Muhammed Shahid Nazir popularly known as the ‘One pound fish man’ is no more an unknown entity.
Bursting onto the global imagination through his viral song on the internet, Shahid’s arrival in Lahore on Wednesday soared public interest.
Speaking to The Express Tribune about his passion for music, Shahid recalled, “in school, I was never really good at studies, but I always appeared in dramas and sang.” He attended Muslim Model High School in Pattoki, his hometown.
“Music is definitely my passion. I was one, out of two hundred thousand people selected for X-Factor. It’s a big achievement for a Pakistani to score a deal with Warner Brothers,” the internet sensation said.
He said this visit was an emotional one for him since the huge popularity of his newly launched video has started to undermine South Korea’s Gangnam Style.
However, questions regarding his visa status have cast doubts on the singer’s credibility. Dispelling rumours about being deported, he said, “I am not a fool, I understand how this process works, I was there on a student visa and I had permission to work.” Although he did not show his passport, he said his visa is to expire on December 31st.
The plan now, he says, is to apply for a French visa as he plans to launch a song in France. Shahid added that he intends to sing in both English and Punjabi and is looking into Bollywood as well.
Shahid’s friends and family celebrated the success he has achieved over the last year. He explained that he had not told his family about the video when it was released initially, but once it started to circulate; there was no stopping the show.
“Initially, I had been hesitant to show it to people back home, but eventually it went viral and people are saying it’s the next Gangnam style,” he said.
“My stall is still very important to me, I will return to it,” Shahid said. “When I first started to work there, it reminded me a lot of Anarkali Bazaar, but Queen’s market is my home.”
Shahid’s mother Kulsoom Akhtar said that she just saw her son rise with God’s help. She said she had never visited England but through the Internet, she had a chance to view her son’s song.
“He went to study, and returned as a singer,” says Kulsoom. “I am proud that he has a passion for this and we used to watch him a lot on the computer.”
Brother’s political passion
Shahid’s brother Muhammed Nazir is overwhelmed by his brother’s arrival.
In a telephonic conversation with The Express Tribune, Muhammad clarified that his brother was not deported by British authorities.
“No, no, no!” he said when asked to comment on foreign news reports that the singer was deported. “His visa expires on December 31 and he has returned to Pakistan well before that [December 27]. The media has given the wrong news.”
He explained that he is from a well-to-do family that operates a family-run transport company by the name, Rajput Transport Company. “Humara baradari set-up hai,” he said, adding that he is connected to Speaker Punjab Assembly Rana Muhammad Iqbal Khan who is also from Pattoki.
“I am hoping to contest in the provincial assembly elections in the future,” he said, adding that it would not be in 2013 but later. (With additional reporting from Atika Rehman)
Published in The Express Tribune, December 28th, 2012.
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