Hadiqa Kiani (Urdu: حدیقہ کیانی) is a Pakistani singer-songwriter and model.
In 2013, Kiani became a judge on the Pakistani reality television show Pakistan Idol. Recently, she has collaborated with the singer Atif Aslam.
Kiani resides in England with her mother, Khawar, who has been paralysed since 2006. In 2005, she adopted a son from Edhi Home, whom she named Naad-E-Ali, which means the qualities of Hazrat Ali. "I need a child and the child (needs) a mother," she said when adopting the child. On the same day Kiani made an official announcement of the adoption on the Geo News political talk show, Capital Talk. Later in 2005, Kiani married a UK-based Afghan businessman, Syed Fareed Sarwary. Their Nikah was a private event and only very close family members were present at the occasion. However, the marriage did not work out and in 2008 Hadiqa filed for divorce.
1998: second album Roshni:
Kiani's third single from the album, "Dupatta" was an instant success. Its video was inspired by the sci-fi film The Matrix and was the highest-budget video in Pakistan in 1999. "Dupatta" also gained more popularity than any other single Kiani had released before. The song is also listed in the Twenty Best Pop Songs Ever for Pakistan, where it is positioned at No.15. The success of the song was attributed to its quasi-bhangra rhythm with fat, funky techno beats and Kiani's "dreamy-meets-husky vocals" which made the results "stunning". In the wake of "Dupatta"'s, success Kiani became widely accepted as the country's leading female vocalist.
Kiani's success in 1999 was highlighted when she won PTV World Viewer's Choice Award for the best female singer in 2000. She also released a seventh single from the album, "Intezaar".
Roshni sold over a million copies in Pakistan alone. Kiani's image also became a signature look in cities like Karachi. The album is listed in "The 20 Best Local Pop Albums Ever" for the country, positioned at No.15. Kiani is just one of two female singers in the entire list, the other being Nazia Hassan. The review stated
This is the album with which Hadiqa finally overcame her reputation of being a folksy Nazia Hassan imitator. Glided across various different genres in a single album, from millennium techno to crisp FM Pop and the usual Folk-Pop thing. The brilliant production continues to be the highlight here.
In another list called "The 10 Best Local Pop Albums...ever" Roshni was placed at number 9. The review also highlighted Hadiqa's rising status by stating
However, on the excellent and crisply produced "Roshni", not only did Hadiqa manage to ultimately become the next Nazia, but the way she so effortlessly glided through the many distinct genres she explores on "Roshni" (from Neo-Filmi-Pop to FM-Pop to Techno), elevated her status to being one of the post-modern Indo-Pak pop scene's leading "pop diva".
Kiani's success led to her being signed by Unilever for celebrity endorsement of Lipton Yellow Label in 2001. In 2002, she was signed again by Unilever for Sunsilk Shampoo. Throughout 2001 and 2002, she performed live concerts in the US, Canada, UK, Middle East, Far East, Australia, Norway, Greece, Bulgaria and Turkey.
2002: third album Rung:
Kiani released her third album Rung (Colors) in September 2002.
She returned to promote the album in June 2003, almost 10 months after she'd released "Yaad Sajan" with a new single "Ranjhan" and several stage performances and tours around the country. She then released other singles off the album throughout 2003 and 2004. These included "Jogi Bun Kay Aa", "Mahi" and "Dholan".
In "Jogi Bun Kay Aa" Kiani plays various women's roles, including a traditional Japanese, an Arab, and a tribal woman. She played a vampire in her video for "Mahi". The video showed that it is harmful to judge people of different faiths and castes, and also bad to stereotype. It was the highest budgeting video of the year 2003. Despite the setback from her divorce, Kiani's album sales picked up through 2003 and 2004. In 2004, she received the Best Female Pop Singer Award by Indus Music, the first 24-hour music channel of Pakistan.Asim Raza won an award for best video for directing her video Mahi.
