Time Magazine’s annual list of emerging leaders influencing the world – titled, TIME100 Next – is out, and we are proud to announce that Pakistani singer Ali Sethi has fittingly made the cut.
The Pasoori hitmaker took to his Instagram to share the big news. “Proud to be included in the 2022 TIME100 Next list — that too with a write-up from guru Amitav Ghosh,” he penned alongside screenshots of the write-up attached on his Instagram. “[In] this old-world portrait of me by Umar Nadeeem, I am wearing ZN ALI and looking pyaar-se [lovingly] at the pre-colonial past,” added the singer.
Ghosh acknowledges Sethi’s globe-trotting hit in the listicle shared. “Though written in Punjabi by a Pakistani artist, Ali Sethi’s song Pasoori has become a global sensation with close to 400 million views on YouTube. Even more remarkable, the song has found a huge following in neighbouring India despite the escalating tensions between the two countries.”
According to the award-winning author, Sethi’s “gift” is that he can use an ancient form of music, the classical raags, to “challenge and expand the notions of gender, sexuality, and belonging.” He goes on to add, “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.”
Ghosh asserts that the Chan Kithan singer is doing more than spinning melodies out of words. “Sethi shows us that differences of culture, language, religion, and gender do not need to be antagonistic, they can, and always have, enriched us, and given us some of our greatest works of art.”
News of Sethi’s latest feat has been met with love from around the world, including the likes of filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, artist Misha Japanwala and activist Malala Yousafzai.