Remembering Junaid Jamshed…

Junaid Jamshed, a Recording Artist, Singer, Rockstar, Television Personality, Fashion Designer and a devout man of Faith… these were the traits and talents Junaid Jamshed carried and he carried them well.

His heritage was of  “Nawab”, a family of Loharu State roots from where his grandfather was the Nawab. Junaid spent most of his school life in Saudia Arabia and after graduating, he decided to follow in his fathers steps and join the Pakistan’s Airforce. Unfortunately, his weak eyesight prevented him from getting admission and he felt his goal was taken from him. However, this was still Pakistan’s gain. Born in Karachi, the business hub of Pakistan, Junaid Jamshed became one of the most loved pop stars in Pakistan in the 80’s and 90’s with Vital signs and then his solo career in the 2000’s.

When Junaid finished his studies in Lahore, he auditioned for Vital Signs as the lead singer. Vital signs was the then brainchild of Rohail Hayat. Rohail has had many more brainchild’s since, the one you may be most familiar with today is The Coke Studios Pakistan, you can see Rohail has a unparalleled gift for music. That said and no pun intended, it was obvious at the time to him that Junaid was going to be a vital part of Vital Signs. The band was complete and ready for their first gig in 1986 in the city of  Rawalpindi.

It wasn’t long at all before Vital Signs gained popularity in the underground music scene, especially in the more affluent areas like Islamabad, Pindi, Karachi and Lahore. They were growing in demand as news spread of their gigs across Pakistan. Remember, there wasn’t much social media back then, so this is wild fire. The sound was new, it was fresh and it was for the youth of Pakistan.  It was whilst performing one of their concerts in Islamabad, Vital Signs were noticed by the Pakistan Television (PTV) scouts and offered a record deal. They recorded their first album known as “Chera”. It was during this early period that they also caught the eye (or ear) of the record producer and broadcaster, Shoiab Mansoor, a very well respected name in the Pakistan showbiz industry. Shoaib helped them write the song “Dil Dil Pakistan”, which became a sensation overnight and still sits highly with Pakistanis today. In fact, in 2003, the BBC conducted a poll to choose the most popular song in the world, and “Dil Dil Pakistan” ranked in the top 10. The vote was carried out from about 155 countries. This was a huge deal for Junaid Jamshed and his fans from Pakistan.

Anyhow, The band made top of the charts in music rankings at the time, with most of their songs becoming memorable hits for the then young Pakistanis. After over a decade of success and celebrity status, the band decided to separate ways and Junaid Jamshed started his solo career. Junaid’s first solo album “Us Rah Par”, launched in 1999 a went on to be Pakistan’s bestselling album of the year. Every single in the album was written by Junaid. He was very proud of it. The following two albums after “Us Rah Par” weren’t as popular and Junaid Jamshed opted to go low key and disappeared from the public eyes for a while. It was during his time out Junaid was starting to look for other ways to financially support himself and was offered the opportunity to take part in a TV drama directed by Shoaib Mansoor called Gulls & Guys. Gulls and Guys was a documentary type travel programme and  whilst received well by Pakistan, it wasn’t helping Junaid in his life choices. This was a difficult period in Junaid’s life now, finances became a serious issue forcing Juniad to file for bankruptcy and look to a career in Engineering.

In 2004, after much contemplation and soul searching, Junaid Jamshed took a huge turn in his life and announced his retirement from music and was now dedicating and devoting his life to Islam. To support himself financially, he launched his clothing brand, “J.” selling Pakistani inspired clothing. Today this brand is one of the leading clothing brands in Pakistan.

Whilst reading this, you most probably already know Junaid Jamshed passed away, way, way before anyone expected. Junaid was a kind hearted loving person and at the peak of his popularity. He was working tirelessly with the youth of Pakistan and muslims across the globe. A rational yet heart led thinker, Junaid achieved a great deal and will always be remembered fondly. It was 7th October 2016, when the heart wrenching news came through. Junaid Jamshed along with his wife Nayha Jamshed were returning to Islamabad from Chitral on a PIA flight 661. The flight took a tragic turn. None of the passengers survived.

This was a very very sad day for Pakistan, Junaid Jamshed’s fans all over the world and Junaid Jamshed’s family. Today, we remember the birthday of Junaid Jamshed and are thankful that we had an opportunity to meet him and work with him.  Today, new aspiring singers, Nasheed Artists and Naat Khwaans across Pakistan, follow his work fondly and cover his performances to the best of their abilities. But there was only one Junaid Jamshed… . Junaid Jamshed’s contributions to Pakistan were immense and he will sincerely be missed.

Happy Birthday Buddy.

Don’t Stop Here

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