KARACHI : Amongst the handful of female singers that we have here in Pakistan, there is Natasha Baig – a girl from Hunza, looking to make it big.
Within a few years of being in the industry, Natasha has become a recognisable name. Her previous song garnered attention as it was a Marvari-language song, in collaboration with Thar-based folk singer Mai Dhai. And with her latest offering Ya Moula, the budding singer has gone back to her roots. The song is in Burushaski language, spoken in Hunza and has, evidently, a spiritual vibe. Designer Yousuf Bashir Qureshi (YBQ) has lent his voice to the song as well.
“I’m the only girl from Hunza who is working in the music industry so I took it as a responsibility to sing in a language from my region. I thought why not promote my culture through music,” Natasha told The Express Tribune.
The song, released on July 11, came just in time for the Diamond Jubilee of His highness The Aga Khan. “I thought if I was to release a song in Burushaski, it should be in honour of this milestone,” said Natasha.
According to the musician, the lyrics of Ya Moula are based on the verses by Allamah Nasir al-Din Nasir Hunzai. “He’s a controversial Ismaili writer and poet. I’m not a follower of his but I based my lyrics on the verses from his early writings for the song,” she revealed. “There were some of his followers who raised this issue about Ya Moula and I even had to clarify it on my social media.”
As far as the song being in a regional language is concerned, Natasha believed it will not limit her audience. “I consider Ya Moula a mainstream song and it’s an easy composition. Therefore, people can hum it even if they don’t know the language. Making Burushaski music mainstream is one of the reasons I wanted to release it.”
The young vocalist said bringing raw cultural music into the mainstream is often perceived as strange. “I couldn’t bring it as it is done in Hunza and that’s why, we had to pick and choose what instruments to add or not use in Ya Moula. But being a young singer, I like to bring this youthful feel to it and modernise it.”
When it came to collaborating with YBQ, Natasha said she was really excited. “I had always wanted to collaborate with him on a project and when working on this song, I knew I wanted his narration in it,” she said. “So, I went to meet him and before I could share with him what I had in mind, he told me he would love to do any project with me in Burushaski language. I told him that’s why I was there.”
Asked about her recent choice of projects being in different languages despite her an Urdu singer primarily, Natasha stated, “It’s a coincidence. Two of my most well-known songs are not in Urdu. I think through this move, I’m offering more cultural exposure to people. Everyone sings in Urdu, as do I. But bringing experimental music to the mainstream is what I’m doing.”
Nonetheless, Natasha promised that her next song will definitely be in Urdu. “It will be a rendition of Aaj Rang Hai. I almost have an album ready. But I’ll release singles to keep equal focus on all my songs,” she added.
Listen to Ya Moula here:
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