Nazia Hassan was the epitome of a true star. Dubbed the ‘Queen of Pop’, Hassan’s contribution to Pakistani music changed the map of the industry and her success opened doors for other women in the arena of entertainment that no one thought even existed.
The world was devastated when the beautiful, graceful Nazia lost her battle with cancer at the young age of 35.
She collaborated with her brother, Zoheb Hassan on her album, Disco Deewane, which went on to break all records at the time to become the highest selling Hindi/Urdu album with worldwide sales exceeding 65 million — the duo became unstoppable.
“Nazia and I were a team and I was too shattered after her death to continue to make music. I detached myself from showbiz completely until I was convinced by Strings to perform for Coke Studio,” reveals Zoheb.
The 49-year-old says that a friend who’s a writer from India approached him with the idea of scripting a film on the journey of two young siblings through the harsh world of showbiz, based on their life story: “I was so impressed with the script that I agreed to let him approach Bollywood companies and four major players are gunning for it. It is a story that needs to be told keeping in mind the public interest in our music and what actually happened to Nazia Hassan.”
There will be two different sets of actors, portraying the siblings in their younger years and then later in their lives.
“The actress who plays Nazia does not have to know how to sing but should be able to portray a female pop icon convincingly. Where possible we will use her original voice from recordings she did just prior to her demise, no one has ever heard these versions. I will sing my parts,” he shares, admitting that he’d love their mentor Biddu to appear in the film too but he has retired from the business.
“However, he will be helping with the musical score. The soundtrack will have the earlier hits like Disco Deewane, Dosti, Boom Boom, Tere Quadmon but also some new, unreleased tracks.”
Is it possible that we might see Alia Bhatt essay the role of Nazia? The budding actress did say that she’d love to do a biopic on her, as she enjoys singing too. Only time will tell.
Zoheb says the director is a well-known name in Bollywood and will be announced soon. The script is complete and primarily in Hindi but because the Hassans spent a large part of their lives in the UK, there are bits in English too. Will the film end with Nazia’s untimely death? Zoheb points out that he cannot give away the story except to say that it will offer a “behind the scenes” look into their lives and career and also give an interesting insight into the workings of the music industry in the 80s and 90s.
“Even though physically she was really petite, Nazia was one of the strongest persons I’ve known. This will come through in the film,” he promises.
If Nazia had been around would they have continued to make music together? “Most definitely,” he asserts.