Many musicians struggle a lot to make their way to the mainstream world and showcase their ultimate musical skills. The underground category of music in Pakistan is sort of huge and a lot of talent rises from that area.
It’s hard to ignore their beautiful voice, lyrics, or composition that hits you straight to the heart.
Just like others, Justin Bibis started their career as cover legend Lata Mangeshkar’s songs, and this year they made Coke Studio’s comeback with a bang.
No doubt, it was their year to come from their Gully and shine among all the other talented artists who appeared this season.
Everyone remembers their viral cover of Justin Bieber’s 2010 hit Baby, which spread like a fire all over social media and received endless love from the people.
But with time, they were faded away in the background and came back in a collaboration with Pakistan’s indie-pop darling Hasan Raheem in the CS track Peechay Hutt.
Originated from Lahore, both sisters 21-year-old Saania and her 18-year-old sister Muqaddas Tabaydar sat down with Al-Jazeera to put some light on their musical journey and viral success.
Justin Bibis in conversation with Al-Jazeera
Saania and Muqaddas were both of them raised in a family of music in which their father was a musical director and their paternal aunt, Naseebo Lal who’s an icon in a Pakistani music sense. She also appeared this season with Abida Parveen in the track Tu Jhoom.
Sisters shared, “Growing up, we saw our father being extremely busy while also working with our aunt. We were inspired by them. Also, since our background is from Rajasthan, music is culturally in our blood.”
The duo explained what music meant to them, “Since we were not educated, we didn’t dream big on becoming successful in other professions. The only thing that mattered was learning music and people across the world loving us for what we do.”
Due to high financial reasons, the sisters revealed that they couldn’t continue their education and dropped out. They said, “We dropped out of school when we were in year two. We can’t tell the reasons but the situation was such that even our uniforms were worn out and torn apart.”
“Our extended family doesn’t view education as a positive aspect. They don’t even let men continue their education,” explained the Bibis.
Muqaddas joined the musical journey first
Muqaddas was the first one to step into the world of music, initially, she used to cover Late Lata Mangeshkar’s cover at the age of four.
Later her sister joined her, both of them also revealed that they had received high criticism because of their love for music and dance.
The Bibis added, “Since we were girls, our extended family did not allow us to sing and dance. But it was because of our parents, their time, and constant courage in supporting us that we have come this far.
They also credited their mother for supporting their dream despite heavy financial issues, they shared, “Our mother would consistently train us a couple of days every week. She even stood up for us when other people would disagree with what we were doing. She was passionate about music, considering our maternal grandfather also played the tabla.”
2015 birth of Jusitn Bibis
2015 was the year when Saania and Muqaddas became famous overnight on social media. They filmed a video of two girls singing Justin Bieber’s ‘Baby’ song in the street and their Justin Bibis born. When an interviewer asked them, what made them do it despite knowing that both of them don’t know the English Language?
The duo explained, “Our friends teased us a lot that day, saying we can’t sing an English song since we were not educated. We told them we can sing in English. All they need to do is ask us. And when our turn came, we picked Justin Bieber’s song.”
On the success of the video, they added, “We were shocked and amazed. We had no idea that our video grabbed so much attention in a few hours.
Even today, we don’t know who filmed it but we are so grateful to that person.” However, the Bibis revealed that they faced criticism from their relatives, “Family members weren’t pleased with our fame, and taunted us.”
Journey to the Coke Studio
Justin Bibis were married at the age of 16, Saania shared that she was pregnant at the time Zulfiqar Jabbar Khan’s (Xulfi’s) Coke Studio offer arrived. They recalled the whole scenario, “We dropped everything and decided to meet Coke Studio’s team. That day felt like an adventure.”
The Bibis had already dropped the message to Xulfi two years back before the offer was made. Xulfi himself put some light on the duo’s ferocity and struggle, “I always found their story to be very honest and passionate. The moment they were singing that song [in 2015], it was on a road, and the way they performed, I could sense they had taken this as a challenge that they had to get done.”
“They need to keep making music, keep telling stories and keep collaborating. They are an amazing duo with an amazing story and they are a representation of Pakistan,” he added.
Justin Bibis has done various collaborations in the past years, and even netizens have come forward and raised voices for them to give Justin Bibis a real break.
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