Today we heard a sad news in the evening (Friday, 2nd June 2017). One of our most renowned music icons, Amir Zaki, passed away due to a heart failure. He had been fighting against heart disease since a long time and was 49 years old. He was a guitarist, songwriter, composer and singer, all rolled into one.
An Overview of his Music Career
Alamgir’s Precious Discovery
Amir Zaki was a guitarist who was famous for playing his self-built guitars throughout his career. Discovered at 16 years of age by the famous singer Alamgir, he toured India, Dubai, England and the U.S.A. with him. Moreover, he displayed his talent in Alamgir’s two hit singles Albela Rahi and Keh Dena.
Amir Zaki’s Rock Bands
Amir Zaki also wrote songs in both Urdu and English, which was a new thing back then. He formed three rock groups called The Barbarians, Axe Attack and Scratch.
The Bomb was Axe Attack’s unique album. Firstly, it was the first English album to be recorded in Pakistan. Secondly, its title track was about the Bohri bazaar bomb blasts of the 1980’s. Although it did not get much response in Pakistan, it was given a warm response when the rhythm guitarist Nadeem Ishtiaq took it to Australia after a few years.
The Vitals Signs Experience and His Solo Career
Further, in 1994, Zaki became the lead guitarist of Vital Signs. He went on several tours with them and with Awaz. However, afterwards he began his solo career. He released his popular debut solo album Signature the next year. First it was released in England and then in Pakistan. Its song Mera Pyaar was a huge success and, for the first time ever, guitar instrumentals (from that album) were aired through the Pakistan FM radio.
The ace guitarist also collaborated with many artists throughout his career including Hadiqa Kiyani and Zoe Vicaji. Moreover, he would regularly play his original songs live at music festivals abroad and in the local cafes. His extraordinary skills, specially with the bass guitar, earned him a wide fan following.
In 2013, he performed live with Alamgir in Karachi after three decades. This performance was for the fourth episode of Cornetto Music Icons (CMI). It was a very memorable one by the popular duo.
Zaki’s Coke Studio Performance
Zaki’s Coke Studio debut came in 2014 through his solo guitar performance with Zohaib Hassan.
Pakistanis Bid Him Farewell and Express Condolences
Condolences are pouring in from all over the country. Celebrities are expressing their sorrow through the social media, specially on twitter. Many people have also put his picture as their Facebook profile pictures as a tribute to Amir Zaki.