Home / News / World /  Thanks to ‘Pasoori’, Pakistan’s Ali Sethi storms into Time Magazine’s list of emerging leaders

While Reliance Jio Chairman Akash Ambani is the only Indian on the list, someone across the border joined the list - thanks to the phenomenal success of his song. Riding on “Pasoori", which happens to be a Punjabi song, Pakistani singer Ali Sethi made his surprise entry to the Time Magazine's Time100 Next list. The song was made for Coke Studio Pakistan Season 14.

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Despite the rising tensions between the two nations, Pasoori sung by Sethi and Shae Gill has amassed approximately 400 million views on YouTube and received a tremendous amount of support in India. The first Pakistani song to appear on Spotify's "Viral 50 - Global" chart eventually rose to the top of the chart.

“Sethi’s great gift is that he is able to use an ancient form of music from the region, the classical raga, to challenge and expand notions of gender, sexuality, and belonging. “Pasoori" is a virtuoso demonstration of how artists can, in subtle ways, subvert the restrictions that are being imposed upon them by new forms of authoritarianism and intolerance," Time wrote about Ali Sethi.

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From 2002 until 2006, Sethi attended Harvard College. His original major choice was Economics, but he ultimately switched to South Asian Studies. Along with working on the features board of The Harvard Advocate, Sethi also performed annually for Ghungroo, Harvard's largest student-run show concentrating on the South Asian diaspora. Ali Sethi returned to Harvard recently to perform the chartbuster.

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The Wish Maker, Sethi's first book, was released in 2009 and tells the story of three generations of characters living in a middle-class, liberal neighbourhood in Lahore as they navigate Pakistan's political past. Sethi began writing the book in 2006, his senior year at Harvard; he finished it in Lahore after writing a second draft while living in New York City.


Sounak Mukhopadhyay

Sounak Mukhopadhyay, who also goes by the name Sounak Mukherjee, has been producing digital news since 2012. He's worked for the International Business Times, The Inquisitr, and Moneycontrol in the past. He's also contributed to Free Press Journal and TheRichest with feature articles. He covers news for a wide range of subjects including business, finance, economy, politics and social media. Before working with digital news publications, he worked as a freelance content writer.
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