Road From Architecture to Music FT ZOHA ZUBERI

The year 2022 will be all about exploring and uncovering the undiscovered. We will see a new talent and music genre trending and rising to the top in the coming year. Here we are speaking with architect turned musician Zoha Zuberi, who has also working as an Indie Pop Singer, to find out what new doors 2022 will open for her.
Singer Zoha Zuberi
  • Hello Zoha! For those who still don’t know you, could you tell us a bit more about yourself, your background?

I am a singer-songwriter from Islamabad. Even before graduating as an architect from the National College of Arts, I was performing across Pakistan, pursuing my passion for music. I have over the years released 10+ singles, two EPs and have performed across Pakistan 

  • Did you know from the beginning that you wanted to get into music even when you were studying or is it something that came after?

From the beginning, it was clear to me that music was the choice I was going to make. I believe even as a young kid I had trouble expressing my emotions and music really helped me emote. I believe that deeper connection made me sure from a very young age.

  • What do you think is the difference when you work with an association, a pop singer or a rapper? Do you think there is a specific approach for each genre?

I look at this from a very holistic standpoint. Each genre not only has a specific approach, but also a specific personality type, mood, and vibe to it. You have to, or at least I do, approach it in a very flexible manner.

  • How would you describe your style of music?

 Soulful. Raw. Emotive

  • Your Music videos are astounding and I feel like you have a persona in them. Can you tell us about the character that you created?

All my videos have always had a clear underlying goal. I want people to realize the intangible relationships, emotions, and interactions they make in their daily lives. Whether it’s the environment, livings beings, people they love, or their inner self.

  • Which famous musicians do you admire?

Ben Howard, Ed Sheeran, Adele.

Singer Zoha Zuberi
  • Do you sing in the shower? What songs?

Every time. My own songs usually. Or “shape of you” by Ed Sheeran (laughs) 

  • What is the most useless talent you have?

I can think of a song to fit any situation or at least change the lyrics of one to fit. I do it automatically without even thinking. It only takes me a second and is completely pointless (laughs)

  • What is your favorite song to perform? 

Dangerous woman. I am still trying to perfect it though

Dua Lipa. She carries herself so gracefully. No matter what she is wearing she looks amazing

  • How do you accept criticism?

Constructive, yes.

  • If you had to sacrifice one skill, which would you least like to let go, and why? 

My ability to write about what I feel or it has to be logical reasoning. You will find me rarely be impulsive. I would always weigh the cards I’m dealt with. Being a singer, a wife, a daughter, and a sister, I have to deal with a hundred situations. I am glad even if a situation doesn’t directly involve me, my husband & my friends come to me for advice. 

  • What is your creative process like?

There aren’t any set SOPs, but I have to be moved by the thing I produce. Sometimes an inspiration translates into a complete piece so quickly that it has me constantly questioning if it’s even good. But, typically I bombard what inspired me with different scenarios, until one stick. When one finds that one seemingly perfect direction, writing gets easier. I feel communicating an expression AS IS to the audience is what makes an artist, well, an artist.

  • What would you be doing right now, if the music wasn’t your vocation?

Well, I am an architect too. I have worked on several projects which have allowed me to showcase my architectural abilities. So probably that. Or anything that allows me to travel around the globe.

  • Struggles make you strong! What struggles did you have to go through to reach this level?

I come from a humble background. It’s not an easy feat for a girl to find support in this field – even from home, let alone the industry. Fighting the mental glass ceiling as well as juggling between being a singer and working as an architect has been quite a ride, which granted, is far from over. However, there are a lot of helping hands now, family, my friends, and the fans. So it makes everything a little better, a little sweeter.

Singer Zoha Zuberi
  • What piece of advice would you like to give to the struggling music artist? 

It’s all a matter of belief. The belief that you would make it one day. Willie Nelson started singing when he was what? 16? He didn’t make it until he was 40ish. Stories like these keep me going & I hope they help others too 

  • How do you think the Internet has reshaped the music business?

There are pros & cons to everything, the yin to the yang. I believe it has paved the pathway for financially struggling artists – in the sense that it has taken away a lot of intermediaries. If you truly have a skill, you have an audience for it. On the flip side, I feel it has made a lot of things too commercial. The true essence of making music gets lost sometimes. For an artist to make money, he has to be commercial.

  • What is the most trouble you’ve ever gotten into?

Near death experience on a glacier.

  • What is the best advice you’ve been given?

‘Speak less, listen more’ – something about this just stuck

  • If you could improve anything about the industry, what would it be?

Empowering independent artists to produce, release & promote their music. It can be a platform, label, or just a support group that can help these talented individuals break through the monopoly

  • What’s your Next Project?

Something big is coming soon. I can’t reveal it but it could to be the start of something new and innovative

  • What is one message you would give to your fans?

Always keep fighting to be different. Working on your passion is important, but what’s even more important is to dream about achieving them. Your ideas and dreams will materialize if you have faith

Singer Zoha Zuberi
Uzair Ahmed Khan
Uzair Ahmed Khan