Muhammad Atif Aslam (pronounced [muːɦaːmmaːd aːtɪf aːslaːm], (Urdu: محمد عاطف اسلم; born 12 March 1983) is a Pakistani playback singer and actor. He has recorded numerous chart-topping songs and is known for his vocal belting technique. He predominantly sings in Hindi, Urdu and has also sung in Bengali. He has received Tamgha-e-Imtiaz in 2008, the fourth-highest decoration given to civilians in Pakistan and has also received numerous Lux style awards. His acting debut was in the 2011 social drama Bol. In 2019, he was awarded The Dubai Walk of fame-Star for being the ‘Best Singer in Pakistan’.
At an event for Badlapur in 2015
محمد عاطف اسلم
Muhammad Atif Aslam
12 March 1983
|Years active||2004 – present|
Aslam was born into a Punjabi Muslim family in Wazirabad, Punjab, Pakistan. He began his education at Kimberley Hall School, Lahore. In 1991, he moved to Rawalpindi where he continued his studies in St. Paul's Cambridge School, Satellite Town, Rawalpindi. In 1995, Aslam returned to Lahore where he continued his studies in Divisional Public School. He attended Fazaia Inter College Lahore for his HSSC in 1999-2001. He attended PICS to do his Bachelor's degree in Computer Science.
Atif Aslam says he has had no formal training in music, that it was not until his college days that he began to actively take part in music competitions and his friends inspired him to pursue a career in music. He has said that Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan is one of his very first inspirations in singing.
The career of Atif Aslam begun with forming the band Jal and releasing the song 'Adaat' with Goher Mumtaz in Pakistan in 2003. The original version of the song was written by Goher Mumtaz and sung by Atif Aslam . During that time, Atif Aslam was the lead singer of Jal. He recorded Aadat with his pocket money at the age of 17. The band released the song on the internet in 2003, which became a youth anthem.
After separation from Jal, On 17 July 2004, Aslam released his first album titled Jal Pari (meaning 'Mermaid') which was an instant hit. Several songs from his debut album, such as: "Bheegi Yaadein", "Ehsaas", "Mahi Ve", "Ankhon Sey" and the title track "Jal Pari" went on to become major hits and charted across countries in the subcontinent.
Following Jal Pari, Aslam released two more successful solo albums, Doorie and Meri Kahani. He has recorded many songs for Hindi cinema, that were successful as well. Because of his chart-topping and successful songs, he is regarded as one of the best playback singers of Indian music industry till date.
Aslam then made his solo debut concert in New Jersey in Summer Beats 2008 at Sovereign Bank Arena, which also featured Kailash Kher, Richa Sharma and Amanat Ali. After a sold-out concert in New Jersey, Aslam returned with his band and special guests to Queens Colden Center, New York to perform on 2 July 2010.
Two years later, Aslam returned to the US. Collaborating with vocalist Shreya Ghoshal, their March 2010 tour originally had 10 shows announced in US and Canada. However, the response inspired the organizers to put shows in six more cities.
The following month, Aslam made his debut in South America with a performance at Anthony Nesty Sports Hall, Suriname.
Aslam performed with Sunidhi Chauhan for the first time at Hershey Centre, Mississauga, followed by another show at Oracle Arena, San Francisco, Oakland, in July 2011, during their USA and Canada tour. In September 2011, Aslam performed at New York.
On 22 April 2012, Aslam became the first Pakistani to perform in London's O2 Arena a concert spectacular to promote love, peace and unity among India and Pakistan. Aslam performed for four hours. This was followed up by shows in Manchester and Glasgow.
On 2 November, he performed his first public concert in Malaysia.
Aslam also is the first artist from Asia, and the second artist after Bryan Adams, to be permitted to perform inside the Dashrath Rangasla National Football Stadium in Kathmandu, Nepal. Aslam once again returned to Dubai for multiple concerts in 2013 at the world-famous Atlantis resort.
In April 2013, Aslam performed for the first time at the LG Arena in Birmingham following which he became the first artist from Asia to perform twice at London's O2 Arena. Also in concert at the O2 were Bollywood stars Shaan, Malaika Arora Khan & Bipasha Basu.
