Punjabi Folk Arif Lohar – Exclusive Interview on AMZFM
Interview Recording 15 June 2013
Arif (born 1966) is a Punjabi folk singer from Pakistan. He usually sings accompanied by a native musical instrument resembling tongs (called a chimta). His folk music is representative of the traditional folk heritage of the Punjab. He is the son of folk singer Alam Lohar.
Arif Lohar has played more than 50 foreign tours around the world during the last 20 years, including to the UK, US and UAE. In 2004, he performed in China for the opening of the Asian Games, which had a crowd of close to 1 million. He once performed in North Korea for the late President Kim Jong-il as part of an international delegation of peace and goodwill. He has also played multiple lead roles in Punjabi movies, and sang and produced three songs for the soundtrack of Syed Noor’s film Jugni (film), the highest-grossing Pakistani film of 2012.
In 2005, Arif Lohar was awarded the Pride of Performance Award by the Government of Pakistan – the highest civil award in Pakistan. To date, he has more than 150 albums to his credit and recorded more than 3,000 songs, mostly in the Punjabi language. In 2006, he made headlines in the Punjabi music world by releasing his album 21st Century Jugni, with music produced, arranged, and mastered by Mukhtar Sahota in Wolverhampton, UK, which was released by Internalmusic UK.
In June 2010, Arif Lohar participated in Coke-Studio (a Pakistani live session programme by Rohail Hayat). During Coke-Studio season 3, Arif Lohar performed “Alif Allah (Jugni)” with upcoming musician Meesha Shafi. Lohar’s performance for Coke Studio featured two other songs: ‘Mirza’ and Alif Allah Chambey Dey Booti/Jugni, the latter a collaboration that became an international success. Filmmaker Saif Ali Khan bought the rights to “Jugni” for use as a feature song in his Bollywood movie Cocktail. Other versions of “Jugni” have also been featured in Bollywood movies, including an adapted version that first appeared on 21st Century Jugni in Diary of a Butterfly.