Jehangir Aziz Hayat

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Jehangir Aziz Hayat
Jehangir Aziz Hayat's snapshot from the unplugged video of "I Remember".
Background information
Birth name Jehangir Aziz Hayat
Also known as Jehangir Aziz
Born (1989-06-05) 5 June 1989 (age 28)
Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan
Genres Alternative rock, heavy metal, grunge, industrial rock
Occupation(s) Singer, guitarist, composer
Instruments Guitar, vocals, bass guitar
Years active Since 2005; 12 years ago (2005)
Associated acts The Baffled Penguins
Notable instruments
PRS 513
Taylor 515ce
Marshall YJM100
Marshall 1960A/B

Jehangir Aziz Hayat (Urdu: جہانگیر عزیز حیات) (born 5 June 1989), also known simply as Jehangir Aziz, is an award-winning Pakistani singer, guitarist and composer.[1]

He released his début album Read Between the Lines in 2009[2] and is known for his track "Pretend to Be" which won three awards at the Indie Music Channel Awards 2012.[1]

Hayat belongs to a Pashtun family.[2] His musical influences include Nirvana, Pantera and Megadeth.[1]

His first track, "Never Change", was released in 2004[1] which made him the first grunge musician in Pakistan to appear on the national scene. The track reached the national charts in its first week of release and was nominated for the Best Début Award at the MTV Pakistan awards.[3]

Hayat won awards for the Best Male Alternative Artist, Best Alternative Recording and Best Alternative Video Under $5,000 at the Indie Music Channel Awards 2012.[4]

Early life and education[edit]

He was born in Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, to Nilofar Aziz, a furniture designer and the former Chief Secretary of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Khalid Aziz.[5] His family belongs to the Mohmand clan of the Pashtuns and they own the ancestral furniture manufacturing business M. Hayat & Brothers in Peshawar.[6] The youngest of the six children, he was described as a sensitive and shy child while growing up as a teen.[7] Hayat showed an interest in music at the age of nine when his sister was taking piano lessons in a private school.[5] When asked about his interest in playing the guitar, he answered:

"I never really wanted to play a musical instrument. I loved music but I never thought of ending up here. They (the guitar lessons) were a way for my parents to push me to take part in an extra circular activity since I was very shy."[6]

Hayat's earliest lessons of the guitar were conducted by Sajid Ghafoor.[5] Later, he enrolled in an after-school guitar lesson group in the International School of Peshawar and learnt the fundamentals of guitar from Sarmad Abdul Ghafoor.[2]

When he was ten years old, his father was persecuted at the hands of General Pervez Musharraf during the 1999 Pakistani coup d'état.[8] Later, Hayat stated that the coup had a profound impact on his life and had channeled the lyrical and melodic content in his compositions.[2]

While in his early teens, Hayat released a demo tape which was circulating around Peshawar. Subsequently, the demo was heard by Fasi Zaka, a music critic, and was positively perceived.[5] In the following months, Zaka met with Hayat's father at a gathering where Zaka discussed the possibility of Jehangir pursuing his interest in music by making a music video for his track "Never Change". Zaka recommended his cousin, Zeeshan Parwez, as a video director for Hayat.[5]


Early career: Never Change (2004–2005)[edit]

During the summer of 2004, Hayat met with Parwez and decided to launch the video for his single "Never Change." The track was co-produced by Hayat and Sarmad Abdul Ghafoor in Peshawar 2003. The video for the track was recorded in the industrial area in Peshawar during the summers of 2004 by Parwez. According to Hayat, the track was influenced by the events that took place in his life when his father was persecuted during the military coup. The lyrical content of the composition mainly dealt with issues of depression.[5]

The video Never Change had a profound impact on the Pakistani music industry. It had made Hayat "the first Grunge musician in Pakistan" to appear on the national scene.[5] The track made it to the third position on the "IM Top Ten" after its release and was subsequently nominated in the Indus Music Awards for Best Debut.[3]

Read Between the Lines and Pretend to Be (2009–2010)[edit]

After a hiatus of five years, Hayat started recording his debut album in Islamabad at the S&M Studios with Sarmad Abdul Ghafoor.[5] The record showcased a much heavier sound than Hayat's previous demo tapes which incorporated alternative-rock and heavy-metal genres. The recording process took less than a year and was released on iTunes in the winter of 2009.[9] According to Hayat, the album's lyrical content had dealt with issues of depression and perseverance.[5] He also mentioned that most of the songs were influenced by his father's ordeal, which can be recognised through the album's lyrical content.[5] The album received positive reviews from numerous music critics. "Read Between the Lines" received ratings of 4/5 on PakMediaRevolution and 3.75/4 on the IAMEntertainment magazine.[5]

