Natasha Baig, a singer known for her powerful voice and energetic performances, has had a difficult journey to success.
Growing up in Gilgit Baltistan, Baig experienced abuse and judgment from her father and others in her community due to the societal norms surrounding women in music.
Despite her father’s disapproval, Baig pursued her passion for music and left her career in cricket. While she struggled to pass tests, people in her community recognized her talent and offered her gigs.
However, her father disapproved of her singing passion and once became angry when he thought she sang a particular song.
He was visiting from Dubai and we were all sitting in the lounge and this song came on. My father was like ‘Did you sing this?’ and I said ‘no, of course not.’ and he wouldn’t believe it.
‘Don’t hide it from me’, he said and I tried to convince him saying, ‘Papa, it’s from India. This is from Bollywood. Who would call me to India? This doesn’t even make sense.’ But he got very angry. Really, really angry. It was scary.
Baig recognized that her singing potential was a God-gifted talent, and she felt that refusing this gift would make her the most ungrateful person on the planet.
Her father and she were not on speaking terms for 6 years, and when a cousin posted a video of her on Facebook, relatives criticized her, and her father joined in instead of speaking to her.
Despite these challenges, Baig persevered and wanted to prove her father and everyone else who was against her wrong. She wanted to show that being a girl from Hunza did not mean she could not pursue music.
For 6 years, my father and I weren’t on talking terms. I ventured into music by then and he was in Dubai. A cousin posted a video on Facebook and far-away relatives from extended families commented and tagged my father and bashed me. Children are very vulnerable and I feel like even if they do something wrong, their parents should speak to them instead of letting the whole world hate them. But my father never approached me and said ‘I asked you not to do this. Why did you?’ No. He instead enabled everyone on that post. He joined them.
She believes that parents today should learn from their father’s mistakes and know what not to do with their kids.
Baig recently moved to Lahore after a Punjab Group of Colleges (PGC) tour that influenced her decision. Getting into the program was challenging for her as she was based in Karachi, but she believes that PGC is essential for mass penetration because it allows singers to perform in front of a large crowd of youth. Baig also shared that she started her music career with English songs, not Urdu or her regional language.
It’s like how Coke Studio is important for a singer in this country. In my opinion, PGC is also important for mass penetration because you get to see a huge crowd of youth. They probably did not know me as a live performer at that time.
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Baig’s story is one of perseverance and overcoming societal norms and family disapproval to pursue her passion for music.
Her experience highlights the importance of parents supporting their children and the need for society to move beyond limiting beliefs and norms that prevent individuals, particularly women, from pursuing their dreams.
When I talk about these struggles in interviews, a lot of people from my life reach out and tell me that I shouldn’t say all of these things. Why Shouldn’t I? I’m not trying to make myself or someone else a villain here. I just want to tell people that I was going through hell. I want people to know that parenting is a big responsibility.
Watch Natasha Baig’s Interview in the video below:
More power to you Natasha!
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