AS REAL AS IT GETS NASEEBO LAL UNFILTERED

AS REAL AS IT GETS NASEEBO LAL UNFILTERED

‘I think there is no comparison of me with any other individual be it from my era or the younger generation – everyone has their own charm and voice'

Known for her multifaceted talent, with powerful vocals and singing songs in different regional languages, Naseebo Lal is a singer who has been in the music industry for decades. Last year we saw her making a grand comeback with PSL anthem Groove Mera which was needless to say a super hit amongst the audience – even the ones criticizing the song initially, reacted warmly to Naseebo after she showed so much gratitude for the love she got and appreciation that came with it.

It’s not easy being a female singer especially when Naseebo was starting out and sometimes made her opt for songs specifically for financial reasons which she talks about in detail in this interview. We had a lovely time talking to the amazing Naseebo Lal in Lahore who walked us through her journey from the beginning till now. 

Thank you Naseebo Lal jee for doing this interview with us. Tell us what’s been keeping you busy since the PSL anthem Groove Mera last year? What have you been up to?

I am currently very busy with so many ongoing projects – you will see some of them in the near future In Sha Allah. They’re very interesting and surely will be a source of entertainment for many Pakistanis. Along with these projects, I am also doing private events as well.

You have been in the music industry for decades and this song could be considered your major ‘come back’ song. How do you manage to stay relevant after all these years and now even singing along and perhaps competing with the younger generation?

I think there is no comparison of me with any other individual be it from my era or the younger generation – everyone has their own charm and voice. Moreover, singing is a skill and it polishes over time even if you have stopped singing for over a decade, all it takes is just one song to be back on track.

You’re known for your distinctive voice but at the same time you’ve also faced criticism, sometimes for your song choices or lyrics but how have you managed to always beat the odds and face it all? What motivates you to keep moving forward?

When I came into the music industry, I usually used to sing for the Film Industry and stage dramas only. The lyrics of the songs were not appropriate but back in those days these were the only songs that were being offered to me and having financial stability was a big factor and in my case especially it was a big aspect of my singing career. Now, after all these years when I was offered the PSL anthem, I was super thrilled about it and despite the criticism, I have also received many good wishes and remarks over it and it was made the most viewed PSL Anthem with over 16 million views. This Anthem was one of the highlights of my career – I got so many offers from different big banner/brands after the success of the song.

Looking back at your illustrious career, what’s the biggest difference you see in the music industry today and yesteryear?

Previously, everyone needed to have a support and a reference from different record labels and TV channels to be successful and to have maximum audience reach. Now, it is quite different, everyone is their own boss – all it takes is a phone, an app and a singing skill to be successful, no matter wherever you are sitting in the world.

What are your thoughts on the inequalities and barriers females face? Was it harder to make it big as a female singer back in the days compared to now?

Yes, inequality is definitely there and it is not just restricted to the Music Industry. Females face inequality in different fields and industries of Pakistan. However, our society and culture has grown so much and things are changing, perhaps we’re going to have more female artists in the future. Back in the days there were many taboos and stereotypes attached to women who wanted to sing but now tides are changing for sure.

How would you describe yourself and the music you make?

I believe, with due respect, that I am the only Pakistani female singer who has sung the songs from almost every different genre, be it Punjabi Stage dramas, Punjabi Movies, Raps, Urdu Songs, Folk Songs, Sufi Songs, collaborations within and outside the country. I have been always the supporter of new talent. I have collaborated with younger talent who were not in the limelight, but my goal is always to support and bring forward new talent.

‘It is very easy to be successful and popular in this digitalized era. You see vloggers/bloggers/ influencers excelling in their lives at a very young age because all it takes is a phone, an app and skills to show your talent to the entire world’

We live in a digital world and where musicians use different online platforms to spread the word on their music. In your opinion is it more easy or challenging to be recognized now than it was earlier?

Yes, I totally believe, as I have already mentioned it before, that it is very easy to be successful and popular in this digitalized era. You see vloggers/ bloggers/influencers excelling in their lives at a very young age because all it takes is a phone, an app and skills to show your talent to the entire world. I probably lacked in this realm because I was not very educated to use these social platforms but now with time it has become a necessity for everyone in the media, to stay relevant and connected. Now, I am working on my Instagram page as well as other social media platforms with the help of my team – soon, you will see me everywhere. (Laughs)

We have seen many musicians from around the world to make a transition to acting. Have you ever thought about considering that side of the entertainment industry?

(Laughs) I think everyone has a certain set of skills and they should stick to it. I believe that my forte is singing and I absolutely enjoy it with all my heart. As I have mentioned earlier, I am always up for the collaborations and innovations when it comes to singing but acting is something which does not come to me naturally. However, there are many singers who have explored the acting field as well and are doing great but it’s certainly not for me.

Besides yourself, who is your favourite female artist at the moment and what is your favourite track?

Pakistan has pool of amazingly talented female as well as male musicans/singers. Being a female, I know the struggles and the hurdles behind the scenes so I have to say every female singer is my favourite and very close to my heart. But since I have to pick the favourites I would say Madam Noor Jahan and Lata Managashker are evergreen legends. As far as favourites track is concerned then I must say my preference has always been Folk and Sufi music so whosoever is doing it is very close to my heart.

Any message for your well-wishers and followers?

I love all of my fans and supporters – whatever I am today, it is just because of them. I thank them all for everything. I want to add that all of you are amazing and keep supporting and loving my music like you always have done. I will make sure to keep entertaining you guys with different genres of music/songs.

INTERVIEW: SUNDUS UNSAR RAJA

COORDINATION: ALI SHERAZI

PHOTOGRAPHY: MOIN AHMED