India and Pakistan have always had a rich cultural exchange. So, while Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan was composing music for Milan Luthria’s Kachche Dhaage, his nephew made many a music lover’s jiya dhadak dhadak with his commanding voice, Naseeruddin Shah appeared in Shoaib Mansoor’s Khuda Kay Liye, and Fawad Khan made millions of women hyperventilate with his wry smile, Prior to all of this, there was Nazia Hassan. With her own style of pop music, the girl who put South Asia on the map.
Nazia made her debut at the tender age of 15 in Feroze Khan’s Qurbani, singing Aap Jaisa Koi, which became a monster hit after being filmed on an equally hip Zeenat Aman.
In an era when female singers aspired to be the next Lata Mangeshkar or Asha Bhonsle, there was a much more relatable teen with easy-to-sing songs. She was also the American equivalent of a pop star, who would get up on stage in her dungarees and sing her song while grooving to the beat.
Her popularity exploded a year later when she released Disco Deewane, a collaboration with London-based Indian musician Biddu. Nazia and her partner, Zoheb Hassan, collaborated on the album. It was remade for Karan Johar’s 2013 film Student of the Year by Vishal-Shekhar, who chose to keep Nazia Hassan’s velvety vocals in the song’s punchline while weaving a new melody around it.
Because of its languid tempo, the song has remained popular 36 years after its official release. The song had a cool effortlessness to it. which took its sweet time but kept us interested.
After becoming one of the most well-known music figures in India and Pakistan with Disco Deewane, Nazia and Zoheb chose to continue composing for a few more years before retiring at the age of 27 in 1992. However, the pair hosted a show called Music ’89 shortly before she started making music, which was created by Shoaib Mansoor and served as a springboard for many well-known Pakistani artists in the following years.
Many musicians, including Rohail Hyatt (Vital Signs), Sajjad Ali, and Strings, used the show as a springboard.
It’s not well known, but musician Biddu wrote Made in India specifically for Nazia Hassan. However, the singer declined to come out of retirement, afraid that the song would enrage her Pakistani fans. The song, which was eventually sung by Alisha Chinai, went on to become one of India’s most successful pop anthems in the 1990s.In several respects, Nazia Hassan foreshadowed the Alisha Chinais, Fortunate Alis, and Suneeta Raos of India. It was just sad that she died at the age of 35, way too young.
The singer, who brought so much joy to the world with her upbeat songs, spent the last years of her life in misery after marrying a businessman in 1995. She had to work her way through a tumultuous marriage after being diagnosed with lung cancer, which ended 10 days before her death. It’s been 17 years since Nazia Hassan’s effervescent voice went silent for good, and here’s hoping she’s always brightening other worlds with all the sunshine in her voice. Nazia, may you rest in peace.