Rung got mixed reviews from experts. Overall it did not capitalise on the momentum generated by Roshni. Many argue that this is because Rung has more mature slow paced ballads than Roshni, while some say the turmoils of her personal life are to blame. However, Kiani still remained a strong figure in the industry. Her name was mentioned in "Pakistani Pop's 10 most Influential Acts Ever", in which she was ranked ninth. She is also one of just 2 female singers in the list, the other being Nazia Hassan. A UK-based Magazine declared Kiani the 22nd greatest music maker of South Asia out of a total of fifty artists, also mentioning how she raised the standard of music videos in the country.
2007: fourth album Rough Cut:
In 2007, Kiani released her fourth studio album, "Rough Cut", a collaboration with Aamir Zaki. The album had seen frequent delays in its release both due to Kiani's busy schedule in 2005 and 2006 and because Zaki had moved to Canada while the album was being recorded. With the release of 'Rough Cut', Kiani became the first mainstream Pakistani artist to release a complete English album. It is also her only album thus far which her website has officially put up for sale online.
In April 2007 Kiani released the first single for the album, titled "Living This Lie", a song which talks about the stressful life of being a star. The same week, Kiani was named "Hotstepper of the week" for a Karachi-based magazine. The magazine also stated that ultimately, as long as Kiani is around, there is still hope for women in the patriarchal music world of Pakistan.
Kiani's second single that was released from the album is titled "All The Same". Rough Cut failed to perform on the charts and did not sell as much as Kiani's older works. Many experts have said that since an overwhelming majority of people in the country do not understand English the album did not sell as well. It has not yet been confirmed whether Kiani will release a third single from the album. However, there are rumors that the track "City of Fallen Angels" will get a video release in which Karachi will be the city referred to in the song.
The single titled "Living This Lie" got nominated for "Best English Song" for "The Musik Awards" in 2007. Due to the emergency situations occurring in the country in 2007, however, the awards were called off. Kiani also got nominated for Best Female Singer in the same awards.
2009: fifth album Aasmaan:
In June 2009, Kiani switched record labels to Fire Records and released a new album titled "Aasmaan" (translated: sky) on 17 June 2009. It is Kiani's first album in local languages since her release of "Rung" back in 2002. In the album, she sings in Urdu, Punjabi, Hindko, Pashto, Dari, and many other dialects. One song in the album has vocals featured by her elder brother (and manager) Irfan Kiani. She has also collaborated with UK producer JKD(Jawad Hyder)& rapper NAS-T on two tracks of the album, "Sohnya" and "Dil Mera". She also sings a Pashto duet with Pashto singer Irfan Khan.
The first single of the album is "Sohnya". The official video of "Sohnya" was premiered a day before Kiani released the album. Since then the song+video has stayed on the Aag10 Charts for over a month thus Kiani received a Shield from Aag10 for being the Artist of the Month.
Within the next month Kiani released her second single from the album titled "Tuk Tuk". The video was directed in India by Sajan Agarwaal. This was Kiani's first video ever to be shot in India. Rightfully, the video communicates a strong Bollywood theme; Kiani told her fans of her Facebook site that the video was a Parody of "A Filmy Muhallaha".
The album has stayed Number One on the Vibes Charts of INSTEP Magazine for one year now consistently. At the end of 2009 Aasmaan was named the Best Album of 2009 according to sales volume, popularity and internet downloads.
Every single released from the album `Aasmaan' has reached number one. "Sohnya" was number one AAG10 Charts for over a month and was titled the best Pop Song of 2009 according to The Nation. "Tuk Tuk" has been Number One on UK's Prime Tv Charts. "Az Chashme Saqi" has been Number One on PlayTv Charts for quite some time. At the end of 2009 it was declared the third best music video of 2009 according to Koolmuzone.
