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Muhammad Atif Aslam – 12 March 1983
Muhammad Atif Aslam mostly referred to as Atif Aslam is a Pakistani playback singer, song-writer, composer and an actor. He has recorded numerous chart-topping songs in both Pakistan and India and is known for his vocal belting technique. He predominantly sings in Urdu and Hindi, but has also sung in Punjabi, Bengali and Pashto. With a number of successful chart-topping songs, he is often considered as one of the best playback singers in the Indian and Pakistani music industries of all times. In 2008, Aslam received the Tamgha-e-Imtiaz, the fourth-highest civilian honour award from the Pakistani government. He is also a recipient of a number of Lux Style Awards. Aslam made his acting debut in 2011 with the Urdu social drama film Bol. In 2019, he was awarded a star in the Dubai Walk of Fame after his nomination for the best singer in Pakistan. He was also featured in the Forbes Asia’s 100 Digital Stars, published in December, 2020. Aslam has an extensively large following at home in Pakistan as well as in neighboring countries of India and Bangladesh. He refers to his fans as “Aadeez” (عادیز;).
Atif Aslam was born on 12 March 1983 into a Punjabi Muslim family in Wazirabad, Punjab, Pakistan. He went to Kimberley Hall School in Lahore until 1991, when he moved to Rawalpindi and continued his studies at St. Paul’s Cambridge School in Satellite Town. In 1995, Aslam returned to Lahore where he continued his studies at a Divisional Public School and College (DPSC) branch. He proceeded to attend Fazaia Inter College for his HSSC from 1999 to 2001, and later went to PICS to pursue a bachelor’s degree in computer science. In an interview, Aslam revealed that his ambition around this time was to become a professional cricketer.
Atif Aslam was born in a Pakistani Punjabi Family to Mohammad Aslam and Rehana Shaheen. He has three brothers named Shahbaz, who is a Designer, Shahzad, who is a photographer and Sheraz.
He married educationist Sara Bharwana in Lahore on 29 March 2013 and they have two children.
Aslam has stated that he had no initial formal training in music, and was disinterested in the thought of pursuing a musical career over one in cricket. It was not until his college days that he began to actively take part in various musical competitions and eventually was encouraged by his friends to establish himself in the music industry. He has mentioned the works of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan as one of his very first musical inspirations.
Aslam began his career after forming the band Jal and released the song ‘Aadat’ with another contemporary musician Goher Mumtaz in 2003. The original version was written by Goher and sung by Aslam. During this initial period of the band, Aslam was the lead singer of Jal. He has mentioned in multiple interviews that he had recorded the song with his pocket money at the age of 17. The band released the song on the internet in 2003, which then went on to become a youth anthem.
After separation from Jal, Aslam released his first album titled Jal Pari, on 17 July, 2004, produced by Sarmad Abdul Ghafoor, having 11 tracks, which was an instant hit. The album also won the 4th Lux Style Awards in 2005 in the category of “Best Album”.
2005–2006; Step into Bollywood and Hollywood
Following “Jal Pari”, Aslam released another solo album, “Doorie” in 2006, having 18 tracks. The album also won the 6th Lux Style Awards in 2007 in the “Best Album” category.
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). Aadat and its remix was recreated for the film Kalyug, directed by Mohit Suri. In 2006, Aslam worked with Mithoon for the song “Tere Bin” from Bas Ek Pal. The song was a hit in both India and Pakistan and got him nominated for the Filmfare Award. Three songs from his first album “Aadat”,”Ehsaas” and “Yakeen” were used in Hollywood film Man Push Cart in 2005.
Third solo album titled “Meri Kahani”, having 12 tracks, released in 2008. It was produced by Sarmad Abdul Ghafoor. In 2008, the album was nominated in 7th Lux Style Awards in the category “Best Album”. Album’s song “Hangami Halaat” was nominated in 2009 in “MTV Brrr Music Awards” in the category “Best Rock Song”.
In 2008, he recorded three versions of Pehli Nazar Mein and Bakhuda Tumhi Ho from Race and Kismat Konnection respectively composed by Pritam with lyrics by Sameer and Sayeed Qaudri respectively. Pehli Nazar Mein catapulted him to Bollywood mainstream success and also had won him IIFA Award.
2009; Debut in Coke Studio
In the 2009 romantic film Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani, he sang two chartbuster songs Tu Jaane Na and Tera Hone Laga Hoon including remix versions of both songs, all were composed by Pritam with lyrics by Irshad Kamil and Ashish Pandit, which fetched him several nominations. He sang advertising Olper’s Qawwali “Hum Mustafavi”. In Coke Studio Season 2, his five songs were released titled as “Jal Pari”, “Kinara” (co-sung by Riaz Ali Khan), “Wasta Pyar Da”, “Mai Ni Main” and “Humain Kya Hua”.
