Haroon Rashid was born on 11th May 1973 in London, United Kingdom, popularly known as Haroon is a Pakistani pop singer, composer, musician and producer. He has sold nearly three million CDs and tapes worldwide.
Multi-talented Haroon, the famous Asian pop star, is a singer, composer, musician, producer, recording engineer, and exhilarating live performer. His fan following is in the millions. He has sold nearly three million CDs and tapes world wide and the audience at his shows often number in the tens of thousand
Born to a Pakistani father and a New Zealander mother, Haroon began playing the guitar and composing songs at the age of 13. He formed his first band, Idiosyncracies, in school with schoolmates at the age of 14.
Haroon is an accomplished Guitar player and keyboard player. Haroon has been playing the guitar and composing songs since the age of 13. He formed his first band “Idiosyncracies” in school at the age of 14.
He is most proud of his talents as a song-writer and composer. Over the last 12 years he has composed and recorded some of the biggest hits in Pakistan’s short pop history including songs such as Mr. Fraudiay, Ay Jawan, Main Na Manoo Haar, Jadoo Ka Chiragh, Mahbooba, Mehndi, Dil Se, Pyareya, Yara and many others.
After graduating in the early 1990s with a degree in Business Administration from the George Washington University in United States, he formed the band Awaz with a couple of musician friends, Faakhir and Assad Ahmed.
Haroon and the band made a video of Janeman, a song which Haroon had composed when he was 16. Haroon sent it to MTV Asia, and the song became the first Urdu/Hindi pop song to air on MTV.
At their peak, Awaz was the biggest musical band in Pakistan, and released three successful albums and two big singles between 1993 and 1999. Awaz was one of the pioneering bands in Pakistani pop music, and influenced many future musicians.
Haroon’s first solo album “Haroon Ki Awaz” (produced, engineered, recorded and mixed by Haroon at his personal studio) was released in Oct 2000 and was an incredibly huge success selling over half a million units world wide.
Several spectacular videos helped make that album such a blockbuster. Yara, Pyareya, Jeekay Dekha, Chan vergay were all highly popular songs from Haroon Ki Awaz and their videos received heavy rotation the world over. Songs such as Fire Inside and Paisa were biting tongue in cheek commentaries on the socio-economic-political situation in south asia at the time.
Haroon’s first solo album, Haroon Ki Awaz, which he produced, engineered and recorded, was successfully released in October 2000. The songs, Yaara, Pyareya, Jeekay Dekha, Chan Vergay from that album were released as singles with music videos. Other songs such as Fire Inside and Paisa commented on the socio-economic and political situation in South Asia at the time.
In 2001 and 2002, Haroon toured the UK and USA. In 2001, Haroon received the “Outstanding contribution to Asian music” Award from the BBC Asia Awards show.
Haroon’s second solo album was the melodic, Lagan. This album included Mahbooba, a fusion of Asian and Arabic music with Lebanese singers accompanying Haroon. The song was a major hit, with a music video shot at the Pyramids of Giza.
Following this success, Haroon embarked on a world tour from early 2003 to mid 2005, performing in Oslo, Madrid, Copenhagen, Brussels, Glasgow, New York, Toronto and smaller cities such as Calgary and Oakland.
Some of his performances drew crowds in the tens of thousands, and he boasted a strong fan base in the UK, USA, and Dubai. He performed several times in front of sellout audiences at Wembley Arena, London, and at the BBC Asia awards (Birmingham, NEC) watched by two million on television.
Haroon released his third solo album, Haroon Ka Nasha in March 2007, again composed, recorded, produced, engineered and mixed by himself at his personal studio.
Most fans will discuss Haroon’s exhilarating live performances first. Haroon’s entertaining on-stage performances has made him one of the most sought after Asian acts on the live circuit. Haroon has toured worldwide at times drawing crowds in the tens of thousands, building a strong fan base in the UK, US, and Dubai.
