Justin Timberlake: I was a child when I first heard Justin Timberlake’s Justified album. The dancing and falsetto captured me, and introduced me to the world of pop music. Since then, watching him grow as an artist and a songwriter has kept me inspired, and always on the search for the next trend.
Damien Rice: In this list, I’ve included artists that have captured my soul in their music and Damien Rice is one of the best examples to do that. His songs like Volcano and It Takes A Lot To Know A Man are perfect for a misty winter day. I urge anyone reading to give his music a go; it’s inspiring and unravels many stories.
Mohammed Rafi: His delicate and deep tone made a huge difference. If you wanted a sad song, he was your man. My parents listened to his music a lot whilst I was growing up. I could never get into it, but as maturity started hitting, it was in sync with my thoughts and emotions.
Imran Khan: For me, seeing a European Pakistani artist making an impact on the British Asian market was one of the most amazing things I’ve witnessed. The frenzy surrounding his rise to the top captured me and so many other artists. Ten years on, people are still trying to hit the industry with the same power.
Ustaad Amanat Ali Khan: Oblivious to the fact he was my grandma’s favourite artist, I was attracted to the passion in his voice. I had heard many singers cover Ae Watan and it was love at first hear, but when I heard the original, the love, the emotion he had was untouchable.
Abida Parveen: The mother of music. If I could sit at anyone’s feet for the sake of music, it’s this woman. The divinity in her sound and presence in her character has had me in a trance. If I could suggest any song of hers, it would be Aaqa alongside Ali Sethi on Coke Studio.
Kishore Kumar: He is the Badshah of Bollywood music. The legendary Kishore Kumar is the rightful owner of the sound that Bollywood music produces today. It’s my belief the likes of Kumar Sanu and Arijit Singh have found their footing in the industry thanks to him. If I could meet anyone from the past, it would be him. A magnificent artist and an even better person.
Taz (Stereo Nation): Taz was the first artist I ever saw perform live, and luckily, I got to meet him right after the event. Crossing over from the UK to the Bollywood industry, I remember there being a mad wave around him. For me he is one of the hidden gems in our culture. Ishq is my all time favourite song by a British Asian artist.
Sami Yusuf: Spiritual music at its finest. Having endured a dark phase in my life, I can easily admit that Sami Yusuf was the beacon of light for me. It was his music that gave me the strength to look within myself and restart this musical journey. Even today, out of all the music I listen to, he is my go-to artist. A blessing for those who follow his music.
My mum: She is the sole reason I make music. Although, many South Asian parents frown upon a musical career, as has my mum, it was still because of her I loved music. Hearing her sing would make me melt, and it spoke to me more than her own words ever could. It’s through that, I learnt that music isn’t only a three-minute piece, it’s a lesson. My list is full of artists who have spoken to my soul and I feel my mum has done that the most.
Junaid Malik is a British born singer.
Visit www.thejunaidmalik.com, Instagram, YouTube & Snapchat: @TheJunaidMalik, Twitter: @junaidthemalik & Facebook: @thejunaidmalikmusic