Did you know: Sarah Raza is one of the youngest artists in Pakistan to perform at International level
Sarah Raza Khan is a Lahore-based Pakistani singer who started learning music at the early age of nine and a few years later got the chance to participate in an Indian TV show ‘Sa Re Ga Ma Pa’.
Sarah never realized she had a good voice and it was only after her school teacher told her she was gifted that she considered pursuing music. She gives credit to her mother, who is her pillar of strength and wanted Sarah to learn music.
“My mother is a source of inspiration for me. She designs my dresses, styles my hair and encourages me in everything at every step. My father, an engineer by profession, was a naat khawan and so am I, having inherited a good voice from him. Learning to sing requires a lot of hard work.”
Moreover, Sarah added that her mother is her manager and looks after her singing assignments.
Sarah learnt the nuances of singing from Abdul Rauf in Lahore, and began participating in different competitions.
“At an early age I got the golden chance to showcase my talent on Indian television, it was more like a training centre because for six months I used to get up early in the morning and do ‘riaz’, learning Bollywood and classical songs from a lot of teachers’ backstage. I also follow Shankar Mahadevan and other music directors including Waqar Ali and Sahir Ali Bagga.”
Talking about music institute, Sarah says “Unfortunately in Pakistan there’s no platform and it’s very strange. Even if we have two to three platforms we never make the most of it and I believe there’s a lot of favouritism here in Pakistan and new talent is not taken into consideration.”
Speaking about singers who made an impact on her, she says they are Abdul Rauf, Ghulam Ali Sahab, Nusrat Fateh Ali, Lata, Asha Bhosle, Khursheed Begum and Zubaida Khanam. Last but not least her music teacher and mentor Sultan Arshad who taught her songs of the 1950s’ and 1980s’.
“I have sung hundred to two hundred OST’s and sung an award winning OST Mere Qatil Meray Dildar for HUM TV. My favourite is ‘Mehram’, ‘Bol Mahiya’, ‘Main Chand Si’. I was also given an award for song ‘Dheere’ for the movie Wrong Number.
Sharing her experience about Coke Studio, the singer said that most of the artists weren’t given the song of their choice.
“I was also totally shocked to see banners of only a few singers and that is something so unfair, they just focus on looks rather than talent, ignoring other participants which isn’t really fair. If someone is talented and has the potential then they should be given a song according to their choice. If I am given another chance to sing I will surely fight for the song of my choice and that’s why people think I am a rude person because I am outspoken.”
Despite the negativity around her especially from the professional side, her main strength is her fans who have encouraged her to do better. The number of concerts that she is doing now proves that. Her advice to the youngsters coming in this field is to be sincere and honest with their work. “I am proud of the fact that my official Facebook page is one of the most followed of any singer in Pakistan.”
Sarah says she is one of the youngest artists in Pakistan to perform on an international level which includes China, Korea, USA and Europe.
“In USA I had my whole team comprising of ten members both eastern and western musicians and we did shows in seven different states in fifteen days!” In March Sarah went to Nepal with her team and sang Pakistani songs in concerts and also performed before the Army Chief of Nepal and Pakistani Ambassador. “Their media raved about Pakistan, Sarah said proudly that was the biggest achievement for her.” My basic aim is to promote music in a positive way for myself and my country.
Answering a question about where does she see herself in the near future, Sarah said, I believe in God’s will and that success comes to those who are honest with their work.