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 thousands.
He was born in London on May 11th to a New Zealand mother and Pakistani father. He has lived all over the world. This wealth of experience abroad, along with a bi-cultural family background, has given Haroon a very international perspective of life, and he counts as friends’ people from all over the world. As a person, Haroon could be described as genuine, sincere, and uncompromising in his beliefs and goals, yet soft-spoken and friendly with a great sense of humor.
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.
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 performances.
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.
The album has a total of 12 tracks. This album was launched by The Musik Records at the end of March 2007, and is available on CD and Cassettes throughout Pakistan . For more information log on to www.haroon.com.
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.
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.
In 2001 and 2002 Haroon was extremely busy touring the UK and USA. In 2001 Haroon performed alongside the top Asian acts at the prestigious BBC Asia Awards show in front of five thousand British Asians and received a rousing reception for his lively performance. Haroon received the “outstanding contribution to Asian music” Award from the BBC. This show was aired on BBC TV in the UK for an estimated viewer ship of two million people.
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.
In year 2014, Haroon launched Pakistan's First Legal Music Download website and app by the name of Taazi. This is something very unique and first of its kind in Pakistan which combats piracy in Pakistan. Any artist can upload a song on Taazi.com whereas all the copyrights remain with the artist. This means Artists retain 100% of their copyrights and Taazi only acts as a distribution and monetization platform. Taazi pays 70% of revenue to the artists while Taazi retains only 30%.
After its successful release, Taazi.com never looks back. Taazi app was also released in 2015 which is available on Google Play Store for Android users and on ITunes for IOS users. Taazi has more than 200,000 registered users and more than 100,000 tracks and these numbers are increasing on daily basis.
Taazi is also the pioneers when it comes to buying a song from your cell phone credit. All the customers who are using Telenor, Mobilink, Warid and Zong can download any song from Taazi.com with this option. Taazi app is also available on Telenor and Ufone Play store for free download.
Burka Avenger, which is a multi-award winning Pakistani animated TV series, is yet another achievement of Haroon. Declared one of the most Influential Fictional Characters of 2013 by Time magazine, Burka Avenger was created and director by Haroon.
Burka Avenger has been praised for its promotion of women's education in Pakistan. This is Pakistan's first animated female superhero. Burka Avenger is also the most watched children's TV show in Afghanistan. According to a survey conducted in Afghanistan from mothers and focus groups in urban areas, 85% of children watch Burka Avenger in Afghanistan.