Quick guide to Afghan pop music

Afghanistan pop music’s heyday was during the 1970′s and the country has gone through a lot since that time. But it still has a thriving music scene. Here’s an introduction to some of the classics as well as the most popular new singers.

If you’re curious about languages, it’s also an opportunity to hear what Afghan languages sound like. The main languages spoken in Afghanistan are Dari (Persian/Farsi) and Pashto.

Ahmad Zahir

Ahmad Zahir is one of the most well-known Afghan singers. He died 30 years ago but his music is still popular.

Listen here to his album ‘Afsoos’ on the music site Mastana.

Nashenas

Another classic, Nashenas is considered by many Afghans to be the best Pashto singer.

Listen to his music here.

Shafiq Mureed

Shafiq Mureed is a young singer who studied in India, and it sounds like some Bollywood influences sneaked into his album ‘Ehsas’. It shows in the language too – although most songs are in Dari, some are sung in Hindi.

What do you think? Listen for yourself.

Farhad Darya

A modern Dari-language singer with an innovative and influential style. Find more on Farhad Darya on his official site.

Aris Parwaz

Another modern singer, with a West-meets-East sound. Listen here.

Learn more about Afghan music from National Geographic.

Like these? Do you have any favourites to add? Let us know in the comments.

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About the author

Lucy (Liz) Chatburn
Lucy is English and first ventured out of the UK she was 19. Since then she has lived in 4 different countries and tried to see as much of the world as possible. She loves learning languages, learning about different cultures and hearing different points of view.
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