It is very rare that someone comes along with just
the right amount of personality, the right amount
of talent, the charisma, the style, the courage
and most importantly the passion to excel at something.
When all these rare qualities come together in any
individual, he creates history! For any artist,
the connection with his audience is the ultimate
aim of his art form. If the success of any artist
is measured by his ability to captivate his audience,
Atif Aslam stands head and shoulders above everyone
else in the industry.
On 12th March, 1983 Atif Aslam was born in Wazirabad,
Pakistan. He soon moved back to Lahore (his hometown)
and started his education. Throughout his school
and college life, Atif was more enthusiastic about
cricket than anything else. He aspired to be a cricketer
some day and music was probably the last thing on
In College though, his friends encouraged him to
sing. He took part in many singing competitions
in college and won them. He was boosted by these
competitions and decided to record from his own
pocket money. That’s how “Aadat” happened. The song
“Aadat” (“Habit” in English) was recorded by Atif
as part of a band. However, the band called “Jal”
soon went their separate ways even before the release
of their first album. The song and the video were
surrounded by a lot of controversies. Amongst all
the uncertainty, Atif Aslam decided to continue
his career as a solo artist. Many believed that
a non-existent artist that has one song to his credit
would not be able to survive on his own. Atif was
determined to prove everyone wrong.
On 17th July, 2004 the first album of Atif Aslam
was released. The album was titled “Jalpari”. On
the outset, the album stood on the success of “Aadat”
but as the weeks progressed; it was made clear to
everyone that Atif wasn’t merely a one hit wonder.
The album featured various smash hit tracks such
as “Bheegi Yaadein”, “Ehsaas”, “Mahi Ve”, “Ankhon
Sey” along with the title track “Jalpari”. Atif
came up with his own sound. His unique vocal capabilities
and powerful renditions elevated him to stardom
within weeks. The album had become the youth anthem
Atif never came from a family of musicians nor was
he musically trained, but he used all these factors
to his advantage. All he had was raw talent and
the passion to be a musician. He was courageous
enough to sing in his own style without giving an
ear to the distracters. Many believe that his courage
and passion that was displayed in the first album
became the foundation of his success. As Atif rode
on the success of “Jalpari”, he also proved that
he was an electrifying performer through his concerts.
People were amazed to experience the kind of voice
quality Atif was able to deliver in a live performance.
His energy on stage, his charisma, his ability to
work the crowd and his vocals made him the most
sought after live performer in Pakistan. The artist
started performing to sellout crowds on a regular
basis. The energy level never reduced but the crowd
kept on increasing.
Atif soon realized that it was time to take his
music to a global platform. He started his career
as a playback singer in Bollywood with the song
“Wo Lamhey” for the movie “Zeher”. The song “Wo
Lamhey” was a commercial version of the song “Bheegi
Yaadein” from Atif’s first album. The movie came
out in “2005” and Atif’s voice became an instant
hit with the Indian audience. The music listeners
of India are exposed to hundreds of voices and thousands
of songs each year but among all those voices, Atif
Aslam’s voice stood out and made a connection! The
remix version of “Wo Lamhey” (also sung by Atif)
was even a bigger hit then the original. With just
one track, Atif had conquered the highly competitive
Indian play back singing empire. The artist soon
went to India to perform several times. He was received
by screaming fans and admirers that had fallen in
love with the voice of a Pakistani boy.
Atif Aslam was the first Pakistani singer to be
nominated for the most prestigious Indian “film
fare” awards two years in a row. These are the different
Bollywood projects that Atif Aslam was a part of:
Tera Honey Laga Hon, Tu Jaane Na
O Mere Khuda, Aa Bhi Ja Sanam, Tere Liye,
Kaun Hoon Main
Le Ja Tu Mujhey
Piya O Re Piya, Tu Muhabbat Hai
Bas Ek Pal
Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Khanai
Tere Naal Love Hogaya
In December 2006, Atif Aslam decided to release
his second album in collaboration with the music
company “Tips” in India. The album titled “Doorie”
was Atif’s way of experimenting with different musical
genres and exploring his musical abilities. It was
another courageous attempt because many believed
that Atif was restricted to singing “Rock” and “Pop”.
The artist took it up as a challenge and produced
an album that had many commercial tracks that appealed
to the masses along with some rock numbers as well.
Upon the release of Doorie, Atif validated his position
as a versatile artist. In just 2 years Atif was
given the title of “Voice of the generation”. The
second album was a massive success for the artist
and it solidified his reputation as a global superstar.
By the time 2007 arrived, Atif had become the most
popular musical act in South Asia. Atif pursued
playback singing and lent his voice to various chart
Atif’s third musical venture was called “Meri Kahani”
and was released worldwide on 18th January, 2008.
The artist went back to his roots in this album
and created tracks similar to his original sound
of 2004. At this stage of his career, it was yet
another experiment because he presented his own
sound to the masses. The album was received very
well and Atif was appreciated for introducing his
original sound to the legions of fans that knew
him mostly for his playback singing.