Some of the highlights are his several performances in front of sell out audiences at London Wembley Arena; and performing at the BBC Asia awards (Birmingham, NEC) which had a TV viewer ship of over two million. The excitement Haroon generates in his live performances is primarily based on the raw energy he exudes and fantastic dance moves he executes. Haroon’s athleticism, coordination, and natural sense of rhythm have laid the foundation for his great on-stage performance
First Big Break
After graduating with a degree in Business Administration from the George Washington Uni, USA in the early 90’s, he promptly formed the band Awaz with a couple of musician friends.
Haroon and the band made a video for ‘Janeman’ (the song Haroon composed at 16) on a shoestring budget of Rs.15, 000/-. They sent the video to local TV stations and record labels. Nobody showed any interest. Says Haroon “They responded by saying ‘stick to your day job.’ but I was stubborn and decided to send it off to MTV Asia to see what happens” The song ‘Janeman’ became the first ever Urdu/Hindi pop song to air on MTV.
During their peak, Awaz was the biggest band in the country, and went on to release three highly successful albums and two big singles between 1993 and 1999, which have collectively sold more than 2,000,000 units worldwide. Awaz was one of the pioneering bands in Pakistani pop music, and their pop accessibility and skilled musicianship influenced and paved the way for many future musicians, singers and bands.
Second Album Lagan
Haroon’s second solo album was the melodic Lagan. The song ‘Mahbooba,’ the massive super hit from Lagan, was shot at the Giza plateau in Cairo, Egypt with the ancient pyramids as the back drop. “Mahbooba” is a fusion of Asian and Arabic music with Lebanese singers accompanying Haroon.
Following the spectacular success of ‘Mahbooba’ Haroon cemented his place as one of the top asian pop stars. Haroon embarked on a world tour that lasted from early 2003 to mid 2005. He performed all over Europe from cities such as Oslo, Norway and Copenhagen, Denmark to Glasgow, Scotland. He performed all over North America, from big cities like New York and Toronto to smaller cities such as Calgary and Oakland.
* Haroon ki awaz (2000)
* Lagan (2003)
* Haroon Ka Nasha (2007)
* Janeman – (1994)
* Diya – (1994)
* Mr. Fraudiay – with Awaz (1996)
* Aye Jawan – with Awaz (1997)
* Main Na Manoo Haar – with Awaz (1996)
* Jadoo Ka Chiragh – with Awaz (1995)
* Jeekay Dekha – (2001)
* Pyareya – (2001)
* Yara – (2001)
* Tu Hai Kahan – with Junaid Jamshed and Strings (2001)
* Mahbooba – (2002)
* Mehndi – (2002)
* Dil Se – (2003)
* Jao Tum – (2003)
* Goriye – Remix (2005)
* Jiay Jaye (2006)
* Jua Khela (2007)
* Ishq Nasha (2007)
* Nahi Hai Yeh Pyar (2008)
* Ibtada-e-Ishq (2009)
* “Nahin Hai’ ft KOSTAL (2010)
Haroon is Pakistans leading pop singer and has been on the music scene for more than a decade. He is an exhilarating live performer and is famous for the energy he exudes during his performance. All his albums namely Haroon Ki Awaz, Lagan, Haroon Ka Nasha, have been massive hits.
Your full and real name?
Aaron Haroon Rashid
Star sign /birth date:
What do you do to relax?
Work out, read a book, surf the Internet or play my guitar.
Your favourite food?
Pakistani BBQ or Chinese
Best coffee place?
In your DVD player?
Amazing Grace, a movie about one man’s fight to abolish slavery in the UK.
What do you do on Sunday mornings?
Read the paper, have a huge breakfast and spend time with the family.
Which of your songs is closest to you and why?
Nahi hai yeh pyaar because it is a really heartfelt song!
Except for your own self who do you listen to?
I listen to everything and everyone, which is good be it pop, rock, bhangra, disco, techno, classical, folk or experimental.
If you were not a singer, what would you be?
I would be a music producer.
What is love for you?
Now that is a question I am asking myself these days.
Your most important possession?
My recording studio
With a girl called Monica, when I was in grade I. I asked her to marry me.
Describe yourself in three words?
Positive passionate and compassionate
Who is Haroon?
One of the 6.7 billion people on this earth trying to live his dreams
What is the best quality you possess?
