Did you know that June 21 is World Music Day, or Fete de la Musique. Well, now you do. This festival is celebrated across the world with various music programs and free concerts. Since 2004 it has also been celebrated in Pakistan. This picture is from the free concert held in Islamabad this year, organized by Alliance Fransaise (the World Music Day is largely a French thing).
The singer is Saira Arshad, who has recently released her first album. Supposedly her hit song is a Punjabi song called ‘Ja Veyria’. I was able to find it online and listened to it. Its not bad; very 1960s.
But here is the odd thing. You listen to that song and you look at the picture of this Pakistani girl, and the two just do not mesh. Maybe she was singing something else here. Or, maybe, just as it is now kind of mandatory on Pakistan TV to throw in English words and phrases whether they are needed or not, similarly in music they have to perform ‘rock’ even when they are singing folk.
Anyhow, a Google search tells me that she is the sister of singer Humaira Arshad, who became quite popular for singing old Madam Noor Jahan songs; in particualr her rendition of ‘sada houn aapne pyar ki’ is a masterpiece that even madam ji would have been proud of. I have had that song on replay for the last half hour!