LAHORE: There have been a handful of artists who have kick-started their careers with Coke Studio but rarely have they gotten a chance to sing tracks as impressive as Hina Ki Khushbu. Samra Khan, in collaboration with Asim Azhar, delivered a soulful and emotional rendition of the Noor Jehan original that racked up over two million views on social media.
Coke Studio 8 may have really set her career trajectory in motion but Khan’s musical journey started when she was younger. “The platform did a lot for me as an artist since it propelled me to a degree of fame. I started taking myself more seriously as an artist. When you have a fan following, you realise that it’s time to get serious about your talent,” she tells The Express Tribune.
Hina Ki Khushbu was Khan’s first commercial song that gained popularity. Since then, the singer has anchored her career as a solo artist. A banker by day, Khan has also started writing her own music and also released her first single Bol last month.
“I told Atif Ali, who has composed the song, that I want to do a contemporary one which is catchy and unlike Hina Ki Khushbu,” says Khan. After Bol, she released another soulful duet with Ali, titled Teri Sohbat. She has also worked on three songs with Zohaib Kazi, released in December 2015 as part of Ismail Ka Urdu Sheher.
“Living away from Pakistan may mean limited options for people but it has worked out well for me so far. Technology, in terms of recording and production, has come a long way in Pakistan but people still come to Dubai for it is quite convenient. It is like a second Pakistan for me and I have quite a few fans in its multicultural population,” adds Khan.
The singer reveals that she will be performing at a concert in Karachi soon. “I opened for Adnan Sami in Dubai but want to do more live performances in Pakistan. I also want to release more original songs because there is room for fresh music. Our drama industry is also flourishing so I’m focusing on OST’s and playback singing as well.”
Khan looks up to the likes of Reshma, Madam Noor Jehan, Naseebo Lal and Sanam Marvi. “They are talented women who made it big in a very stereotypical industry like Pakistan.”
Her live performances feature a vast variety of songs such as Reshma’s Lambi Judai to Adele’s covers and then Hina Ki Khushbu along with qawwali. “I’ve grown up listening to many genres’ so I prefer not to be confined to any particular one,” she concludes.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 6th, 2016.