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In conversation: Maha Ali Kazmi talks about Falling Now - MAG THE WEEKLY

July 24, 2020

Kashmiri born singer/songwriter Maha Ali Kazmi began her musical career back in 2013 as a back-up vocalist for Cornetto Music Icons. Soon after, she released her debut single Nazar. Since then, Kazmi has seen no dearth of opportunities and has been climbing up the ladder of triumph. She released a number of singles which have been very well received including collaboration with guitar maestro Aamir Zaki for Aaj Sun Ke Tumhara Naam.

Her most recent venture is her new single Falling Now. The song was released on 20th June, immediately following the release of We Are One (global collaboration song) produced by Kashan Admani. We Are One featured 40 artists from seven countries including Kazmi, all coming together to relay a message of hope during Covid-19 Pandemic.

She’s brilliant, introspective and you can feel the creativity pouring out of her words. MAG recently spoke with the songstress about her new single, her creative process behind the song and much more in an exclusive interview.

‘Shared destiny’ at heart of We Are One global pitch' - Gulf Times

June 03, 2020

The song entitled Ae Khuda — We Are One is a joint collaboration among international and Pakistani artists from 40 countries across the world. It features Grammy Award-winning American violinist Charlie Bisharat, who has earlier played for the soundtracks of countless Hollywood movies including Titanic and Transformers; Grammy nominee Simon Philips; bass virtuoso Stu Hamm; and percussionist Gumbi Ortiz from the US; multiple award winning Russian guitarist Roman Miroshnichenko; and Dr Palash Sen, the lead vocalist of Indian pop/rock band Euphoria and Taylor Simpson, American drummer for Junoon, to name a few.
The song also features famous Pakistani artists Najam Sheraz, Faakhir, Farhad Humayun, Maha Ali Kazmi, Bilal Ali (Kashmir The Band) and Farooq Ahmed (Aaroh).
Talking to Community, Maha Ali Kazmi described her experience as “a dream come true”. “To have worked alongside such highly acclaimed musicians from all over the world is something very special and close to my heart,” she said, adding, “the song instills a sense of hope, bringing so many musicians from such diverse backgrounds and geographical locations, to reinforce the message that, while we seek God’s blessings, we must unite in our efforts, as one human family, to face our challenges. This is our shared destiny”.

With Sahibo, Maha Ali Kazmi reconnects with her roots in Kashmir

Maha Ali Kazmi’s Sahibo is a Kashmiri-Urdu song, an adaptation of the original Kashmiri song Sahibo by Mudasir Ali and Kashmir by Sharat Sinha. Maha’s version carries additional lyrics in Urdu by Shah Faesal. The musicians who contributed to Sahibo include Joshua Amjad on the tabla, Veeru Shan on the Peruvian cajon, Bradley D’Souza on the acoustic u-bass, Alex Shahbaz on the piano, Irfan Ali Taj on the rubab, Zulqarnain on the flute, Kashan Admani and Mairah Khan on the acoustic guitars. Sahibo has been directed and produced by Kashan Admani.

Sahibo was recorded last year at a very special time in Maha’s life — she was seven months pregnant and constantly travelling back and forth between Singapore, where her husband is based, and Karachi, which she calls home. In the video of Sahibo, she can be seen in a traditional Kashmiri matha-patti while recording her vocals in the studio.

According to her, the effort paid off. “The response has been overwhelming, especially from Kashmiris round the world,” she says. “It has been shared on several prominent Kashmiri blogs. I was actually overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and affection from diaspora Kashmiris. And this brings me to the sad part: the intended audience of this song — the people of the valley — are living under a curfew, in the most gruelling conditions, without access to basic amenities, let alone the internet.”

Ever since the Indian government revoked Article 370 of the Indian constitution denying Kashmiris their special status, the valley has also experienced a shutdown in communications, notably the internet. It has been difficult for Maha to receive word about the safety and welfare of her own extended family trapped in India-held Jammu and Kashmir. Needless to say, Sahibo is very close to her heart.

Now that Sahibo’s out, what’s in store for her next? “I have few songs in the pipeline,” she relates. “Some are already recorded, others exist merely as melodies in my mind. I’d recently recorded a song produced by Meekal Hasan. I’m hoping to release it sometime this year.”

Published in Dawn, ICON, January 5th, 2020

Motivation gushes in Maha Ali’s inspiring song Sitaron ki Khoj - Daily Pakistan

August 14, 2018

LAHORE – Pakistan is a land of culture and yes the people here are full of talent. Every region exhibits its own taste and history. Artists from all over this country are showing their artistry in various forms of expressions.

One such emerging singer, Maha Ali Kazmi is a Pakistani singer/ songwriter who was born and grew up in Karachi. Maha Ali Kazmi has performed some amazing numbers.

Kazmi had also worked with late guitar virtuoso Aamir Zaki with a splendid track Aaj Sun Ke Tumhara Naam. This title had made many emotional and touched their hearts.