Four songs from Aslam's second album Doorie were featured in two films. Two of them; "Yakeen" and "Ehsaas", and a single "Aadat" from his first album Jal Pari, featured in Ramin Bahrani's 2005 film Man Push Cart which has won international awards and was praised by the critics. Two other songs, "Doorie" and "Maula", were selected in 2010 for the soundtrack of the Spanish Beauty, the Hindi version of the 2005 Mexican film La mujer de mi hermano directed by Ricardo de Montreuil. He then sang two songs; "Bol Ke Lab Azaad Hain" and "Mori Araj Suno", in Mira Nair's 2012 film The Reluctant Fundamentalist.
Aslam made his acting debut in the 2011 Pakistani movie Bol.
Aslam appeared as a captain of Team Pakistan in a singing talent show called Sur Kshetra which was shot and broadcast from Dubai, where Indian and Pakistani contestants competed against each other. At the end of the show, Nabeel Shaukat Ali from Aslam's team won the contest.
On 19 April 2017, he hosted the 16th Lux Style Awards ceremony, and it was the first time he was seen hosting the ceremony of Lux Style Awards.
On 1 November 2017, Aslam's rendition of "Tajdar-e-Haram" crossed 100 million views on YouTube, becoming first video origin in Pakistan to achieve the landmark record. The qawwali-song, originally sung by Sabri Brothers, was released on 15 August 2015 in CokeStudio8 and has been viewed in 186 countries across the world. Also, it is Aslam's first individual video on YouTube to make the record.
Singing style, impact and recognition
Musician and singer Sajjad Ali said, "You can see how big Artists even in India try to copy Atif's way of singing, tune, where to pick up from, where and when to hold and even release a note. Not that they are bad singers, they can sing pretty well, but you can see why they try to sing in Atif's expression and tone". Arijit Singh, one of the most acclaimed singers of India, frequently sings Atif Aslam songs in his concerts. and is often compared to Atif Aslam because of similar tone of singing. Regarding this, Atif Aslam said "If God’s kind to someone you should also respect them. Arijit has been blessed and people should respect him. I am no one to control anyone. We need to understand there’s no such thing as number one.” Popular playback singers Jubin Nautiyal and Armaan Malik covers Aslam songs on their YouTube channel. Playback singer Mika Singh praised Aslam's singing as well. Oscar winning music director A.R Rahman said in an interview - " Gifted, he has a great voice" when asked about what he thinks of Aslam. Renowned music director duo Vishal-Shekhar said "One thing about Atif Aslam is that his voice is magic. His voice quality is unbelievable. A lot of people had been working with him. And there is something in his voice. There is something.". Popular music director Mithoon said in another interview -" I always liked Atif Aslam's voice.He is an expert in expressing feelings through his singing". Popular music director Amaal Malik said " It was a true dream come true moment for me when Atif Aslam sung my composition". Legendary music director Pritam said in a reality show " Someone may sing better than Atif. But the singing that Atif does, only he can do. It's about his identity. Popular playback singer Mohit Chauhan is all praise for Aslam: "I love this guy and I love his songs", he said.
Regarding comparisons with Arijit Singh, music director Amaal Malik said "...can’t compare any one to Atif Aslam, he is a senior and has been around for years" "Arijit is Arijit, Atif is Atif, they have their own styles and strengths"
Singer Alamgir thanked Aslam for keeping pop music alive in Pakistan. He said: "I'm thankful to Atif for keeping pop alive. It's because of them that I feel my music still has a place in today's music scene." Actor Suyyash Rai affirmed that he "developed an interest in singing" because of Aslam. Actor Ranbir Kapoor likes Aslam and said some movies in India along with his Azaab prem ki Gazab kahini should credit the success to Atif because of the kind of reach that he has. " His sings with all his heart and feelings". Actor Varun Dhawan is a big fan of Aslam and always wanted him to sing his tracks in a film. He said: "I am a fan of Atif's voice and really wanted him to sing for me. I didn't know it will happen so soon!", referring to the song "Jeena Jeena" sung by Aslam for the film Badlapur. Actress Bipasha Basu admitted to being a big Aslam fan; she said in an interview: "I am his number one fan. Music is the best vehicle to promote understanding and our music brings people together." Aslam calls his fans as 'Aadeez'.