In 2010, he recorded ten songs for Prince film including five remix versions, composed by Sachin Gupta with lyrics by Sameer. These songs showcased the rockier side of Aslam. A Punjabi song Rona Chaditta (also known as Mahi Mahi) for the film Mel Karade Rabba was released, composed by Jaidev Kumar, which went on to become a hit. Two songs, “Doorie” and “Maula” from his second album Doorie were used in the film Spanish Beauty (Hindi Version). “Ab Khud Kuch Karna Paray Ga” was recorded with Strings. “We Will Rise Again” was co-sung with Todd Shea, composed by Lanny Cordola. An advertising song for Warid Pakistan titled “Jee Lay Zindagi” was also released.
2011; Step into Pakistani Film Industry
In 2011, he sang a song from the film F.A.L.T.U, composed by Sachin-Jigar titled “Le Ja Tu Mujhe” with lyrics written by Sameer Anjaan. The same year, he sang two songs “Hona Tha Pyar” and “Kaho Aaj Bol Do” with Hadiqa Kiani for the film Pakistani film Bol in which he was cast as lead role.
In this year, he recorded two songs for the film Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya, “Tu Muhabbat Hai” and “Piya O Re Piya” excluding sad version of the later, compositions of Sachin-Jigar. He recorded two songs “Bol Ke Lub Azaad Hain” and “Mori Araj Suno” for the Hollywood film The Reluctant Fundamentalist.
He also performed three songs in Coke Studio’s Season Five titled as “Charka Nolakha”, “Rabba Sacheya” and “Dholna”. He also sang the advertising song “Juro Ge To Jano Ge” for Jazz Pakistan.
In 2013, he recorded a total of twelve songs including four blockbuster songs. Three songs for Jayanta Bhai Ki Luv Story, three songs for Ramaiya Vasta Vaiya, three songs for Phata Poster Nikla Hero and two songs for the film Race 2. Main Rang Sharbaton Ka was nominated at World Music Awards in 2014 for “Best Song”. “Main Rang Sharbaton Ka” fetched several awards and multiple nominations for him. Zameen Jaagti Hai and Tu Khaas Hai were released in Pakistan.
In 2014, he recorded 2 songs for the film Entertainment, “Tera Naam Doon” and “Nahi Woh Saamne”. Both songs were composed by Sachin-Jigar with lyrics written by Priya Panchal. He also sang QMobile Noir i10 advertising song “Dil Se Dil” and Etisalat advertising song “Faasle”.
He worked with Sachin-Jigar for the song Jeena Jeena for the film Badlapur, The song Jeena Jeena topped various charts and was one of the biggest hits of 2015, which also got him a nomination for the Filmfare award for best playback singer. Same year he also recorded Dil Kare for Ho Mann Jahaan.
Aslam’s rendition of “Tajdar-e-Haram” crossed 285 million views on YouTube in July 2020, originally released in 2015, it became the 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 CokeStudio Season 8 and has been viewed in 186 countries across the world. Also, it is Aslam’s first individual video on YouTube to make the record.
Aslam worked with musician Arko Pravo for the chartbuster song Tere Sang Yaara from Rustom which topped “Bollywood Life” chart, got nominated for “Filmfare Award for Best Male Playback Singer”. Atif worked with Mithoon for four versions of the song “Mar Jaayen” from Loveshhuda in 2016, penned by Sayeed Qaudri. He worked with musical duo Sachin-Jigar for Toota Jo Kabhi Taara and Khair Mangda for the movie A Flying Jatt.
“Dil Dancer” from the movie Actor in Law released, which earned him LUX Award for best playback singer. He sang”Yaariyaan” song with Ali Zafar, composed by Sahir Ali Bagga which released on 2016 Defence Day. He collaborated with Maher Zain for the song “I’m Alive” and sang “Jal Pari” for the advertisement of Huawei Honor 5X.
At the start of the year, “Hoor” song from Hindi Medium released. After which, Romantic song “Baarish” from Half Girlfriend composed by Tanishk Bagchi and Ballad song “Musafir” from Sweetie Weds NRI were released. Romantic song “Darasal” composed by JAM8 released same year. 2 Ballad songs “Main Agar” from Tubelight and “Jaane De” from Qarib Qarib Singlle were out, composed by Pritam and Vishal Mishra respectively. In December 2017, “Dil Diyan Gallan” from Tiger Zinda Hai released, composed by Vishal-Shekhar and lyrics by Irshad Kamil. The song has garnered over 670M views on YouTube as of January 2021. His first Bengali song “Mithe Alo” from Cockpit film was also released.
