-BY AHMAD UZAIR || Zahra Haider Khan is a trained classical singer hailing from the city of Lahore. Recently she was in the limelight after her appearance on Pakistan’s first online digital singing competition “Pakistan Superstar” where she was first shortlisted among the top 10 finalists on the show. And eventually as the show concluded, Zahra was crowned as the “Winner” of the first season of this new digital show. But this might not be the first time that she has tasted such success, for those who know she has been in music industry for quite sometime and has even released an album along with her brother in collaboration with GEO Records.
Another very interesting and inspiring fact about Zahra is her academic and professional background. She is a LUMS graduate and later went on to complete her Master’s from Warwick, England. She has also the good fortune of working in companies such as DELL, Microsoft, CitiBank and currently looks after the Marketing department of IBM for Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Despite her busy schedule, she took out some time for me to have a small chit chat about her career. Even with so much to her credit, she sounded quite humble and down to earth which really speaks of her musical nature. Here is what she has to say about her work and passion for music.
Hello Zahra, Tell us a little bit about your background and your musical beginnings. How has been the journey so far in the music industry?
Just to start off with , as far as I remember I have been singing from perhaps the age of 3 . My family was very much music loving and I inherited this trait from them. Then in my school days I started to take active part in music functions and eventually became the president of the music society at Lahore grammar school. I used to perform there quite often and after that when I went to LUMS I was part of music society there aswell. So overall I have always been associated with music in one form or another.
But it was only after my graduation that I officially launched my musical career when my brother, who has a very gifted voice, started singing as well and we formed our duo. We also recorded an album that was released by GEO records. We have also done 2 videos from the album but it always remained as sideline projects. Apart from that I have also done playback singing for Telefilms. Until now music has always been more of a passion and hobby than a career.
Many people won’t know this but you are a full-time working women too and doing a pretty amazing job in the corporate world . How do you manage your passion for music along with a hectic professional life?
It’s not that difficult for me now. I think if you are passionate about something, you get to manage it quite easily and same has been the case with me. You know I have got weekends and then some time after regular office work hours. Also recordings usually take place on weekends or in the evenings so it doesn’t really clash with my work timings. I always work it around my professional job because at the end of the day I also have to give 100% to my job.
Recently you got a big break-through when you were declared the winner at the Pakistan Superstar singing competition. How has been the experience of appearing on a first-of-its-kind digital music reality show?
Actually entry into Pakistan SuperStar was not really planned for me and my entry was sent by somebody else. But eventually it ended on a very high note for me. The experience was really good. When I received a call from them that I have been shortlisted among top 10 contestants, I was pleasantly surprised. and from there on, in the whole journey, from live performances to recordings to making new compositions, I met some lovely people and some great musicians. Although the show was a new idea for the masses but inspite of the fact, there were total of 37000 entries which really speaks of its volume. I really hope this platform has a great future . I guess digital media is going to be the next big thing and will certainly be the major share holder in media industry.
Our readers would really love to know about upcoming musical stuff from your end. We heard that have you struck a big deal with a renowned record label. Please share some details.
Currently I am working for my track for Universal Records with Pakistan Superstars. Right now it’s in the very initial phases. We have just started working on it and this is probably going to take few more weeks before we finalize that track. So that is something I am currently working on and quite hopeful about its outcome.
Any special message to your fans? Where do you see yourself musically in 5 years from here on?
If you are passionate about music, sports or any other thing and if you think that you have the true passion to pursue it, then never give it up. Because life is very short so one should definitely pursue what they are passionate about. As far as I am concerned, I see myself doing more music not only for the next 5 years but for the rest of my life too. Music is really part of my life and identity. Although the magnitude of my future activities might depend on the sort of opportunities that come my way but I would always love to be attached to music in any possible way.
Thankyou very much Zahra for taking out time for this Interview. Wish you all the very best of luck !