Zeb Bangash

By Gul Nasreen
Tue, 03, 24

Let’s see what are the likes and dislikes of Zeb Bangash who is also Spotify’s singer of the month. Read on…

Zeb Bangash

you & me

Zebunisa Bangash, popularly known as Zeb Bangash, is a versatile singer-songwriter. With a degree in Economics and History of Art from Mount Holyoke College, she appeared on the music scene in 2007 as ‘Zeb and Haniya’, the cousin-duo from Kohat, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. In 2008, they made their recorded debut with ‘Chup’, one of the most acclaimed albums worldwide.

After the duo disbanded in 2014, Bangash continued to pursue a solo career. She has released several hit songs, including ‘Aaja Re Moray Saiyaan’, ‘Kya Khayal Hai’ and ‘Aey Dil’. Her music is a mix of contemporary pop and traditional Pakistani music, and she often incorporates Sufi poetry into her songs.

Bangash made her debut in India with the film ‘Madras Café’ and has been expanding her horizons ever since. As a versatile artist singing in multiple languages including Urdu, Pashto, Punjabi, Turkish, Persian, Saraiki and others, she finds a unique connection with each language she explores. Bangash has composed music for films including ‘Ho Mann Jahaan’, ‘Bin Roye’, ‘Fitoor’, ‘Baaji’, ‘Parey Hut Love’ and ‘Superstar’. She also sung the title track of television series ‘Diyar-e-Dil’ which won Lux Style Award. She is the first Pakistani artist who served as a music director of Bollywood movie ‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’, which received 18 film awards. Formally training under the adept gaze of Ustad Naseeruddin Saami, Bangash continues to expand her horizons whilst proudly displaying her heritage within all her endeavours. In her recent project, ‘Sandaraa’, fronted by Michael Woodgrad and Zeb, they aim to celebrate traditional South Asian folk music using Klezmer influences. Let’s see what are the likes and dislikes of Zeb Bangash who is also Spotify’s singer of the month. Read on…

What inspired you to pursue music?

I’ve always loved singing and music, it’s an interest that I have inherited from my family and had become aware of the fact that I had a flair for it but I always thought I would pursue other things such as banking and other careers, but it’s as if this career chose me.

What is your specialised field of singing?

I don’t have a specialised field. I’m a trained vocalist and I sing across genres. My training however, is in classical traditional music of ‘Khayal’ but that’s the one genre that I have never formally recorded for the public.

What is your most memorable concert to date?

Zeb Bangash

It’s tough to pick one, however I cannot forget my early concerts that were funded by pocket money and my brother’s generous donation and the audience used to be our family and friends. The concerts we used to have at home, the low-cost systems are still my favourite. Recently, I performed at Times Square and it was very special to me. It was the first time I was communicating through ‘sur’ and channelling my teaching and it felt great.

What are you currently working on?

There are many collaborative projects that I have been working on but the big milestone to me is my debut solo album which is going to be launched soon.

How does it feel to be the Ambassador of the Month for EQUAL Pakistan?

It feels great. I think Spotify’s Equal is a wonderful programme for inclusivity and diversity. In a sense it is focused on the bottom line which is the audiences and at the same time it is creating a community for female musicians on the platform.

How important do you think such initiatives are for women artists of our country?

Initiatives like these can really help women artists since they not only showcase female talent but also create a community and impact listenership. Plus, at some level it sends a powerful message of empowerment and equality in the creative landscapes. So, I’d say it can play a crucial role in fostering an environment when women artists can thrive and are celebrated.

Tell us about your song that is being featured on the EQUAL Pakistan playlist?

‘Lajpal Ali’. It’s this track that I poured my heart into, a mix of vibes that I hope people can connect with. You know, the kind of music you play on a lazy Sunday or during a road trip. Being on the EQUAL playlist feels like a much-appreciated nod, so I am super grateful for the recognition and the song opportunity, and I hope everyone enjoys the tunes!

Your favourite international music celebrity?

A. R. Rahman.

What was the role of music in early years of your life?

My family has always had a deep appreciation for music. From an early age, I began listening to songs in various languages such as Turkish, Persian, Urdu, and English.

Who was your favourite music artist while growing up?

Sezen Aksu, Tori Amos, Suzanne Vega, Sertab Erener, Nazia Hassan, Fiona Apple. Also, a lot of the Beatles, and classic rock bands like Dire Straits and Queen helped me through my teenage angst.

What was the first instrument that you learned to play?

I messed around with my uncle’s harmonium at my grandmother’s house in Peshawar as a child.

Zeb Bangash

Your most irritating habit…

Not making my bed in the morning and zoning out.

You don’t like people who are…


You are afraid of?


Your most valuable possession?

I’m not really into things. I cherish moments over material things.

Your all-time favourite movie?

‘Big Fish’ and ‘Kamli’.

Are you a shopaholic?

I’m the exact opposite of a shopaholic.

What bores you the most?


You are crazy about…


How do you like to spend your Sundays?

On Sundays, I like to wake up early, go for a morning walk, practice my vocals, spend time with my family, enjoy a warm cup of tea, and chill basically.

If you could have a musician tag along with you on tour, whom would you choose?

I would choose all my mates from ‘Sandaraa’, my music band in Brooklyn.

Your favourite hangout?

Having spicy chaat, going to the spa, going for a swim or cycling, going theatres, visit art galleries. I love it all.

If you had access to a time machine, which era would you revisit?


Do you agree that it is important to learn and understand old music and its history?

Yes, we must know what came before us in order to move forward.

What’s the last thing you bought?

I bought a hard drive to store my music!

First thing you do when you wake up in the morning?

Jump out of bed and bounce off the walls. I love mornings.

When I am not working, I am usually…

Pursuing some strange interest and always doing something musical.

The most important relationship lesson you have learnt so far…

It takes a ton of work to hold on to yourself and also be kind to your partner.

You get super uncomfortable when…

I get super uncomfortable when someone invades my privacy. I don’t like over sharing.

The biggest misconception about you is…

That I’m easy-going. I can get quite obsessively consumed by my work and interests.

Something very few people know about me…

I can speak multiple languages including Turkish, Persian and Pashto but I also taught myself to read Hindi script when I was in Mumbai. I’m pretty bad at it but I feel proud about it.

Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?

It’s futile to plan so far ahead. I like to stay focused on the present and do what I can in the moment without projecting outcomes on my future.