Getting to know


Singer/actress/TV host, Komal Rizvi has been in showbiz since the age of 16. Not only has she starred in hit serials and been a popular VJ but she also sung the oft played bhangra ditty Baooji back in ‘97, as well as pop and folk songs since then. Rizvi is all set to make a comeback with her new release Hello Ji.  Komal tells Sana Zehra what it’s like being a female singer in Pakistan

Does Hello Ji have a message you want to share with your fans?

Yes, indeed. Hello Ji stands for all those people who love doing something or love someone but fear failure or rejection. The message in this song is that times have changed, don’t fear anyone or anything.

“Jo kehna hai kaho ji” (Say whatever you have to say.)

You have been described as “outspoken, energetic, bubbly” and as an “an all-rounder.” What do you feel when you hear people describing you in these terms?

I really don’t consider myself outspoken at all. I suppose it’s all relative. There are so many things I would like to talk about but I have to be politically correct for the sake of my family or the society. But yes, I am energetic and bubbly and that’s how I would like to remain always — positive and happy. Life is too short to take yourself too seriously.

The music industry still seems to be largely dominated by men. Do you think the industry is afraid of strong and independent women? If yes, how does it show? What are some personal experiences you have in this regard?

The industry is changing, but super slowly. It’s about time women artistes should be taken more seriously. We have to work harder. It’s true that women are dealt a lot of “Get out of jail free” cards. So being a woman has both advantages and disadvantages. I, for one, am extremely proud of being a woman. I would not have wanted it any other way.

Do you Google yourself or read what the internet has to say about you or do you feel like it’s better to not pay attention to these things?

Mostly, I try to not hear or read too much criticism because it does take a toll on my level of optimism and motivation, but it’s very hard to not be aware of any trolling whatsoever. Someone or the other in the industry feels the need to make you aware of your failings eventually.

You travel a lot for work. How do you keep your work-life balance?

Since I only work, and spend all my free time with the family, I sometimes have to really force myself to have some “Me” time. In fact, I have now made it a ritual to keep my mornings to myself. It has made a huge difference in my life and my state of mind. My meditation and my riyaaz is key to my inner peace and sanity.

How has your musical journey shaped you in becoming who you are today?

I shape my musical journey. My musical journey does not shape me.

Do you have someone special in your life?

Not yet!

What is one of the biggest misconceptions about you?

That I am a snob

Were any of your songs written to symbolize any life event?

I have over 100 released songs over the course of my career. So yes, a lot of them I have written and composed are relevant to an event in my life.

How do you feel about the way people interpret your songs?

At the moment I’m doing light, fun songs because I believe this country needs some women doing music that can uplift the mood. At some point, I want to do serious music too, but I’m not into the mood for that just yet.

What has been the most enjoyable song you have sung and why?

I like singing Tu Beh Gaya a lot. Rock ballads are just up my alley.

Ever considered joining a band?


What is your favourite song that isn’t your own?

Unchained Melodies

Any message for your fans?

Stay positive. Keep learning, self-improving and challenging yourself. Grow. Become a light for yourself and others. Stay strong. Stay cool. Pakistan Zindabad!

Reesham landed her first commercial at the age of 8 and Her father protectively accompanied her to the shoot. By age 15, she was a radio jockey at FM 100. Throughout her college years, the young actress was actively involved in theatre and bagged the award for Best Actor at the Pakistan Theatre Festival 2005. since then, her performances in Khoat Muntazir, Ghareeb Zaadi and Dil-e-Nadan have also been praised by drama critcs. Recently, her work in Sajjad Ali’s Lagaya Dil has been making waves. Reesham lets Sana Zehra get to know her on a personal level

If you weren’t in the industry, what would you be doing right now?

I would love to host corporate events; I’d also love to interview people from politics and such.

How did you enter this field?

I entered this field at the age of 8. My teacher saw my dramatic and introduced me to her husband who was at the time running PR company, Publicis. I did my first TV commercial for Maggi Noodles and after that, there was no looking back. I thoroughly enjoyed most of the work that came my way.

What is your most loved work to date?


Piece of advice you received 10 years ago that is coming true now?

You need to be very persistent and need to work hard each day in order to achieve your goals.

How does your husband handle your success?

He’s been my strength. We need more men like him who takes pride in his woman’s success. 🙂

Nickname that really annoys you?


Weirdest habit you have?

I boss people around.

One film you’ve watched more than 5 times?

Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge

A character you wished you would have played?

Rani Mukherjee in Black

Lipstick shade you wear most often?


Early or late?


One thing you would like to change about yourself?

I think I am pretty happy the way I am.

One thing you just won’t eat?

Indian squash

Reesham admits she’s bossy

React in one word to the following:



Being human

Sallu bhai



On screen romance


If you wake up as the following actresses what would you do?

Kareena Kapoor

I would kiss baby Taimur he is so adorable!

Sarwat Gillani

Not too sure (Laughs)

Funniest thing that happened to you recently?

After the song Lagaya Dil became a hit, people started sending me all these weird messages. I was a little taken aback from them. Some of the messages were super creepy.

Hair & makeup:

Studio Z Salon and Spa


Arsalan Bilgrami of a.bilgrami studio

Sidra Iqbal wears a lot of hats: she’s an internationally celebrated speaker, TV anchor/host/broadcast journalist, media strategist, PR practitioner, development activist, change consultant and last but not least a proud and doting aunt. After completing her MBA, she became the first Pakistani to be invited to participate in the International Leadership Program 2016, by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of UK. The energetic and effusive Sidra opens up to Sana Zehra

Who’s your biggest support group?