Subsequently, the track "Pretend to Be" was chosen as the promotional single for the album and was released on MTV Pakistan in 2010. The video was directed by Parwez and the track won three awards at the Indie Music Channel Awards 2012.[4]

Singles and awards (2010-2014)[edit]

Hayat has released three singles after the release of the album on his website. The tracks were titled "Inside, Outside", "Mend to Break" and "What Makes Me Happy".[5] During 2011, he reached the semi-finals and finals for the songs "Pretend to Be" and "Show Me Something Real" respectively on The UK Songwriting Contest.[10]

In February 2013, Hayat reached the semi-finals for in the genre of "Unsigned Only" and "Adult Contemporary" for "Pretend to Be" and "What Makes Me Happy", respectively.[11]

During the Spring of 2012, Hayat's track "Pretend to Be" won three of the four awards at the annual Indie Music Channel Awards.[4]

Above the Fray (2014)[edit]

Hayat released his sophomore album Above the Fray on 4 February 2014.[12]



  • Read Between the Lines (2009)
  • Above the Fray (2014)


Year Single Peak chart positions Album
IM Top Ten

2004 "Never Change" 3 Single
2010 "Pretend to Be" Read Between the Lines
2015 "Happy Sober" Single
"–" denotes a release that did not chart.

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Event Prize Nominated work Result
2005 Indus Music Awards Best Début Never Change[3] Nominated
2011 The UK Songwriting Contest Rock (semi-finalist) Pretend to Be[10] Nominated
Rock (finalist) Some Me Something Real[10] Nominated
2012 Indie Music Channel Awards Best Alternative Song Pretend to Be[4] Nominated
Recording of the Year Pretend to Be[14] Nominated
Video of the Year Pretend to Be[14] Nominated
Artist of the Year Pretend to Be[14] Nominated
Best Male Alternative Artist Pretend to Be[4] Won
Best Alternative Recording Pretend to Be[4] Won
Best Alternative Video Under $5,000 Pretend to Be[4] Won
2012 International Songwriting Competition Unsigned Only (semi-finalist) Pretend to Be[11] Nominated
Adult Contemporary (3rd position) What Makes Me Happy[11] Won
2013 Indie Music Channel Awards Best Alternative Song Read Between the Lines[15] Won
Best Alternative Song Never Change[16] Nominated
Best Alternative Song I Remember[16] Nominated
Best Rock Demo Bringing Me Down[17] Nominated
Best Rock Demo Penny Eyes[17] Nominated
Best Rock Demo Frozen Waters[17] Nominated
2014 Indie Music Channel Awards Best Rock Song Riddling Rhymes[18] Nominated
2016 Youth Recognition Awards Youth Recognition Award Pretend to Be[19] Won

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Hafeez, Zara (16 March 2014). "New age musicians: Rock on". The Express Tribune. Retrieved 16 March 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d Hafeez, Zara (25 March 2014). "Jehangir Aziz Hayat and the Pashtun rock scene, finally uncovered!". The Express Tribune. Retrieved 28 March 2014.
  3. ^ a b c Indus Music Awards Archived 16 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine., Retrieved 9 May 2012.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Ewing, Christopher (16 March 2014). "Alternative Winners". Indie Music Channel. Retrieved 16 March 2014.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l (16 March 2014). "Biography". Retrieved 16 March 2014.
  6. ^ a b Shinwari, Sher Alam (15 September 2012). "Jehangir Aziz – Pakistan's First Grunge Musician". The Express Tribune. Retrieved 13 March 2013.
  7. ^ "Khalid Aziz". Retrieved 9 May 2012.
  8. ^ Staff (6 October 2010). "Khalid Aziz Acquitted of Corruption Charges". The Nation. Retrieved 13 March 2013.
  9. ^ Lamonthe, Rodolphe (23 October 2013). “Read Between the Lines ". Spirit of Metal. Retrieved 16 March 2014.
  10. ^ a b c [1]. UK Songwriting Contest. Retrieved 17 February 2013.
  11. ^ a b c International Songwriting Competition 2013. Retrieved 17 February 2013.
  12. ^ Millen, Andy (11 February 2014). "Above the Fray". MetalTalk. Retrieved 16 March 2014.
  13. ^ Indus Music. Retrieved 11 May 2012.
  14. ^ a b c Indie Music Channel Awards Best of the Year 2013. Retrieved 17 February 2013.
  15. ^ Indie Music Channel Alternative Winners. Retrieved 2 May 2013.
  16. ^ a b Indie Music Channel Awards Nominees Alternative. Retrieved 17 February 2013.
  17. ^ a b c Indie Music Channel Awards Nominees Rock. Retrieved 17 February 2013.
  18. ^ Indie Music Channel Rock Nominees. Retrieved 20 April 2016.
  19. ^ Youth Awarded for Excelling in Different Fields. Retrieved 20 April 2016.

External links[edit]