Guitarist Aamir Zaki passes away at 49
KARACHI: One of Pakistan’s top guitar virtuosos, Aamir Zaki, died due to heart failure on Friday, his family and friends confirmed. He was 49.
According to brother Shahid Zaki, he had been suffering from prolonged illness for quite some time.
Playing guitar since the age of 14, Zaki was best known for a short stint with the Vital Signs in 1994 when he toured globally with the group. He also played with the band on their fourth album before being asked to leave.
He then released his debut solo album Signature in 1995, from which the song Mera Pyaar became a massive hit.
Calling him the most influential guitarist in Pakistan, Fuzon band member Imran Momina, also known as Emu, regretted not having worked with Zaki one last time. “We have been honoured to play with him several times. He was such a great mentor and a great person to hang out with as well, and it’s just sad to hear this news,” he said. “I have one regret because I wanted to work with him one more time on a project and it just couldn’t happen. Sadly, he succumbed to illness and other factors in life.”
Nescafe Basement producer and Call front man Zulfiqar Jabbar Khan, known by the mononym Xulfi, meanwhile express disbelief and sorrow on Facebook. “I cannot believe this. But this is the truth of our world, of our lives. It’s the truth of time. A guitarist, who was a genre in his own right in our country, has breathed his last. In a world of vocalists, this guy challenged the norm and succeeded. Back then, watching him made me believe in the power of music, even without words. He made me believe that I can make it if I never give up even as an instrumentalist.”
Zaki’s funeral is to be held after Fajr prayers on Saturday, the guitarist’s friends and associates said. He is to be buried in a graveyard in Karachi’s Steel Town locality shortly after.