Nayab Batool: A look into the life of an aspiring singer

Pakistan is a country that is rich in talent but when it comes to opportunities, the story gets a little dark. This is especially true when it comes to women.

Nevertheless, some brave individuals do manage to break the shackles created by culture and out-dated traditions and Nayab Batool is one of them.

The young singer, with a beautiful voice, belongs to a conservative community known as the Hazara People. A community where women do not enjoy the same liberties as men and artistic professions are not accepted.

I got a chance to interview her, continue reading to find out more about this wonderful gem of a person.

What drew you to the music industry?

I used to sing while when I was very young. My family used to watch reality shows and singing shows on television, which attracted me a lot and gradually my interest developed too.

Have you written any songs yet?

No, I haven’t written any song yet but yes I have extended a stanza to a few songs.

Who inspired you?

I was initially inspired by my parents, they’ve both been blessed with a mesmerizing voice and they sing beautifully. MashAllah. Among professionals, I love and adore Lata Mangeshkar a lot.

What’s an average day like for you?

Most of my days are full of tasks. Sometimes I get a little time to myself and I have nothing to do but to rest. Mostly I do events or take part in events; I like to paint in my free time and draw as well. Household chores also occupy the majority of my time. I have got a lot to do, and I try to keep myself busy.

Is there a hidden meaning in any of your music?

Most of the songs that I sing ( apart from requested songs ) all carry a hell of meaning, a mixture of emotions and feelings. I always sing and listen to the songs that touch my heart.

Most of the songs that I sing ( apart from requested songs ) all carry a hell of meaning, a mixture of emotions and feelings. I always sing and listen to the songs that touch my heart.

Do you collaborate with others? What is that process?

Yes, I do collaborate with others, I volunteer in different events, I manage events ( academic, marriages, workshops, seminars, competitions ). Moreover, I perform songs in events (mostly our events). I have covered a Pakistani song with a friend and a few Persian songs with other fellows.

What is your favorite part of this line of work? Your least favorite? Why?

It’s very hard to specify only one thing about this line of work. Since I love it completely. I love music and whatever comes within it.
The least favorite part is when people judge you wrongly. This is a very respectful field and I don’t like it when people use wrong terms regarding music or musicians.

What advice would you have for someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?

My suggestion to my fellows is ‘Have faith in your gifts. An amazing voice is a beautiful gift and a big responsibility. We, as artists, have been given the responsibility to fill this universe with beautiful colors, more than the average fellow beings. Respect the gift God has bestowed upon you.
Secondly, a good comment may bring a temporary smile on your face but don’t ignore the bad comments or the discouragements, they give you lessons for stepping up and dealing with people in practical life…
Stay determined, influence others and be the change.

Does your family support you?

Alhamdulillah, I am blessed with a beautiful and supportive family. Yes, they do support me but they do get scared sometimes, because of the harsh behavior and reactions of people towards my singing. It took me quite a while and I had to face many challenges to convince them. And the process continues.

Have you studied music?

No, I haven’t studied music. I have just listened to songs on the television or through social media.

Does your family have a problem with your singing?

No, my family doesn’t have any problem with my singing, but they’re worried about me due to some bad comments written by people and discouraging the behavior of some groups around us.

Do you think you would’ve gotten a different response if you were a male singer?

I am not a feminist but sometimes, in some cases yes I see clear gender inequality. I think if I were a male pursuing music then it wouldn’t have been this challenging but some people promoted and boosted me up a little just because I am a girl.

According to me, girls are brought into the limelight more than guys nowadays.

Do you wish to pursue a career in music?

Yes, I do want that. And I am striving hard but gradually towards being an outstanding singer and artist.

Have you performed at any venue yet?

Yes, I have performed on very small stages (events of our own ). At universities and on the provincial level. National songs mostly!

How long have you been singing?

Since I was 7 or 8 maybe.

Is it difficult being a singer and from the Hazara Community?

I think it’s more difficult being a part of this era. I think being female and being Hazara would have not been an issue if I was born about 10 years later. I am in an era where still we’ve got our old institution with rigidity in their thoughts and ideas.

What issues have you had to face?

Many issues but mostly bad comments and discouragement. Wrong allegations as well.

How do you think things can be improved?

Things will fall at a place with time. As change comes slowly and gradually. I don’t believe in sudden change or overnight transformations. I think I should move carefully and should keep a slow pace towards my goals. And InshAllah I hope things will improve. I shouldn’t expect an overnight change in school of thoughts, in cultures and the norms and standards which society has set. It takes time.

Is your community coming around to the idea of you singing?

I think yes, somehow.

Fizzah Temur
Fizzah Temur


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One comment

  1. Girls in the Hazara community enjoy a lot of freedom as compared to other communities Balochistan. Almost everyone is educated but I agree there’s less opportunities in Balochistan. Other social problems exist everywhere in Pakistan not just in this community.

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