Shortly after Aamir Zaki's one-month death anniversary, singer Maha Ali Kazmi dedicated a song to the legendary guitarist, a song the two had collaborated to produce.
Although their song Aaj Sun Ke Tumhara Naam was recorded sometime around 2007 or early 2008, as Maha remembers, the song was a work in progress and never made it to the public.
In an interview with Images, the singer talks about her first meeting with Aamir which led to their collaboration soon after.
"I was very young and quite excited when I was introduced to him at a music event in Karachi. He heard me sing impromptu and later in the coming days he suggested to collaborate and record a couple of songs. And that’s when we began working together," she says.
The collaboration included two songs, one was called Face the Music, which was Maha's composition, and the other was Aaj Sun Ke Tumhara Naam which was Aamir’s composition with Maha on vocals.
It's interesting that the singer decided to release the song now, after 10 years. She explains: "I always felt his recorded work does not fully capture the essence of Aamir's talents. The real Aamir Zaki exists in live sessions, and not in cassettes, CDs and mp3 files."
"On one hand he was an extremely prolific musician, on another hand, his recorded work consists of a sum total of few dozen songs and instrumentals."
"Working with Aamir Zaki was quite intense. He would never be shy to tell you about your flaws, so at times it was quite difficult but overall I got to learn a lot from him," says Maha
What affects Maha the most is that the current generation and others to follow may never know the true value of Aamir.
"I was particularly struck by the fact that the newer generation may not be able to ever fully grasp how great he was as a musician if they were to judge him solely on the basis of his solo album - which, no doubt, in its own right, stands out as among the most daring projects undertaken in Pakistan and quite brilliant too. Ergo, I decided to pay him a tribute by putting the track out for his fans. I felt they deserved to listen to this beautiful track."
Aaj Sun Ke Tumhara Naam is sad and nostalgic and has been written and composed by Aamir. Talking about the track, Maha says, "I always felt Aamir was very honest when he wrote songs and assumed he wrote it about himself and his life experiences."
"He had written it while we were working together and for me to sing it, I feel I’m extremely lucky to have lent my voice to such a beautiful composition. Among my recorded work this is a song I’m proudest of even though it remains incomplete."
She adds, "This song is not exceptional in the sense that a lot of Aamir’s work -- dare I say, the majority of his work – remains unreleased for reasons only he could best explain."
"I feel I’m very fortunate to have worked with Aamir," continues Maha. "Working with him was quite intense. For example he would never be shy to tell you about your flaws, as other people have noted too. So at times it was quite difficult but overall I got to learn a lot from him. He understood his craft better than any musician I have worked with."
Currently Maha is working on a few songs; one with Mekaal Hasan and the other with Mubashir Admani. The songs are slated for release later this year.