Top 10 Singers of Pakistan

Written by Rafay Shareef

Music has been a part of Pakistani culture and has grown over the years. The music of Pakistan is very diverse and has been influenced by the various parts of South Asia and Central Asia as well as modern-day western music influences. Western popular music has been slow to Pakistan but is poised to produce creative work. Pakistan’s music industry has made a name in the world by producing legendary singers who have been acclaimed globally. Pakistani singers are mostly known for their sole searing voices which ultimately makes them popular locally and beyond the borders as well.  

Moreover, Pakistan has a long and rich history of great singers, some of the aspiring and senior artists are still doing great to keep the legacy of our descendants. The list goes on but mentioned here are the singers ruling the industry right now. 

Sajjad Ali – Sajjad Ali is a Pakistani pop, semi-classical and rock singer. His singing credibility is par excellence. We have all grown up listening to him. From ‘Tum Naraz Hou’ to ‘Chief Sahab’. He entertained Pakistanis and has given timeless hits. He has received appreciation far beyond the border for his songs which includes, ‘Har Zulm’ and ‘Tum Naraz Hou’ which has made history now. He recently collaborated with a rapper, Bohemia, and made a hip-hop desi rap, Tamasha, which sounds more like his own song Laari Adda which was critically acclaimed back then. He has devoted his life for the music industry which has made him a living legend today.  

Shuja Haider – An inveterate singer-songwriter, composer and music director. His life has been embedded around the music. Starting his own recording studio in 1996 and rising to fame, his life has been revolving around music that he created for Pakistan. He rose to fame with his hit ‘Tera Who Pyaar’ and even got the spotlight when he produced other artists’ hits which includes, Ali Zafar’s ‘Channo’ and Haroon’s ‘Mehbooba’. He is also known for his collaboration with ace film-maker Shoaib Mansoor for his films ‘Khuda K Liye’ and ‘Bol’. We have seen him engaged with the production of OST’s for several drama serials including, ‘Sehra Main Safar’, ‘Mann Mayal’, ‘Alif’ and many more. Haider is currently working for Hum Films and focusing on project, Soundscape. 

Ali Sethi – The most versatile singer to have emerged from the music industry in recent years. Besides being a singer, he is also a writer and got global recognition after his first novel got published ‘The Wish Maker’. He started his music career in 2013 and made a film debut as a singer in ‘The Reluctant Fundamentalist’ and also lend his voice to the soundtrack of film, Manto. Sethi also covered and resurrected those songs which were once considered to be difficult, which includes, ‘Kithay Nain Na Jorin’, ‘Haal Aisa Nahin’ and ‘Yaad Mein Teri’. He received the critical appraisal for his first original single, ‘Mahi Mera’. Sethi co-produced and co-directed, ‘Chan Kithan’ which depicts Punjabi Gothic music. Interestingly, his melodious and transcendent voice keeps you into the music and takes you to a peaceful world of its own. He even collaborated with Grammy award winner, Noah Georgeson and made back-to-back singles, beginning with ‘Chandni Raat’, followed by ‘Dil Lagayein’ and now “Ishq’. He is the face of Fareeda Khannum and Naseeruddin Saami’s teachings. He is a true disciple of such legendary artist of our industry.  

Atif Aslam – He entered the music industry following his passion and interest in the field of music. Started as lead vocalist of band, Jal and then left the band after one superhit song, Aadat. Atif then started making solos which became the reason behind his success. He began his solo journey with an album, Jal Pari which results in an instant hit. Following Jal Pari, Atif released another solo album named as ‘Doorie’ through which he became a prominent face in the industry. He got his first break through when an Indian director, Mahesh Bhatt chose one of his songs, ‘Woh Lamhey’ for a Bollywood movie. Atif worked with many music directors as a playback singer and has given numerous chart-topping songs locally and beyond the borders as well. His super hit songs include, Dil Diya Gallan, Paniyon Sa, Pehli Dafa, O Saathi and many more are the most loved. However, he is known for his vocal belting technique which make him one of the most successful and leading playback singers of Pakistan as well as other countries till date. He has received many awards in his name including, Tamgha-e-Imtiaz and Dubai Walk of Fame-Star for being the best singer in Pakistan. His rendition of Tajdar-e-Haram broke all the records and became the first video of Pakistan origin to achieve the landmark record of 285Million views. He remains unbeaten in both the music industries either of Pakistan or India.  

