Zayn Malik: Fans rejoice at ex-One Direction member’s Urdu single


Zayn Malik
Image caption,The British singer is fluent in Urdu

By Kelly Ng

BBC News

Zayn Malik’s collaboration with popular Pakistani band Aur has given fans much to celebrate – with many psyched that the British singer is fluent in Urdu.

A remake of Aur’s breakout hit Tu Hai Kahan features the ex-One Direction singer providing vocals in Urdu.

The original version of the song has more than 95m views though the remake, released last Friday, is fast catching up, with 3m views.

Malik said he was “incredibly humbled” when Aur reached out to him.

“I love the song and have brought some of myself to it. I hope people love what we’ve done,” he said.

The 31-year-old was born in Bradford, England, but has Urdu roots – his father is a Pakistani immigrant to the UK.

The song was quick to gain fans online – with some social media users urging Malik to release “more Urdu songs please”.

“Some languages just make you feel things… I hope [Zayn] does more fully Urdu songs,” said one user on X.

Many Urdu speaking fans also celebrated the track, with one calling it a “gift for his fellow Pakistanis”.

“Desi girls, wake up, Zayn Malik’s one Urdu verse literally changed our lives,” another X user chimed in.

Malik’s music career began in 2010 as part of One Direction, a boy band formed on British TV music competition, The X Factor. He released his debut album, Mind of Mine, in 2016. A song in his 2021 album, Nobody is Listening, also included Urdu lyrics.

Aur, which comprises three members Ahad, Usama, and Raffey, said the collaboration shows that “music has no boundaries”.

“We’re taking Pakistani music global, and we can’t wait for the world to vibe to our music,” Aur said.

The Karachi-based band broke into Pakistan’s music scene only in 2020, but have already proven a success in the region, with their music that blends R&B and hip hop elements.

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