Aamir Zaki, Pakistani musician and ace guitarist, passed away on 2nd June, 2017. The cause of death was known to be ‘heart failure after a prolonged illness’. Many still hail the artist as the country’s top guitarist, possessing a raw musical talent.
Zaki started playing the guitar when he was 14 years old. He began his career playing the guitar for pop pioneer Alamgir. He spent a brief period with pop group Vital Signs in 1994, touring with them and playing on their fourth album. However, in 1995 he left Vital Signs and released his own debut album Signature. It was the first time that the masses got a chance to see Aamir Zaki’s brilliant guitar playing and musical sense. Other successive songs and albums only cemented his position as a guitar maestro. Zaki also formed three rock bands, named “The Barbarians”, “Axe Attack” and “Scratch”.
In order to pay tribute to Aamir Zaki, we present to you a list of his most popular songs. All of these are proof of his unparalleled talent as a musician and a guitarist. May he rest in peace.
- Mera Pyar
This song was featured in Aamir Zaki’s debut album Signature. It was his first song that became a big nationwide hit. The song stood out for its simple music video, striking lyrics and Aamir’s guitar skills.
- The Day She Left
Also from the Signature album, this song is an instrumental treat for the ears.
- Bhula Dayna
This song was released in the era when private electronic media had just opened up and music channels were all the rage. It was the first time that the post-PTV generation heard Aamir’s music.
- Living This Lie
Aamir Zaki and Hadiqa Kiani collaborated on an album titled Rough Cut. It was released in 2007. Living This Lie features English lyrics sung by Hadiqa with Aamir on the acoustic guitar.
- People Are People
Aamir Zaki made this song in the aftermath of the 9/11 Twin Tower attacks in the US and the following War on Terror. The lyrics address the political and military games that nations play that ultimately harm all of humanity.
- Tum Mere Ho – Unplugged (Saleem Javed)
The unplugged version of Saleem Javed’s 2000 song. Both versions of the song were based on Robin Ghosh’s composition. Aamir Zaki played acoustic guitar in the 2015 unplugged version.
- Jaana (Zoheb Hassan and Zoe Viccaji) Coke Studio Pakistan
Aamir Zaki also performed as a featured and guest musician in many programs. The most prominent is the 7th season of Coke Studio Pakistan. He played acoustic guitar on the reworked version of pop pioneers Nazia and Zoheb’s song Jaana.
- Sab Aakho Ali Ali (Asrar) Coke Studio Pakistan
In the same season of Coke Studio, Aamir Zaki also gave (arguably) the best guitar solo of the season, perhaps even the entire series. Here’s a clip of him working his magic in the song.
An end of an era as we pay tribute to Aamir Zaki
His demise has left the musical industry and music lovers of Pakistan in shock. Despite his eccentricities, he was undoubtedly a musical genius. His raw talent and unconventional music will always be missed.