Celebrity sweethearts Aima Baig and Shahbaz Shigri sat down for a chat on Time Out with Ahsan Khan, revealing details about career trajectories and their future plans when it comes to work, as well as marriage.
Aima, who has made a place for herself in the showbiz industry as a singer, credited her success to her mother’s blessing. “I would say this is all a result of my mother’s prayers and my family’s support. I always knew whatever would happen in my life would be good because of all the prayers my mother would send my way.”
Speaking about her early career, Aima shared that she had worked as a co-host on the popular television show Mazaaq Raat before transitioning into a professional singer. “I was a co-host on Mazaaq Raat for two years. I was basically like the eye candy of the show. I can say it out loud because that’s what I was there, but they treated me like a baby. Literally like a child. They were like my family. I would annoy them a lot and they would treat me like a kid.”
On how the show did not help her feel fulfilled, with the starlet wanting a career in music, she recounted an anecdote from her days on Mazaaq Raat. “I was sitting on the show once and a singer started to perform one of my favourite tracks. So, I had to take a break. I told the director that I had to go to the bathroom but I was actually shedding tears because I wanted to sing. I was just sitting there and doing nothing. And, honestly speaking, since I am a bit of a blunt person, the person wasn’t singing the song correctly. I was like, ‘Don’t ruin the song’. So, I figured I should talk to those guys and they asked me why I hadn’t said anything [about singing] before.”
Shahbaz, who made his acting debut in the film Parey Hut Love alongside Maya Ali and Sheheryar Munawar, shared that he always wanted to get into the acting profession. “I wasn’t in the mainstream industry. I had started in 2011 as a filmmaker. I started by making music videos and short films. Then, around two years ago, I started acting. I also produced alongside that. So it’s been two years now that I have officially been a part of the industry,” explained the actor.
He added, “I wanted to be an actor ever since I was a child. I’d stand in front of the mirror and act. But, I started off behind the camera. That was followed by people telling me to be in front of the camera as well.”
On the emotionally-taxing nature of acting, Shahbaz said, “Acting seems easy, but it really isn’t. You have to stay in a certain emotional and mental state. In filmmaking and camera work, it’s more hands-on. With acting, it’s all psychological and emotional.”
Speaking about his acting debut, Shahbaz explained that the team’s credentials left him feeling a bit overwhelmed. He revealed, “It was quite difficult and nerve-wracking. The team was also Asim Raza’s, so you’re already working with veterans with a lot of experience. So, it was very scary, but my inner character came through in the end.”
Aima shared that the couple, who made things official in a grand engagement ceremony earlier this year, met on set. “I was doing Balma Bhagora for Parey Hut Love and I think [Shahbaz] was the producer there. Then we clicked and vibed. I don’t hang out with people a lot and rarely make new friends,” she recalled.
Explaining how they didn’t want to make their engagement a PR opportunity, Aima shared, “We had decided not to make it a stunt. We wanted to keep it personal because it is something very personal. But, I felt really good when I uploaded pictures and I got all these comments about how cute we looked. I figured I should share more of my life with [my fans] and it turned out great.”
Reflecting on the role of social media in the lives of celebrities, Aima advocated for a balanced approach, keeping the personal and professional separate. “For our professional life, social media is very important. But, for our personal life, I think it’s very toxic. I’ve gone through it and I’ve had my fair share of [toxic] experiences.”
She elaborated further, “There’s a lot of hatred there and there’s also a lot of judgement there, but that is the life we have chosen for ourselves. It’s a part of everything so you have to be ready [to face it]. But, I’m very fortunate, I’ve never really experienced that much hate [on social media].”
When it comes to future plans, the couple shared that they plan on tying the knot “very soon”. On the work front, Aima revealed that she has two new singles in the pipeline, “I have two singles coming up, and Shahbaz is directing them. I am super excited about these tracks. I have written them myself for the first time. When quarantine started, I took a year, I wrote the songs in Ramzan. I showed them to Shiraz Uppal and he helped me, because you always need a producer.”
For Shahbaz, the ideal career would be one both in front and behind the camera. Shedding light on his desire to produce his own films, the actor explained, “First and foremost, I want to do production, Along with that, I would like to work in my production. I would like to create the kind of movies that I want to watch.”
Reflecting on the type of roles he would like to pursue in the future, Shahbaz shared, “I would love to play characters in action films, but haven’t gotten the chance to do that yet. From the scenes that I have done so far, I really enjoy the angry ones. I have a lot of fun doing that. Not the kind of angry where you’re loud and yelling, but the kind that comes from the inside. I find scenes where I have to cry very difficult but, surprisingly, the tears flow naturally. There’s a lot of pent up emotion there, I guess.”
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