Qurat-ul-Ain Balouch – God gifted and a talented singer-songwriter even though she has no formal music education and has learnt music through listening to legendary Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Muhammad Juman, Patakhay khan and any others. She started her career with a cover song, Ankhain Nu Ren De and was also featured in Coke Studio with Jal for a song, Parchi. People came to know about her after her winning performance of ‘Woh Humsafar Tha’. She also sang for the OST of Mann Mayal. She feels her forte is in Sufi music which she believes is the only reason of her global recognition. She made her Bollywood debut with song ‘Kaari Kaari’ in Pink.  

Ali Zafar – The singer-songwriter, actor, producer has reached remarkable heights in the South Asian film industries. He got to taste the success after his chart-topping single Channo from his debut album, Huqa. His song ‘Dekha’ brought him critical acclaim globally, and this song became the part of Hollywood film Wall Street: Money Never Sleep. His record breaking songs include, ‘Jhoom’, ‘Chal Dil Mere’. He has been a part of Coke Studio and has entertained his audience through his performances. His best performances include, ‘Us Rah Par’, ‘Rockstar’, ‘Ae Dil’ and many more. He even started his own record label, Lightingale Records to promote new talent.  

Ali Hamza – He is a part of Noori band and has performed with his brother repeatedly. He entered the Pakistani music industry after the release of “Suno Ke Mein Hoon Jawaan”. He also sang a set-list which included, ‘Akif Alif’, ‘Paar Chaana De’, ‘Jindjaani’, ‘Barsaat’ among others. He has been a part of Coke Studio as well and has given us phenomenal songs like, “Tinak Dhin’, ‘Us Rah Par’, “Aja Rey Moray Saiyaan”. He has shown his musical prowess in recent times with his solo act, Sanwal and people are waiting for more of his solo albums. 

Farhan Saeed – He started his career as part of Jal band and their legendary album took the music industry to another level. After the splitting of the band, people got to know about the real talent of Farhan. Luckily Farhan got acquainted by another band, Call where he got a head start. He got his breakthrough after contributing a song to Vikram Bhatt’s Creature 3D named as Naam-e-Wafa. His hit songs contain, Halka Halka Suroor, Roiyaan, LamheyRaatain and many more

Aima Baig – Young and talented Aima Baig has made it in the music industry in recent times. She is one of the new entrants who rose to prominence in a very short period of time. Her claim-to-fame are songs like, Kalabaaz Dil, Befikriyan and Ehle Dil. One of her most famous songs are ‘Ishq Aatish’. She made her appearance in Coke Studio with Sahir Ali Bagga and shared the vocals for the song, Baazi and then next season for the song, Dhola. She then never looked back and started giving big hits which includes, Item Number, Sadqa, Kaif-e-Suroor and many more. She also sang for an OST of drama serial, Romeo Weds Heer. We are looking more from this young soul with a fabulous voice. 

Abdullah Qureshi – started as a YouTube artist and a cover musician. Abdullah grabbed the attention by his own renditions of famous singles which includes his all-time famous, Wohi Khuda Hai. His originals include Tere LiyeIntezaarDastaan, and Baat Adhuri. All his four tracks depict his wide range of vocals and how melodious his voice is. He made his movie debut as a singer in Heer Maan Ja, and sang Chan Mahi. He is criminally underrated and need to be uplifted. Platforms like Levis Live, Nescafe Basement has given him a platform to showcase his talent and bring him on the charts. We are eagerly waiting to see him do more for the industry. 

Music has been an important part of Pakistan’s entertainment industry and a trademark for Pakistan. Pakistani singers are critically acclaimed all over the world. The aforementioned singers have been giving their best to bring back the legacy of our descendants which was slowly fading at one point. Music has been part of Pakistan’s tradition since forever and has given the industry boost in the past few years. We look forward for more creative artists from the music industry of Pakistan.