Born in 1965 in Karachi, Nazia Hassan was the most influential and probably the only real female pop singer of the '80s and '90s in both India and Pakistan. Today marks her 17th death anniversary.
Hassan is mourned with a vengeance that is far greater than the music she made. The reason is simple; Nazia Hasan had a quality that went beyond talent. She was a star in the true sense of the overused and misunderstood word. Her contribution to music itself may be minimal but her contribution to breaking the shackles of musical orthodoxy cannot be forgotten.
Perhaps unwittingly, she was much more than just a singer. And that is why the tragically short life of Hassan is so important.
“Yes some people don’t even consider it music; well it’s the kind of the music we dig, take it or leave it. They say classical music is the only real music. Whenever I’m attending a classical music recital, I feel like I’m attending a funeral. You have to sit grim’n still – no coughing, no talking lest people think you are being impolite”
(Excerpts taken from an article published in the September 2000 edition of Herald)
Photos courtesy Herald, Dawn