Ahmad Zahir (Aḥmad Zāhir; 14 June 1946 – 14 June 1979), was an Afghan singer, songwriter, and composer. A celebrity of enduring popularity more than a quarter century after his death, he is considered an icon of music in Afghanistan.[peacock term]
Ahmad Zahir is sometimes called as The King of Afghan Music. Every year, the people of Afghanistan do a flashback about Ahmad Zahir.
According to most people, Ahmad Zahir has a very similar style to Elvis Presley.
Ahmad Zahir was born on June 14, 1946 (Jauza 23rd, 1325 of the Jalali calendar) in Kabul. His father, Abdul Zahir, was a royal court doctor, minister of health and also a one-time prime minister, speaker of the parliament and an influential figure in the Zahir Shah era and helped write the Constitution of Afghanistan after graduating from Columbia University of New York. Due to the nobility of birth, Zahir’s profession as a singer became a point of contention between the singer and his elitist father. Still, Zahir loved to sing and pressure by his fans kept him performing. Zahir’s music interest developed in the early 1960s with his involvement in his high school band. The Amateur Band of Habibia High School modeled themselves after such Western musical groups as the Beatles. His father send Zahir to India in an attempt to force his son to start a career in the medical field after highschool but Zahir went on to study music instead.
Rising from the acclaim of the band, Zahir branched onto his solo career by the late 1960s. Much to the dismay of his father who looked forward to a political career for his son, Zahir did not follow his father’s footsteps in statesmanship. Instead, he retained his political insight and later on integrated them into his music. He began composing Persian songs based on well recognized verses of Persian poetry, and drew upon classical and modern poetry. The meaning and depth of his songs quickly garnered him national attention as did the tenor voice that was complementary to a wide range of musical notes. His work earned critics’ commendation, marking him one of the few musicians who achieved this prestigious honor from the start. The release of his first album was celebrated on radio and newspapers across Afghanistan as jubilant fans fought for the remaining copies of the best seller.
Zahir was introduced to the best of Afghanistan’s music scene by the thrilled recording studios. Working with veteran mentors such as the late Ustad Ismail Azami saxophonist , Ustad Nangalai trumpeter, Abdullah Etemadi drummer and other composers such as Salim Sarmast, Naynawaz, Taranasaz, and Mas’hour Jamal. He recorded over 22 albums in the 1970s. His songs were noted for their mellifluous tone, poetic style, compelling depth, and passionate emotional evocation. Creating an aesthetic vocabulary in dealing with joy, love, pain and loneliness in his music is seen as unparalleled by other singers of Afghanistan. His lyrics covered a wide range of subjects and his music had a multi-dimensional lure. Most of his songs were autobiographical and political criticism of the government. As a result most of his recordings were burned and destroyed by the government.
Toward the latter part of 1970s, his iconic image transformed to that of a national hero. In this time period he also became a devout patriot as many of his songs from this time period reflect his strong political views.
On his 33rd birthday (June 14, 1979) he was assassinated by the order of a communist general named Daud Taroon who used one of Ahmad Zahir’s best friends as an accomplice to carry out his orders. Taroon was not only an envious and jealous enemy of Ahmad Zahir, but also because Ahmad Zahir’s political stance was at odds with the communist government of the time. Ironically, his daughter Shabnam, whom he was eagerly looking forward to, would come into the world on the same day of his passing.
Afghan Music albums
- Vol. 1 – Dilak am (1973)
- Vol. 2 – Bahar (1973)
- Vol. 3 – Shab ha ye zulmane (1974)
- Vol. 4 – Mother (1974)
- Vol. 5 – Awara (1975)
- Vol. 6 – Ghulam-e Qamar (1975)
- Vol. 7 – Sultan Qalbaam (1976)
- Vol. 8 – Az Ghamat Hy Nazaneen (1976)
- Vol. 9 – Gulbadaan (1971)
- Vol. 10 – Yaare Bewafa (1977)
- Vol. 11 – Lylee (1977)
- Vol. 12 – Ahmad Zahir and Jila (1978)
- Vol. 13 – Ahange Zindagee (1978)
- Vol. 14 – Shab-e Hijraan (1979) came out to market after his death…
Note: that most of his Afghan Music albums have other songs that should go with the original albums but because of the time and space on audio cassettes a lot of his songs are moved from the original recordings. If people have the original vinyl records then they have all of the songs that should be placed on the albums.
Ariana Music albums
- Vol. 1 – Daard-e Dil (1972)
- Vol. 2 – Mosum-e Gul (1977)
Note: For people who have the original Ariana Music records for Ahmad Zahir, there are many hidden tracks in the original albums.
Music Center albums
- Vol. 1 – Ashiq rooyat Mon (1973)
- Vol. 2 – Neshe Gashdum (1976)
- Vol. 3 – Lylee Jaan (1977)
- Vol. 4 – Ahmad Zahir Ba Sitara Haa (1977)
- Vol. 5 – To Baamanee(1978)
- Hindi Songs
- Afghanistan Songs
- Agar Bahar Byayad
- Ahmad Zahir & Nainawaaz
- Gulhayi Nafaramoshshuda
- Khudaat-Medani Guleman
Other discography information
- He has over 10 private recording albums from 1965–1978
- He only recorded 2 music videos in Radio Kabul TV: Laylee Jaan in 1976 and Khuda buwat yarret in 1977
- Ahmad Zahir recorded several songs in Radio Kabul and Radio Afghanistan studios which later on came out as albums. There are now a total of his eight of these albums that have been released.
- It is said that he has several music videos and a concert recorded on video in Iran.
- It is rumored that Ahmad Zahir has a concert and majliss that Radio Kabul had recorded but the Khalq regime destroyed the recordings.
|Subjects: mad Zah|