In the limelight
Due to his ever increasing popularity Atif went
on various tours around the globe taking his music
to the world. Atif Aslam was the third Pakistan
act ever to perform in the prestigious “Royal Albert
Hall” in UK. At the time, he was the youngest among
all the Pakistani acts that performed before him
and also had spent the least amount of time in the
industry. To date, Atif Aslm has performed in more
than 15 countries across the globe and captivated
the heart of millions. For this incredible feat,
Atif Aslam became the youngest Pakistani to be bestowed
upon with the highest civil honor “Tamgha-e-Imtiaz”
(Star of Excellence) from the Government in 2008.
In 2009, Atif Aslam made his presence felt in the
show “Coke Studio” produced by Rohail Hyatt. Coke
Studio showcases live performances of artists from
diverse genres as they come together to present
a unique blend of fusion music. Atif Aslam was a
big hit with Coke Studio fans as he gave 5 electrifying
performances experimenting with different musical
avenues. The show was able to attain maximum exposure
from national and international viewers due to the
presence of the superstar.
Every fortnight, music lovers tuned into the show
to watch Atif’s innovative and courageous live performances
that he handled with utmost ease. The performances
by Atif Aslam on Coke Studio not only solidified
his reputation as a one-of-a-kind live act, the
performances also made millions of music lovers
fall in love with the music & vocals of Atif Aslam.
The first live performance by Atif on Coke Studio
got 375,000+ views on YouTube! The performance featured
the title track of Atif’s first album “Jalpari”.
Over the course of the season, Atif Aslam performed
the following tracks on Coke Studio:
- Wasta Pyaar Da
- Mai Ne
- Humain Kya Hua
Atif Aslam received excellent reviews for each performance.
Atif’s appearance on Coke Studio not only elevated
him to greater heights of success, it also helped
the superstar to gain the respect of his peers and
Atif Aslam has been part of noticeable International
projects as well. In 2005, three tracks from his
first album (Yakeen, Ehsaas & Aadat) were included
in the soundtrack of an independent Hollywood venture
titled “Man Push Cart”. The movie went on to win
8 international awards and 7 further nominations.
Atif always wanted to explore the international
music and as part of the journey, Atif collaborated
with the pioneers of hard rock “Guns N' Roses”.
The project meant to create a bridge between the
diverse cultures of both countries and also aimed
to raise money for different causes in Pakistan
by the eventual music created.
The musical collaboration of Atif Aslam and Lanny
Cordola has already made waves with patriotic and
inspiring tracks titled “Pakistan I have a dream”
& “We Will Rise Again”. Speaking about Atif Aslam,
Lanny Cordola comments:
“I couldn’t be more grateful to him. As a friend
and as a musician… We have these long conversations
about history and music and when we played together
we had great chemistry.”
In 2010, Atif also diversified as an actor and took
up the challenge to star in a movie called “BOL”.
The movie is directed by acclaimed Pakistani director
Shoaib Mansoor and provides a deep moralistic insight
into the most sensitive issues prevailing in Pakistan.
The aim of the movie is to convey a meaningful message
to the audience and that is the main reason that
Atif Aslam chose this particular role over all the
offers he had received. He wanted to portray a character
that would be of some use to the society and would
also challenge his limits as an artist.
Atif had received offers for various projects in
India, but he chose to begin his acting career in
a Pakistani movie because he wanted to return to
his roots. His music career took off in Pakistan
and he wanted to do his first movie project in a
Pakistani venture as well. Atif Aslam sang two songs
for the movie. The first song was called “Kaho (Aj
Bol Do)” and the second song was called “Hona Tha
Pyaar” that was composed by Atif Aslam himself.
Both songs received a great response.
The movie released all over Pakistan on 24th June,
2011 and is set to release worldwide later this
year. The response in Pakistan was phenomenal as
the movie created box office history in its very
first week. The rave reviews from the critics were
accompanied by a record breaking business of Rs.
25 million approximately by the end of first week.
The response of the movie goers in Pakistan solidified
the reputation of Atif Aslam as the most charismatic
personality in recent history.
In a nutshell
In less than 7 years, Atif Aslam has clearly become
“The biggest superstar of Pakistan”. His juvenile
and humble personality has struck a chord with the
youth of South Asia on a very personal level. An
artist that has reached the pinnacle of success
continues to amaze the world by keeping his feet
grounded. On stage, Atif Aslam is a Rock star, he
is larger than life but he doesn’t bring back that
part of his performance back with him off stage.
Beyond all the spotlights and the superstardom,
Atif continues to live a simple life with a simple
personality. Along with his powerful vocals and
soulful renditions, Atif is known for his sense
of humor and the ability to spread positive energy
all around him.
It is often said about Atif Aslam that “He came,
he sang & he conquered” but it has not been that
simple. The success is backed by consistent hard
work, dedication and the ability to create music
with fearless confidence! Combine all that with
the most humble superstar ever and only one name
comes to mind, Atif Aslam!