The same year, Pehli Dafa starring Aslam and Ileana D’Cruz was released, which was a composition of Shiraz Uppal. A single “Younhi” written by Atif himself released on Atif’s birthday, which featured Aslam and Nicolli Dela Nina. “Noor-e-Azal” Hamd released, sung by Aslam and Abida Parveen, a composition of Shani Arshad. He also sang ISPR song “Kabhi Percham Main”, which released on 2017 Defence Day.
He performed at 16th Lux Style Awards by singing “Pakistan National Anthem” and “Us Rah Par”. He also performed in Pepsi Battle of the Bands. Same year, he performed at Second Hum Style Awards and sang “Aitebar”, “Dewana Bana Rakha Hai” and “Yaar Na Vichde”.
In 2018, a total of 19 songs released by Aslam. Romantic song “Dil Meri Na Sune” was composed by Himesh Reshammiya for film Genius. “O Saathi” from Baaghi 2 written by Arko, “Paniyon Sa” from Satyameva Jayate, “Tere Liye” from Namaste England and “Tera Hua” from Loveyatri were major hits in the charts. He voiced for three recreated songs “Jab Koi Baat”, “Dekhte Dekhte” for Batti Gul Meter Chalu which took the “official Asian music chart number 1” and recorded “Chalte Chalte” for Mitron. Other songs include “Sehmi Hai Dhadkan”, three versions of “Selfish” for Race 3 and two songs “Tum” and “O Meri Laila” from Laila Majnu lyrics by Irshad Kamil.
Pakistani song Thaam Lo from Parwaaz Hai Junoon was also released during the same year, which earned him the LUX Award for the best playback Singer. He sang “Humain Pyaar Hai Pakistan Se”, released on 2018 Defence Day. “12 Bajay” was released in December 2018.
In January 2019, “Auliya” song from Hum Chaar released, composed by Vipin Patwa. “Baarishein” released on 13 February 2019, a day before 2019 Pulwama Attack. He performed at 18th Lux Style Awards and sang “Mujhe Dil Se Na Bhulana” with Momina Mustehan as a tribute to Bangladeshi-Pakistani actress Shabnam.
“In Dinon” and “Anjaana” from Superstar film were also released. Pardadari, sung by Aslam and Abida Parveen also released. He also sang “Shaheen-e-Pakistan” for the ISPR, which was released on Pakistan Day.
Coke Studio started with songs of Aslam in Season 12. Aaye Kuch Abr, Mubarik Mubarik and Wohi Khuda Hai were released.
Expulsion from Bollywood
Following the 2019 Pulwama attack in February and subsequent military standoff between India and Pakistan, the All-Indian Cinema Workers Association, in solidarity with the Indian government, placed an immediate ban on all Pakistani works within Indian cinema/music and ordered all Pakistani artists to leave the country. Following Aslam’s departure to Pakistan, all the songs that were already recorded with his voice and due for release in Bollywood were put on hold, and were re-recorded by various Indian singers before being released. These songs were remade by prominent artists. Such as Tu Mila To Haina and Pachtaoge were by Arijit Singh while others such as Main Taare and “Sajda Karu” were replaced by Salman Khan and Stebin Ben, respectively. Eventually, intense public demand and pressure caused some of the songs to be released unofficially as they were originally recorded in Aslam’s voice.
The song Kinna Sona became a topic of controversy as it was originally recorded by Aslam for the film Marjaavaan, but the track was replaced at the last minute by Indian singer Jubin Nautiyal. The song was a mix-and-match blended cover with heavy inspirations from Pakistani Sufi Islamic Qawwali music that was sung by NFAK. In June 2020, T-Series released the original cover sung by Aslam on YouTube, but was forced to remove it and immediately issued an apology after a threat-laced campaign led by various right-wing Indian nationalist figures and parties such as the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena.
In 2020, Tips released ten-year-old song “Woh Mere Bin”. He also sang Zong advertisement song “Aik Naya Khaab”.
