “Tere Bin” Bas Ek Pal
2008 “Pehli Nazar Mein” Race
2012 “Piya O Re Piya” Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya
“Tu Mohabbat Hai” (Remix)
2013 “Be Intehaan” Race 2
“Dil Na Jaane Kyun” Jayantabhai Ki Luv Story
“Aa Bhi Ja Mere Mehermaan”
2016 “Khair Mangda” A Flying Jatt
2017 “Hoor” Hindi Medium
“Jaane De” Qarib Qarib Singlle
2018 “O Saathi” Baaghi 2

Discography

Awards and nominations

 
Year Nominee / work Award Result
Indus Music Awards
2005 “Aadat” combined awards with Jal Best Lyrics Won
Best Song Won
Best Composition Won
Sahara Sangeet Awards
2005 Best Playback Singer Won
Best Debut Singer Won
The Musik Awards
2006 Most Wanted Male Nominated
2008 Won
Lux Style Awards
2005 Jal Pari Best Album Won
2007 Doorie Won
2008 Police Dress Most Well Dressed Celebrity Won
Meri Kahani Best Album Nominated
2012 “Hona Tha Pyaar” – Bol Song of the Year Nominated
Best Original Sound Track Won
2013 Music Icon of the year Won
2017 “Dil Dancer” – Actor in Law Best Playback Singer (Male) Won
2019 “Thaam Lo” – Parwaaz Hai Junoon Best Playback Singer Pending
MTV Brrr Music Awards
2009 “Hungami Halaat” – Meri Kahani Best Rock Song Nominated
Best Singer (Male) Nominated
Government of Pakistan
2008 Tamgha-e-Imtiaz (Medal of Distinction) Won
Filmfare Awards
2006 “Woh Lamhe” – Zeher Filmfare Award for Best Male Playback Singer Nominated
2007 “Tere Bin” – Bas Ek Pal Nominated
2010 “Tu Jaane Na” – Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani Nominated
2016 “Jeena Jeena” – Badlapur Nominated
2017 “Tere Sang Yaara” – Rustom Nominated
Lycra MTV Style Awards
2007 Most Stylish Person (Music) Won
IIFA Awards
2006 “Woh Lamhe” – Zeher IIFA Award for Best Male Playback Singer Nominated
2009 “Pehli Nazar Mein” – Race Nominated
2010 “Tu Jaane Na” – Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani Nominated
Screen Awards
2009 “Pehli Nazar Main” – Race Best Playback Singer (Male) Nominated
Guild Awards
2014 “Jeene Laga Hoon” – Ramaiya Vastavaiya Best Playback Singer (Male) Nominated
Zee Cine Awards
2014 “Jeene Laga Hoon” – Ramaiya Vastavaiya Best Playback Singer (Male) Nominated
GiMA Awards
2010 “Tu Jaane Na” – Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani Best Playback Singer (Male) Nominated
BIG Star Entertainment Awards
2013 “Piya O Re Piya” – Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya Best Playback Singer (Male) Nominated
MTV IGGY
2011 Best New Band in the World Nominated
Pakistan Media Awards
2010 Best Singer (Male) Won
2011 Nominated
2012 Mustafa – Bol Best Film Actor Nominated
“Hona Tha Pyaar” – Bol Best Playback Singer Nominated
The BrandLaureate International Awards
2013 Brand Personality Won
Big Apple Music Awards
2014 Best Male Artist of Pakistan Won
2015 Won
Most Popular Male Artist (International) Won
Hum Style Awards
2016 Most Stylish Male Performer Nominated
2017 Nominated
QMobile Style Icon Won
2018 Most Stylish Male Performer Nominated

See also

  • Jal (band)
  • Music of Pakistan
  • List of Pakistani pop singers