Then came February 2010, Kiani had collaborated with relatively unknown Pashto singer Irfan Khan for a remix of his song "Janan". The song has become Kiani's biggest hit till date and some say that it has even topped "Boohey Barian". "Janan" had reached over one million views on YouTube within a few months of its video debut. Janan was even mentioned in the Los Angeles Times, it was the first Pakistani pop song to ever be mentioned in the newspaper. Kiani nailed the Pashto accent and has fully embraced the Pashto culture. Some Pakhtoons even started to call her Hadiqa Pathani, Kiani then started a massive trend in Pakistan of embracing Pashto culture, girls started to wear Pashto style dresses imitating Kiani's looks on the red carpet etc. The song broke barriers, Kiani being a Punjabi singing a Pashto song and appealing to not only Pakistani Pashto audiences, but to the world wide audience. "Janan" has brought Kiani back to an "Icon" status in Pakistan for the youth.
Worldwide performances and awards:
Her increasing popularity was further highlighted in 1997 when Kiani became the first Asian singer ever to perform on the British National Lottery Live BBC1 (estimated viewership 16.6 million). Later on she worked on two more shows with Bally Sagoo for BBC 2 and ITV before moving to perform in the US. Her US tour covered 15 states and a show in Canada too. The same year Kiani performed on several other international events such as "Celebration Hong Kong 97", alongside other singers like Lisa Stansfield, Wet Wet Wet, Michael Learns to Rock, All-4-One and The Brand New Heavies. By the end of the year she became the first Asian female singer ever to be signed by Pepsi Cola International. She is also the second female in the world to achieve this, with the first being Gloria Estefan.
Kiani did not release any single to promote Rung sales in 2005 and 2006. However, she continued to build on her success by touring heavily these years. Most of the time she was the official representative of Pakistan appointed by the government.
On 11 August 2005, Kiani performed in Nagoya for the Prime Minister of Japan Mr.Junichiro Koizumi. Kiani was invited to perform in Toronto on 14 Aug 2005 by The Pakistani Consulate. She performed in Houston on 13 August 2005. The show was at Sam Houston Race Park, and it was attended by over 15000 people. Chief guest of the show was Sheila Jackson Lee who is a member of the US House of Representatives. Kiani was asked to take out the lucky draws of PIA and she announced the names of the lucky winners. She then performed at the "Mets" in "Shea Stadium" New York on 18 August 2005. She also performed at the Pakistan Day Parade in New York on 28 August 2005.
She performed in Malaysia on 2 October 2005 at the newly built Convention Centre in Kuala Lumpur downtown. The Honorary Prime Minister of Pakistan Mr.Shaukat Aziz was the chief guest of the show. The show was part of Expo 2005 in Malaysia. Important business and political personalities from both countries attended the show. She sang a Malay song, not a Pakistani song.
Kiani represented Pakistan on the 25th Anniversary of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) Research Centre for Islamic History, Art and Culture (IRCICA) in Turkey. Islamic Countries such as Azerbaijan, U.A.E, Iran, Qatar, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Kuwait, Lebanon, Egypt, Sudan, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Tanzania, Turkey, Pakistan and Yemen took part in the celebrations. The event was organised by Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality. She performed at the AKM concert Hall on 23 November 2005. Among the audience were musicians from various countries. The biggest surprise for the audience was when Kiani sang "Sanalama" (Turkish song of Living Legend "Sezanaksu"). She told the audience that as Turkey stood beside Pakistan in good and bad times, she wanted to convey the love of Pakistani people for the Turks. She also told that she visited Turkey as a child star in 80s and represented Pakistan in the International Children's Festival in Turkey so had beautiful childhood memories associated with Turkey. The audience gave her a standing ovation. At the end of her performance, The Mayor of Istanbul presented a bouquet of flowers to her. After her performance she received invitations for Pakistan to participate in the upcoming Art festivals in various countries such as Iran, Syria, Qatar and Lebanon. During her stay in Istanbul she officially visited various historical sites in Turkey and conveyed the love of Pakistan for Turkey. Her performance in Istanbul was important news in various Turkish News papers.
Kiani performed in China for the Chinese 2nd Premier on 21 Feb 2006. She performed for President George W. Bush on 4 March 2006. Commenting on her performance, Bush said he liked her accent and wanted her to perform in US. She performed for the Crown Prince of Brunei Al-Muhtadee Billah Bolkiah on 29 May 2006.
