you & me
An architect by profession, Zoha Zuberi is a self-taught singer/songwriter, musician and artist. Based in Islamabad, the artist is known for her songs such as Kuch Kehna Chahta Hun Me and Take Your Turn with Umair Ali. Zoha has worked her way from being a cover artist to finding herself as an indie musician. She’s been playing regular gigs in Islamabad and has also collaborated with some of the coolest musicians in the scene with tracks such as Janay Kyun featuring Jasim Haider and the Pindi Boys. She loves to experiment with different genres. Her versatile singing style and the ability to write, compose and sing her songs in various styles and languages allowed her to reach wider audiences. A testament to that is her recent track Take your turn with Umair Ali which was featured in 20+ national and international playlists on Spotify and received over 50000 plus hits overnight. With her song Falling Stars she received similar acclaim online and offline. Zoha’s debut EP was released globally in 2019. These days she is working on her first album called 2020. Let’s see what this talented girl has to say about her music and likes and dislikes…
You! How long have you been active as a musician?
I’ve been in the industry for a decade now but I think I only really started to take my music seriously three years ago.
You! What inspired you to pursue music?
The inspiration came when I felt that this particular art form allows me to express to the best of my intentions what I feel on a daily basis.
You! What is your specialised field of singing?
I usually experiment between pop, lo-fi music and R&B.
You! What is your most memorable concert to-date?
I wouldn’t call it a concert, it was more like a gig – but it was definitely the most memorable because I could feel the crowd understand what I was feeling while I sang my debut EP February’s songs for the first time before they were released. It was at a small cafe in Islamabad and that day holds my heart.
You! How does it feel to be the Ambassador of the Month for EQUAL Pakistan?
Spotify’s programme, EQUAL Pakistan, allows women from all over the world to not just share the spotlight but to express and transform, the music of Pakistan. It’s an honour obviously. But I feel that it comes with a sense of responsibility. I am not just an artist who shares a platform with some of the most brilliant female musicians from the world; I am also the voice for the women who need my voice to express their feelings and aspirations.
You! How important do you think such initiatives are for women artists of our country?
I think it is very important. Talented women musicians don’t get the chance to really come into the spotlight. This is our chance to do our kind of music, not just playback singing in a specific note.
You! Tell us about your song that is being featured on EQUAL Pakistan playlist:
‘I Rather’ is Pakistan’s first original in Dolby Atmos. Experimental, dark and expressive, this song is a state of mind for so many people out there. I am sure people will relate and be able to express themselves through it.
You! Top 3 songs in your playlist:
End of the Affair by Ben Howard; Woman by Mumford and Sons; and Blower’s Daughter by Damien Rice.
You! Your favourite international music celebrities:
Ah, they have changed as I have grown. But Ben Howard would always be my favourite. Then Ed Sheeran for sure and the most recent favourite is Ariana Grande.
You! Your favourite music composer:
Tie between Hans Zimmer and A.R. Rahman.
You! Who is your icon in the music industry?
Forever and always Nazia Hasan.
You! What was the role of music in your early years of life?
Music has always been my anchor, keeping me grounded through the hard and good times.
You! Who was your favourite rock star when you were in your teens?
You! What was the first instrument that you learned to play?
You! Your most irritating habit...
Cleaning. Just can’t stop.
You! You don’t like people who are...
Hypocritical. You can’t say something and be someone else. You can’t expect truth when you lie all the time.
You! You are afraid of...
Losing my sense of empathy.
You! Your most valuable possession:
You! Your all-time favourite movie:
You! Are you a shopaholic?
Not at all.
You! What bores you the most?
Not being useful in a particular situation. Being a bystander freaks me out. I want to be able to add value or I simply get bored. If you catch me fixing flower arrangements at someone else’s wedding … Please don’t be surprised.
You! You are crazy about…
Fruits, travel, animals.
You! How do you like to spend your Sundays?
Late brunch with family, studio, walking Mars (My lab), game night with friends and a movie to end the weekend.
You! What is your favourite tune nowadays?
My Mind by Yebba.
You! If you could have a musician tag along with you on tour for a month, whom would you choose?
You! Your favourite hangout:
Game night or cinema.
You! If you had access to a time machine, which era would you revisit?
The ’60s. Simpler times.
You! Do you agree that it is important to learn and understand old music and its history?
Absolutely. You need to have context before you can innovate.
You! Song that always gets you on the dance floor?
Shape of You by Ed Sheeran.
You! What’s the last thing you bought?
Wooden flooring. I know, right? I recently moved, so yeah!
You! What books are on your bedside table?
‘The Sacred History - How Angels, Mystics and Higher Intelligence Made Our World’ and many others.
You! First thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
Open my eyes. Remove my cat off of my face and finally see.
You! When I am not working, I am usually…
Lying in bed watching TV.
You! The most important relationship lesson you have learnt so far…
Respect each other’s space. Giving yourself time doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t love the other person.
You! You get super uncomfortable when…
When I am in a situation where my mood and the expectations of other people don’t coincide and I suddenly become the bad person.
You! The biggest misconception about you...
I am short-tempered. Actually, I am just short.
You! Something very few people know about you as a person…
I can cook dishes from almost every cuisine. And I eat a lot.
You! Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Packed crowd! Stadium, maybe. Crowd singing along.