Maha has released her latest audio song titled as Sitaron Ki Khoj and we must say the lyrics of the songs are meaningful and add spirit in the mind of the listener.

The melodious song is composed by Mubashir Admani. Vocals and composition are done by the talented Maha Ali Kazmi herself and the lyrics are written by Maha Ali Kazmi and Abdullah Haroon.

The song Sitaron ki Khoj expresses a strong faith in future and it motivates the listeners to strive hard for the country collectively.

This song is a tribute to the struggling people out there where the singer refers them as “Sitaray” and is out to find them hence the name Sitaron ki khoj main.

Enjoy listening to the song by Maha Ali:

The real Aamir Zaki exists in live sessions, not in cassettes, CDs or mp3 files: Maha Kazmi - Dawn

July 06, 2017

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. The two recorded a track together 10 years ago which was released on the ace guitarist's one month death anniversary.

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.

February 17, 2017

Karachi - Maha Ali Kazmi’s highly anticipated new single titled ‘Summer Nights’ releases nationwide today. Following the successes of Nazar and Jana Nahin, songs produced by Farhad Humayun and Shahi Hasan respectively,This will be Maha’s third single. It stands out from the rest of her work so far in that it’s a song in English composed and written by Maha herself. It is produced and arranged by Mubashir Admani. The song narrates how a beautiful experience resurfaces as a memory can be painful when you are separated from loved one. On his part Mubashir Admani was absolutely brilliant in the immaculate arrangement of music and production. On the launch of Summer Nights, Maha has said, “I’m very excited about the song release as this is my first English release, While I understand even within my genre I am trying to capture a small niche, this being an English song, as an artist I strongly feel this is my best work so far, and also a work closest to my heart. 

“I wrote ‘Summer Nights’ away from home while study in Melbourne. Music was the furthest thing from my mind back then, yet the place where I was studying was a kind of a cultural center where music bands converged on the street corners with dancers.”

Song release: Maha Ali Kazmi presents Jana Nahi - DAWN

MADEEHA SYED - PUBLISHED JUL 30, 2014 11:49AM

The ridiculously beautiful Maha Ali Kazmi can not only sing, but also writes most of her own songs. She’s previously released a song Nazar with Overload’s Farhad Humayun and was featured in last year’s Cornetto Music Icons as well. Come Eid and she’s released another song, Jana Nahi, which has been produced by Shahzad ‘Shahi' Hasan (one of the founder members of the Vital Signs, producer for Cornetto Music Icons and half the mainstream music in the industry!) and directed by Aania Shah.

Maha Ali Kazmi in the 'Gulf Times'

KAMRAN REHMAT - PUBLISHED August 31 2013 09:52 PM

The Pakistani music scene is abuzz these days with the emergence of a singer whose spectacular debut is an early portent of a star. 
While one swallow does not a summer make, listeners have found a nostalgic note or two about Maha Ali Kazmi’s single Nazar that reminds them of the kind of talent that Nazia Hassan, the subcontinent’s first iconic pop singer, possessed.
Coming at a time when the music scene has endured a bit of a parched spell, Maha has made herself count not with some bubble gummy peppy number, but a rendition for the soul.
Nazar hit the airwaves in Pakistan this month and became a sensation on the social media overnight. The song was first launched on her facebook fan page where it received an overwhelming response. 
An alma mater of MONASH University, Melbourne, she returned home after completing her degree and auditioned for a local show ‘Cornetto Music Icons’ produced by Shahi 
Hasan of Pakistan’s first celebrated pop band Vital Signs. Hasan selected her as part of the house band.
After lending backup vocals at this show which was aired on Pakistan’s premier TV channel, ARY Digital, she realised music was her true calling, and decided to collaborate with OVERLOAD Band’s front man and drummer Farhad Humayun and keyboardist Sheraz Siddiq on her debut single Nazar.
Here in a freewheeling interview with Gulf Times, she holds forth on her passion for music and dreams. 

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Kashmiri girl rocks in Pakistan - The Times of India

September 24, 2013

NEW DELHI: Maha Ali Kazmi, a young Pakistani of Kashmiri descent recently released ‘Nazar’ a love song that is being played all over the internet and on various television channels in Pakistan. Her relatives and acquaintances in Kashmir too have been listening to her number via internet and sharing it over various social networking sites.

 

Writen by Pakistani lyricist Haroon Shahid and directed by Farhad Humayun, ‘Nazar’ is about unrequited love of a woman, conceptualized and visualized in a very post-modern manner. Maha’s passionate rendition in a mellifluous and seductive voice combined with her hypnotic looks, emphasized occasionally by dramatic batting of her eyelids, makes ‘Nazar’ a very powerful video number. The usage of rich colourful metaphors for heartache and pain in a flawless achromatic background is quite avant-garde in the subcontinent.

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© Maha Ali Kazmi 2020