It’s a dream come true to work in Urdu with Zayn Malik, say band

A picture of the Aur bandmates
Image caption,Usama Ali, Ahad Khan and Raffey Anwar called Malik “so humble”

Working with Zayn Malik on a single in Urdu was “a dream come true,” the Pakistani band Aur have told the BBC.

“Previously we only had a Pakistani audience, now we have people from the UK, Brazil, China… so it feels very good,” said bandmate Raffey Anwar.

A remake of Aur’s breakout hit Tu Hai Kahan features the ex-One Direction singer with vocals in Urdu.

The original song has more than 100m views, but the remake is fast catching up, with more than eight million views.

The collaboration came about following discussions between Malik’s and Aur’s management, the band said.

The three bandmates, from Karachi, said none of their friends or family could believe it, when they found out they were collaborating with him.

Many fans were psyched that Malik, who was born in Bradford, is fluent in Urdu.

Zayn Malik
Image caption,Zayn Malik’s music career began in 2010 as part of One Direction

Malik said at the time he was “incredibly humbled” when Aur reached out to him.

“I love the song and have brought some of myself to it. I hope people love what we’ve done,” he said.

Aur’s music blends R&B and hip hop elements. Band members Usama Ali, 21, Ahad Khan, 20, and Anwar, 18, were already popular in South Asia.

But to work with Malik and get global audiences is “all about dreams coming true”, Ali said.

Closer to home, the three bandmates are also getting a lot of attention.

Khan said their friends and family went “crazy” when they heard about the partnership.

“No one was believing it,” added Anwar.

“When we go out somewhere, people instantly recognise us,” said Ali.

“The reaction has been very good, not just friends, the whole of Pakistan has given us a great reaction.”

‘So humble’

Malik, 31, was born in the UK and his father is a Pakistani immigrant.

His music career began in 2010 as part of One Direction, the boy band formed on TV music competition, The X Factor. The other band members are Harry Styles. Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson and Liam Payne.

Malik released his debut album, Mind of Mine, in 2016. A song in his 2021 album, Nobody is Listening, also included Urdu lyrics.

The Tu Hai Kahan remake was quick to gain fans online among many Urdu-speaking fans, with one calling it a “gift for his fellow Pakistanis”.

Aur were full of praise for Malik, saying: “He is so down to earth, so humble. He sang in Urdu, what can be bigger than that?”

As for who they want to partner with next, the three bandmates are not holding back.

“21 Savage, and Drake, and The Weeknd,” Khan said.

“We will do it with anyone,” laughed Ali.

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