Kiani performed for Laura Bush on 21 September 2006 at The Kennedy Center, Washington, D.C.. She closed the year by performing for Prince Charles on 30 October 2006, and the Chinese president on 23 November 2006.
On 23 March 2006, Kiani was awarded the Tamgha-e-Imtiaz by the Government of Pakistan, one of the highest civil awards of the country, in acknowledgement of her services in the field of music and for shining an encouraging light on the country for over a decade. The award was announced on 14 August 2005 but the ceremony was performed on 23 March of the next year.
Pakistan Idol and television work:
Kiani will appear as a judge on an upcoming TV show on Geo TV called Pakistan Idol. The show itself has seen airing date delays due to the crisis in the country in the Winter of 2007 and is still in production. As of 1 August 2008 Geo TV, announced that the show and its auditions have been put on hold until further notice. Kiani stated in an interview, "I am very excited to be a judge and hope I can fish out some incredible talent in Pakistan!. In January 2009, Kiani joined the LG music project and it was announced that she would judge a new musical talent show in Pakistan called "LG Awaaz Banay Star" alongside Salamat Ali and Nizar Lalani. With a successful first season run, Geo announced that the show was to close down, due to political reasons in the country.
In March 2007, Kiani was one of the many artists featured in a widely popular track called "Yeh Hum Naheen". In this song, various Pakistani artists joined to send out a message that the stereotype of Pakistanis is not correct and that they oppose again Terrorism. The song also conveys an anti-terrorism sentiment in the music video and the campaign which Kiani is heavely involved with. Other artists in the song are Haroon, Ali Haider, Ali Zafar, Shafqat Amanat Ali and Strings. The song has been picked up by international stations like Fox News and BBC and has amassed over 70,000 downloads.
Kiani frequently appears in festivals, concerts and reality shows. Despite constant fame, Kiani keeps her personal life as "much as private it can get" and only talks about certain topics, usually involving music. Kiani has appeared on popular chat shows including AAJ TV's Bean Bag show, ATV's A Morning with Farah show, Geo's Brunch with Bushra and most recently on Good Morning Pakistan during Spring season 2010.
Kiani works with Edhi Foundation and is involved with many charities, including Muslim Hands. In August 2010, Kiani and her siblings worked with local Pakistanis to donate clothing, water, food and shelter to the flood victims of Pakistan. Kiani also appeared in Geo Tv's telethon Pukaar along with Pop star Ali Zafar to appeal for donations. In collaboration with Pakistan Army, Kiani made visits to Multan Relief Camp, Basti Kalraywala, Muzaffarabad and other flood hit areas, personally distributing goods to the affectees. On 8 November 2010 Kiani was appointed the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Goodwill ambassador. At the moment Hadiqa is busy helping construct housing facilities in Nowshera, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.Nowshera is one of the worst flood hit areas in the country.
In April, Kiani did a photoshoot for Gul Ahmed's 2010 Summer Collection Chairman Latha with son Naaday Ali. Naaday was seen playing plastic drums with mum Hadiqa.
On June 2010, Kiani released the music video of "Be With You" from album Rough Cut on her website. The song was part of Kiani's first English language album.
In early 2010, Kiani announced that she began work on her sixth album.
On 17 October 2010, Kiani released her first single for Pakistan Flood's victims called "Aasmaan". It was an adaptation of Legendary Sezen Aksu's song "Sanalama" and the video featured Kiani's visits to various flood hit areas. Hadiqa also joined an organisation called Superstars for Flood Relief later on, which aims to get Pakistani and International stars on board to help create awareness of the devastating floods and motivate more people to come forth and donate. Living legend Abida Parveen has been part of this organisation since the very beginning. Other bands and stars like Strings, Zeb and Haniya, Laal, Shafqat Amanat Ali and Pop star turned Nasheed singer Junaid Jamshed have also joined the cause.