I believe in myself.
Haroon ka Nasha
Haroon has just released his 3rd solo album and is top selling album right now no. 1 on most charts. Haroon composed, recorded, produced,engineered and mixed all the songs at his personal studio “Haroon’s Turbo Charged Funky lil’ Studio” This album shows a maturing of Haroon as a songwriter, musician, singer, lyricist and producer. Lyrically and musically this album has depth and the production is polished and creative.
The album touches on a variety of interesting themes apart from the usual love songs. The song Big Corporation Man is a satire on greedy large companies that only care about profit without regard to the effects on the environment or their customers.
“I’m a big corporation man, with big corporation plans
Living for profit and I don’t give a damn”
The song Jiya Jaye has a strong message extolling brotherhood and peace no matter what your religion or background . Musically Jiya Jaye , is a modern electro-acoustic feel good pop song with a tinge of gentle qawali.
The song Hum Hain is a positive uplifting aggressive rock song with a huge stadium chorus. “I recorded over 100 tracks of vocals on this song to get that big sound in the chorus.” Says Haroon. The song Oh Saqi is deep and dark full of angst and despair.
The album kicks off with a lighter song, an up tempo funky number called Jua Khela, driven by a funky guitar riff played by Assad Ahmed with clever tongue in cheek lyrics and an infectious melody. The song suggets that love is a gamble and you never know whether you are going to win in the game of love or end up with a broken heart. The next track is the heart wrenching Nahi Hah Yeh Pyaar . The song has a very non traditional chord progression and the melody pulls on the heart strings.
Yeh Raat, is a straight forward rock song with lush harmonies and one of the highlights of the album. The blistering acoustic and electric guitars are played by Haroon and dominate the whole track. “Ibtida-e-Ishq”, is a heart catching ballad which borrows lyrics from the famous Ghalib poem. On the song “She is No Good 4 U” Haroon duets with a famous UK based singer Yvonne . Its an upbeat number with a blend of Urdu and English lyrics.
Haroon is one of the most famous singers in Pakistan. Over the years Harron has built up a huge fan following and his music video’s are a treat for the viewers. We were fortunate enough to interview him at a casual sitting at his wonderful house. We talked about his music, video’s and upcoming album “Haroon Ka Safar”
Here’s the Interview
IslamabadTheCapital (ITC): What inspired you into music and how did it all started?
Haroon: Well the first conscious decision that I had was when I was very young. I was around eight or nine years old. I was sitting down and doing some homework and my mother was going to the market for some grocery shopping. She said to me that she will be back in an hour and by time I should finish my homework. Instead I put on some music and it was a tape of The Beatles. The song was so wonderful that it made me jump out of my seat and I sang along and danced. The song finished and I sat down and the next song would come out and that would be a great track too. I listened to the whole tape and at that time I had a revelation that this music has inspired me in such a good way. So when my mother came back from the market, I asked her about the music. My mother explained to me that they were The Beatles and they were famous in the sixties. They played guitar and sang songs. At that time I decided its music for me. When I turned thirteen I bought a guitar and immediately started to play it. Sortly after that a boy named Najib transferred into our school from abroad. I was called up by one of the school administrative staff and asked me to show him around the school. We started taking and became friends. While we were talking Najib mentioned to me that he plays an electric guitar and I told him that I play the acoustic guitar. Next day he brought his electric guitar and I was like wow electric guitar. From that point onwards we started to talk about music. That summer my family was traveling abroad and I asked them to get me an electric guitar. After I got my electric guitar, Najib and I decided to form a band. We got one of our friends on bass guitars and found another guy in school who played the drums. So we formed our own band and started to perform in the school functions.
ITC: Any memories from your first show?
Haroon: (with a big smile) yeah, the first show that we did was on the school roof top and nobody knew that we will be performing. There was a fair at our school and we wanted to play in it. The music teacher who was a little jealous of us didn’t want us to play and said why don’t you guys go and play on the roof. We bought the idea and went to the roof and started to play. Nobody could see us. People who were entering in the fair were curious about the music but moved on. Very shortly after that, we performed at a school event and became famous at our school.