Hadiqa Kiani is arguably one of Pakistan’s biggest pop sensations. Apart from Nazia Hassan, it is difficult to think of another woman who has had such an impact on the country’s music scene. Now in 2017, over two decades after her first album Raaz was released, Kiani is gearing up for her sixth album Wajd.
The singer has always had a penchant for taking up challenges, whether it meant chopping off 16 inches of her hair into a pixie bob or experimenting with her music. Her upcoming album, she shared, will have a different structure and will be “organic and pure” sans electronic music. “It is not purely Sufi but the lyrical value does revolve around Sufism. It mainly has a folk and cultural touch to it,” she told reporters.
The ‘Pop Princess’ explained why she personally doesn’t prefer the title. “For whatever reason, maybe my attire or litany of pop songs, there is this perception about me of being only a pop singer when in real I am mainly known because of my folk songs.”
She added that majority of her albums feature songs inspired by folk music, such as her ever-popular numbers Manne di Mauj, Boohey Barian, and more recently, Janan, which was a Pashto duet with Irfan Khan.
Fans are well aware of the fact that Kiani has been playing hide and seek with the music industry over the past decade. She shared that every time something negative happens in the country, the music industry takes the biggest blow. “Shows get cancelled and it doesn’t feel right to sing but at the same time dramas are being recorded and fashion shows keep taking place. I suffered during the prime of my career [because of this].” However, she has decided to brave the circumstances and work towards releasing yet another album at a time when people are choosing to release singles only. “I can’t waste another seven years of my life,” she said. “I have a passion for music and for my own satisfaction I felt like I need to get music out to the public. We can’t wait on record labels to just come up, or channels to start caring about Pakistani music again. We, as artists, need to simply create content and put it out.”
Her sixth album Wajd comes out later this month.