Iconic Nazia Hassan remembered


Fans remembered an iconic pop singer Nazia Hassan, the girl who introduced pop singing and raised the status of Pakistani singing all over the world. Fame came early in her life and she grew in stature as a singer with her brother Zoheb by her side. Together, they became the darlings of the young generation — girls would emulate her hairstyle and dressing just as boys would Zoheb’s. Her professional career started at the age of fifteen when she provided the lead vocals for the song “Aap Jaisa Koi” from the 1980 film Qurbani and in 1981 won Filmfare award for it. In 1981, Nazia became the first playback singer to release an album after the release of her first album, Disco Deewane. Nazia’s second album Star/Boom Boom was released in 1982. The soundtrack of the album was used in the movie Star.
Nazia’s third album, Young Tarang was released in 1984. The album sold 40 million copies which set the record of most selling video album of all times.
Nazia’s fourth album, Hotline was released in 1987. In 1988, Nazia and her brother Zoheb appeared with music maestro Sohail Rana in his television program, Sung Sung. In the following year, Nazia and Zoheb hosted the groundbreaking show Music ’89. Nazia hosted another show, Dhanak on PTV in the same year, 1989. Music was one part of her life, social work was another as Nazia felt strongly for abandoned children and wanted to establish homes for them. Having worked for the UN as an analyst with a degree in Law, she joined UNICEF to help under-privileged children. Nazia died of lung cancer in London on August 13, 2000 at the age of 35. After 13 years of her death, Nazia Hassan’s music lives on.
Nazia Hassan’s last interview: Nazia Hassan’s last TV interview
The below interview was taken literally a few days after Nazia was released from hospital in 1999 after she temporarily recovered from cancer illness. She was interviewed by Anita from an Indian TV channel UK June 1999 in London. It was sadly to be Nazia Hassan’s last TV Interview.
Anita: Tell us about your cancer illness
Nazia: Well I’ve been ill now for about a year so I’ve been having treatment for about a year. The thing is that it’s the kind of illness that you have good days and some very bad days and I had some very scary moments in between but you know I’m out of hospital now and getting better… hopefully, better everyday. I’m still having quite a lot of treatment, but I think that’s gonna be around for a while.
Anita: How’s the chemotherapy? It must be quite difficult.
Nazia: Chemotherapy is not an easy treatment to go through so it takes its toll physically. You have days when you are very ill and you come over it… as with everything… you just carry on.
Anita: Has it changed your perceptions of life and does it make you think that some things important and some things just are not anymore?
Nazia: I think what it does is that it reaffirms that at the back of your mind everyone I think knows what is important… things like family things like spending time with people you care about… things like not getting involved in petty issues and all of those things… we all know that… but in our day to day lives we tend to sort of overlook them and forget about things like. When you are really ill what it does is that it does make you remember what is important
Anita: Do you look back fondly on those music days. Do you look back and think that, I’m glad I did it and I wish I were doing it again?
Nazia: Music for me has always been a hobby and I enjoy it very much. I enjoyed it when I was a child. I’d come home from school and at the weekends we’d be allowed to do music. I went on to college… of course I have enjoyed music, it’s been very nice… I was very lucky with the success. Zoheb and I, we were very lucky. We worked very hard with our music but at the same time the kind of reaction we got and the kind of appreciation we got… it’s very rare. The knocks you get come from people in the industry, we were children, so we didn’t know about contracts… we didn’t know about royalty… we didn’t know about copyright… we just didn’t know.
Anita: … so you got badly ripped off?
Nazia: Oh Yeah… by everyone! (laughingly) But those are the things you begin to understand and you learn and I gave up singing about 5 years ago because I finished college and I was moving to New York. I was starting a new job and I didn’t really want to do music for a while so I wanted a siesta. It was nice and I’ve enjoyed not doing it but I didn’t expect the publicity to be ongoing… I thought I would just leave it and Zoheb and I would just fade into the background for a while. But it hasn’t been like that.
Anita: Has he dealt with the intrusion better than you have?
Nazia: I think both of us help each other. Because Zoheb and I are very very close and it’s amazing that this in itself has upset people a lot because we are so strong. I come from a very closely neat family and we are very close to one another. So we support each other and that’s why I think now we have the ability to look back and laugh. When we see something in the paper… we go… ‘Just not read it’… but it goes on and we support each other a lot.
Anita: Do you have pressure… even now from people who say just one more album… record one more album?
Nazia: Yeah… virtually everyday! (laughs) I think eventually we might do something but at the main goal at the moment is to get better and I want to fight this battle first and then go doing other things.
Anita: You must have received a lot of calls… I know we did (at the Indian channel) we received a lot of calls asking ‘how is Nazia Hassan?’ What has been the response of the public when they heard you were ill?
Nazia: … Staggering (emotionally)… I think… (pauses)… a lot of the times the doctors kept saying to me that things were very bad and I’m a firm believer in God. I really kept thinking this is not my time to die… all of us have to die one day. But I just felt it wasn’t my time yet and I’m telling you… I know it sounds almost clichéd to say but it is the prayers that help and the kind of wishes and just the outpouring of prayers that I’ve had. I think that’s really what saved me.
In fact I was reading a ‘Reader’s Digest’ article and it said there had 2 groups of cancer patients and they found a marked difference in those who had people who cared about them and people who believed in prayer, who believed in God and whose faith was very strong… and I think that’s really something real. I can’t thank people enough… The cards and letters and everything that I have received… I would really love to just thank each and every person who has done that for me.
Anita: How do you view the future? Do you look far ahead or do you say one day at a time? How is your perception of the future altered?
Nazia: I want to make as much of everyday as possible. I think you can get a little too worried about the future, you can worry too much about dying, worry too much about… what if the disease gets worse and all of that… but what’s important to do is to be as positive as you can be. I cherish everyday… I just love spending time with my family. I have a little son … .a 2 year old monster
Anita: I spoke to him over the phone… (laughs)
Nazia: …yeah… That’s his latest thing! (laughs)… I love him and it’s wonderful. I’ve just started a new course and planning to go back to school. I’m doing my exams since I have qualified as a solicitor. I’m also toying with the idea of doing another album… so there’s that. I have a value for life, and I think it’s very important to keep this feeling to enjoy everything
Anita: We talked about your future and I can’t let you go without just once talking about the past again… of all the songs that you have recorded… the ones that everybody associates with you… Which was your own favourite and why?
Nazia: Gosh… I think the first song that I did. I get very sentimental even now when I hear about it. Because it was the first so I like that very much… and I think of all the other songs we did… there is one which my brother wrote… which is called ‘Taali De Thullay’. It’s a Punjabi song… the first Punjabi song I ever done. But I just love it so I think that would be my favourite.
Anita: Let’s hope we have many more in the future, Nazia Hassan thank you very much for joining us.
Nazia: Thanks Anita.



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