My sisters! They are my support group; they are my biggest critics and my best friends. I don’t think I can do all this without them.

Favourite activity in Pakistan?

Discussing politics is the national hobby of Pakistan. Sometimes I like indulging in this. I love to listen to people’s conspiracies theories about various subjects.

Would you ever leave Pakistan?

I like my short getaways but I was born and bred  here. This is my home. It’s like you asking, if I would leave home? Probably not, not in the foreseeable future at least.

Describe in 3 words what it’s like to live in Pakistan?




Favourite season?

Spring, because you hardly get that in Karachi. I love the sight of blooming flowers and whenever I am lucky I spot a butterfly in Karachi.

Favourite music?

I like too many songs to name. I’m a big movie buff. Growing up in the 90s I grew up with the sole entertainment of watching TV and Bollywood movies. I’m a huge Shah Rukh Khan fan.

Favourite TV series?

I am a big fan of Black Mirror. I don’t know why but I have taken a big liking to dystopia, which is my genre of choice these days.

Book you plan on reading?

The Origin by Dan Brown

Book that shaped your life?

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain. My teacher, Mrs.  Akhtar, left a huge mark on my life and I remember her very fondly.

How excited are you about your life right now?

I am very excited about life. Early on I learned a small but profound lesson that is you have to be excited about taking on a new challenge. If you have the passion, the path becomes exciting automatically.

Ever plan on entering politics?

I am a good political commentator so I would say that it’s definitely an area of interest. Perhaps I may want to be a part of politics after a decade.

Have you ever been offered to enter any political party?

No, sadly not yet. I don’t know why but a lot people believe that journalists make excellent politicians.

IPhone or Android?

Android. I have never been an IPhone person or a Mac person, so android hands down.

Twitter or Instagram?

Instagram. Because a picture is worth a thousand words so definitely Instagram.

Vine or Snapchat?


Who’s your inspiration on Instagram?

Actually I am not following people, I am following sayings. I like to read when I take mini brakes during my work day whenever I feel a sudden dip in my energy, I am stressed or I feel a little negative. I browse through life lessons or profound sayings as a pick me up.

Favourite restaurant?

I am fond of Chop Chop Wok and I love Xander’s. I am planning to go to Evergreen, but the best desserts are at Pompeii.

Favourite food?


Least favourite food?

Shaljam (turnips)

What do you love on your pizza?

Lots of cheese

Favourite drink?

As unhealthy as it might sound, Coca-Cola.

Favourite dessert?


Dark chocolate or milk chocolate?

Milk chocolate, preferably malt chocolate

Ever eaten anything weird?

I haven’t eaten weird things but I remember being in Singapore during my secondment and I saw fried grasshoppers as garnishing… I just thought that was really odd.

If your life was a song what would the title be?

Living on the Edge

If you could sing a duet who would it be?

I can’t sing to save my life but I think I’ll do a wonderful duet with my one year old niece because she’s phenomenal.

If you could master one instrument what would it be?

My brain, my mind and my thoughts. I think it’s one of the most complex instruments in the world and I would so want a manual….Why did it not come with a manual?

If you had a tattoo where would it be?

I need a tattoo on my wrist that says “Your ten minutes are up.” Because I tend to snooze every minute I can so I’m always running behind time.

Dogs or cats?


Koalas or penguins?


Best gift you’ve ever received?

A hug from my nephew. He showed me what boys are really like. I’m very close to him and he’s the love of my life. One day with a lot of emotions I was looking at him and said, “I love you, Saad, my love!” He turned around, pets me ad says, “it’s okay, Kaka, it’s okay! The most practical advice, thanks Saad!

A historical figure you’d love to have coffee with?

I really wish I had met Princess Diana.

Favourite board game?

Ludo! I’m the Pakistan Ludo champ.

Favourite country?

I recently went to Switzerland. It was breathtaking. I see why Yash Chopra ingrained those images in our head.

Blow-dry or air-dry?


Heels or flats?


Can you do an impersonation of someone?

Nope, not good at that.

Pilates or Yoga?

Pilates. My trainers are excellent.

Jogging or swimming?

Jogging, as I can’t swim.

How do you de-stress?

Listen to music and dance away.

One wish?

Eat more and get a faster metabolism.

Last time you felt nervous?

Both times when my niece and nephew were born. You feel excited, nervous and scared at the same time. There were a flurry of emotions.

What is love?

I think love is clarity. Love is focus. Love makes you feel the impossible is possible and you just dive in. I’m a huge believer of the power of love. Love makes you neither skeptical, nor cynical. I think it’s everything that is worthy in human experience.

Head or heart?

Logic comes from the head.  But I feel that any decision that doesn’t involve the heart, is a decision without a soul and it dies a very painful death. So every decision has to have a huge component of heart.

Define success?

The ability to continue growing and be joyful.

Ever been in love?

Yeah, baby!

When do you think you will get married?

Marriage to me is a priority. It’s an institution I have a lot of respect for. Therefore, it should never be done in haste. It should never be about, “Okay, now it’s time to settle down.” I think one of the worst thing you can call a marriage is settling down, because it is the most unsettling thing you’re ever going to do in your life. I’m going to wait for right person to come along before I take that leap of faith.

Has your life changed over the years?

Initially, I thought life was happening to me and it’s only a very recent realization that life is happening through me. So, yes, there are changes that I have brought about and I’m taking more and more responsibility of the fact that I’m the creator of my own reality. Life is as it is. Pakistan will be the way it is. The society has a lot of components that you and I can be very uneasy about.

What does GT mean to you?

GT Means great time to me and keep up the good work.

Interview & coordination:

Sana Zehra


Walnut Communications

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