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Zeenat Aman remembers Aap Jaisa Koi singer Nazia Hassan on 44th anniversary of Qurbani

Often referred to as “Queen of South Asian Pop”, Nazia’s song Aap Jaisa Koi from Qurbani made her a household name

Urmi Chakraborty Calcutta Published 22.06.24, 12:20 PM
(L-R) Zeenat Aman, Nazia Hassan.

(L-R) Zeenat Aman, Nazia Hassan. Instagram, IMDb

Bollywood veteran Zeenat Aman on Friday fondly reminisced about the late Nazia Hassan on the 44th anniversary of their 1980 film Qurbani, recalling how the teenage Pakistani singer had “revolutionised how we South Asians disco”.

Sharing a clip of Aap Jaisa Koi song from the film, Zeenat recalled how she returned to her London hotel after a hectic day of shooting and found a family of three — an middle-aged lady named Muniza and her two teenage children Nazia and Zoheb — had been waiting for her in the lobby of her London hotel. “I hadn’t planned to entertain them for long, but soon found myself drawn into deep dialogue with Muniza,” the actress wrote in her note.


“They were a charming and cultured family of Pakistani origin, and to my surprise I found myself inviting them to join me in my suite. That night I learnt that Nazia and Zoheb were pursuing music, and I even enjoyed a brief demo of young Nazia’s pipes,” Zeenat added.

Recounting how she introduced Nazia to actor-director Feroz Khan before the production of Quabani, Zeenat mentioned that the Pakistani singer’s vocal prowess had blown Feroz away. “You can picture the rest… Feroz was blown away by Nazia’s voice, and under the guidance of music composer Biddu, 15-year-old Nazia Hassan went on to record the mega hit Aap Jaisa Koi,” she said.

The actress admitted that in spite of the star cast, including Vinod Khanna, Feroz, Amjad Khan, Amrish Puri and herself, the only “breakthrough performance” in Qurbani was that of Nazia’s.

“It may be my face and figure that come to mind when the familiar tune of Aap Jaisa Koi begins to play, but the song belongs entirely to that young Pakistani girl who revolutionised how we South Asians disco,” the 72-year-old actress wrote, talking about the song that has remained one of the most popular numbers from the 1980s.

In her note, Zeenat said she always felt protective of Nazia. “During film events and promotions I kept a close eye on her, much to the chagrin of her admirers and delight of her mother,” she confessed.

“Nazia died too young. A true shooting star who blazed hot, bright and fast. On this occasion, I remember her with love and gratitude,” Zeenat signed off, touching a note of melancholy.

Often referred to as “Queen of South Asian Pop”, Nazia passed away on August 13, 2000, at the age of 35 after losing her battle with lung cancer. She and her brother Zoheb formed a popular singing duo and released several successful albums, including Disco Deewane (1981), Boom Boom (1982), and Young Tarang (1984).

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