In April 2020, he recited Azaan shortly after which Coke Studio released Asma-ul-Husna in May 2020, recited by Atif Aslam and produced by Zulfiqar Jabbar Khan as an expression of solidarity with humanity amid the COVID-19 pandemic. It features voices from the universe recorded by NASA, thirty three backing vocalist from across the globe and the sound of Daf with pronunciation supervised by Hafiz Idrees giving it the feat of having 4M views in just four days on YouTube and as of January 2021, it has received over 30M views. Atif Aslam worked for an ad of Infinix Mobile Zero 8. “Kadi Te Hans” released on 20 November 2020 by VELO Sound Station which got 2.5M views in two days of its release.
On 26 February 2021, Atif released the song “Raat” that was a poem by Munir Niazi. A tribute to Musarrat Nazir “Chale To Kat Hi Jayega” premiered on 19 March 2021 and received 14 million views in 3 days. Atif released the song Rafta rafta on. 21 July 2021.
His first international tour was 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 solo debut concert in New Jersey, Aslam returned with his band and special guests to Queens Colden Center, New York to perform on 2 July 2010.
Two years later, Aslam returned to the US. Collaborating with vocalist Shreya Ghoshal, their March 2010 tour originally had 10 shows announced in the 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.
He continued to tour the world with headline performances at 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 Oakland Arena, San Francisco, Oakland, in July 2011, during their USA and Canada tour. In September 2011, Aslam performed in New York.
On 22 April 2012, Atif Aslam became the first Pakistani to perform in London’s O2 Arena a concert spectacular to promote love, peace and unity among Pakistan and India. Aslam performed for four hours. This was followed up by shows in Manchester and 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.
Atif Aslam is the first artist from Asia, and the second artist after Bryan Adams, who is 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 Birmingham following 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.
Because of immense popularity and fan following, Atif Aslam has also performed in Bangladesh and Kenya.
Atif Aslam performed alongside Sonu Nigam in three occasions, one of which is a concert Shaam-e-Dostana at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre in Malaysia.
Atif Aslam has also performed alongside Neha Kakkar during their USA-Canada tour in 2018 in Long Beach California, Los Angeles.
Five songs from Aslam’s first two albums “Jal Pari” and “Doorie” were featured in two films. From first album three songs “Yakeen”, “Ehsaas”, and “Aadat” were featured in Ramin Bahrani’s 2005 film Man Push Cart which has won international awards and was praised by the critics. Two other songs from second album “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.
Aslam made his acting debut in the 2011 Pakistani movie Bol along with Pakistani actress Mahira Khan.
Aslam appeared as the 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 Atif’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.
Some of his popular songs include Aadat, Woh Lamhey, Pehli Nazar Mein, Tere Bin, Kuch Is Tarah, Doorie, Bakhuda Tumhi Ho, Tera Hone Laga Hoon, Tu Jaane Na, Be Intehaan, Allah Duhai hai, O Mere Khuda, Tere Liye, Hona tha Pyar, Piya O Re Piya, Zindagi Aa Raha Hoon Main, Jeene Laga Hoon, Main Rang Sharbaton Ka, Jeena Jeena, Pehli Dafa, Tere Sang Yaara, Musafir, Dil Diyan Gallan, O Saathi, Jab Koi Baat, Dil Meri Na Sune, Paniyon Sa, Tajdar-e-Haram, Kinna Sona, Baarish, Man Aamadeh Am, Pachtaoge, Tere Hua, Thaam Lo, Dekhte Dekhte, Kadi Te Hans and Chale To Kat Hi Jayega.
Atif Aslam is a Pakistani playback singer, songwriter, composer, and actor. His first song, “Aadat”, won him three awards. “Tu Jaane Na” won him an award and received three other nominations. “Jeena Jeena” and “Jeene Laga Hoon” were also nominated twice. In 2008, Aslam received the Tamgha-e-Imtiaz (medal of distinction), the fourth-highest civilian honour from the Pakistani government, as well as numerous Lux Style Awards. In 2019, he was awarded a star in the Dubai Walk of Fame upon his nomination as the “Best Singer in Pakistan”. He has won six Lux Style Awards and received five Filmfare nominations.
Aslam has won the following awards and nominations in Pakistan, India, and other countries.
- Indus Music Awards: 03
- Sahara Sangeet Awards: 02
- The Musik Awards: 02
- Lux Style Awards: 08
- MTV Brrr Music Awards: 02
- World Music Awards: 01
- Filmfare Awards: 05
- Lycra MTV Style Awards: 01
- IIFA Awards: 03
- Screen Awards: 01
- Guild Awards: 01
- Zee Cine Awards: 01
- GIMA Awards: 01
- MTV IGGY Awards: 01
- Pakistan Media Awards: 03
- Big Apple Music Awards: 03
- Hum Style Awards: 04
- BIG Star Entert. Awards: 01