- 2011 – Bol; as Mustafa (Film debut as an actor; in Urdu)
Soundtrack music videos
|2011||"Kaho Aaj Bol Do"||Bol|
|"Hona Tha Pyar"|
|2015||"Dil Kare"||Ho Mann Jahaan|
|2016||"Dil Yeh Dancer Hogaya"||Actor in Law|
|2006||"Tere Bin"||Bas Ek Pal|
|2008||"Pehli Nazar Mein"||Race|
|2012||"Piya O Re Piya"||Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya|
|"Tu Mohabbat Hai" (Remix)|
|2013||"Be Intehaan"||Race 2|
|"Dil Na Jaane Kyun"||Jayantabhai Ki Luv Story|
|"Aa Bhi Ja Mere Mehermaan"|
|2016||"Khair Mangda"||A Flying Jatt|
|"Jaane De"||Qarib Qarib Singlle|
|"Dil Diyan Gallan"||Tiger Zinda Hai|
|2018||"O Saathi"||Baaghi 2|
Awards and nominations
|Year||Nominee / work||Award||Result|
|Indus Music Awards|
|2005||"Aadat" combined awards with Jal||Best Lyrics||Won|
|Sahara Sangeet Awards|
|2005||Best Playback Singer||Won|
|Best Debut Singer||Won|
|The Musik Awards|
|2006||Most Wanted Male||Nominated|
|Lux Style Awards|
|2005||Jal Pari||Best Album||Won|
|2008||Police Dress||Most Well Dressed Celebrity||Won|
|Meri Kahani||Best Album||Nominated|
|2012||"Hona Tha Pyaar" – Bol||Song of the Year||Nominated|
|Best Original Sound Track||Won|
|2013||Music Icon of the year||Won|
|2017||"Dil Dancer" – Actor in Law||Best Playback Singer (Male)||Won|
|2019||"Thaam Lo" – Parwaaz Hai Junoon||Best Playback Singer||Won|
|MTV Brrr Music Awards|
|2009||"Hungami Halaat" – Meri Kahani||Best Rock Song||Nominated|
|Best Singer (Male)||Nominated|
|Government of Pakistan|
|2008||Tamgha-e-Imtiaz (Medal of Distinction)||Won|
|2006||"Woh Lamhe" – Zeher||Filmfare Award for Best Male Playback Singer||Nominated|
|2007||"Tere Bin" – Bas Ek Pal||Nominated|
|2010||"Tu Jaane Na" – Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani||Nominated|
|2016||"Jeena Jeena" – Badlapur||Nominated|
|2017||"Tere Sang Yaara" – Rustom||Nominated|
|Lycra MTV Style Awards|
|2007||Most Stylish Person (Music)||Won|
|2006||"Woh Lamhe" – Zeher||IIFA Award for Best Male Playback Singer||Nominated|
|2009||"Pehli Nazar Mein" – Race||Nominated|
|2010||"Tu Jaane Na" – Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani||Nominated|
|2009||"Pehli Nazar Main" – Race||Best Playback Singer (Male)||Nominated|
|2014||"Jeene Laga Hoon" – Ramaiya Vastavaiya||Best Playback Singer (Male)||Nominated|
|Zee Cine Awards|
|2014||"Jeene Laga Hoon" – Ramaiya Vastavaiya||Best Playback Singer (Male)||Nominated|
|2010||"Tu Jaane Na" – Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani||Best Playback Singer (Male)||Nominated|
|BIG Star Entertainment Awards|
|2013||"Piya O Re Piya" – Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya||Best Playback Singer (Male)||Nominated|
|2011||Best New Band in the World||Nominated|
|Pakistan Media Awards|
|2010||Best Singer (Male)||Won|
|2012||Mustafa – Bol||Best Film Actor||Nominated|
|"Hona Tha Pyaar" – Bol||Best Playback Singer||Nominated|
|The BrandLaureate International Awards|
|Big Apple Music Awards|
|2014||Best Male Artist of Pakistan||Won|
|Most Popular Male Artist (International)||Won|
|Hum Style Awards|
|2016||Most Stylish Male Performer||Nominated|
|QMobile Style Icon||Won|
|2018||Most Stylish Male Performer||Nominated|
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