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Wearing a hijab, A female rapper from Pakistan defies preconceptions

Wearing a hijab, A female rapper from Pakistan defies preconceptions
Wearing a hijab, A female rapper from Pakistan defies preconceptions

Eva B, Pakistan’s breakout rapper, has racked up millions of views online, yet she remains nameless when traveling through the labyrinthine alleyways of her Karachi neighborhood.

She avoids the attention of both supporters and adversaries by wearing her hair in a headscarf and wearing a covering that falls below her eyes.

“It’s interesting how people don’t recognize me; they play my songs but don’t recognize me when I’m there before them,” the 22-year-old told AFP from a rooftop overlooking Karachi’s major port metropolis.

She began penning songs in her bedroom and publishing her raps on Facebook, where she gained a following, inspired by American rappers Eminem and Queen Latifah.

She would sneak into music studios under the guise of studying, afraid of upsetting her family, and record whole tracks with the support of other rising musicians in her neighborhood.

When it reached her brother, however, her family reacted negatively, believing the genre was inappropriate for a young lady and that she would have difficulty marrying in Pakistan’s very conservative culture.

“They eventually gave up after realizing how persistent I was. They realized they couldn’t stop me, “She chuckled, adding that her mother is now her studio and set supporter.

Eva B’s rise to fame was accelerated this year when she was invited to collaborate for Coca-international Cola’s music franchise Coke Studios, one of Pakistan’s most popular television shows.

The music video for “Kana Yaari,” which shows Eva B rapping about a love interest’s betrayal while wearing a bright orange headscarf, has over 16 million views on YouTube.

But, unlike the other artists in the series, she has shied away from the spotlight.

“It’s unusual to be able to live two lives simultaneously. People know who I am, but they don’t know who I am, “she stated

When people talk about Eva B’s new song, she finds it entertaining to nod along at cafés or friends’ weddings.

In rare instances, she claims that people recognize her by her eyes, but she constantly disputes her theatrical persona.

“I’m content with who I am. I’m afraid I won’t be able to deal with everyone. “She expresses her dissatisfaction with the media and fans she would otherwise get.

Hijab has stunned the industry.

In Muslim-majority Pakistan, most women wear a hijab. However, there are very few veiled musicians in local pop culture.

She claimed that industry producers and managers were frequently “astonished” when they arrived at studios for the first time.

The headscarf has always been an essential aspect of Eva B’s Muslim identity, but it has also helped establish her image as a rapper.

“For the music videos these days, I dress more stylishly to stand out. But I always wear my hijab even though. “She added she occasionally replaces the face cover with a pandemic-era mask.

On the other hand, she has grown tired of everyone commenting on how she dresses.

“Rather of focusing on me, the media has concentrated on my hijab,” she explained. “In my society, this is commonplace. Make sure it’s not breaking news.”

What delights her is the flood of Instagram messages from girls and women who are delighted to see a lady wearing a hijab in mainstream media.

“I’m glad I inspire them… that they think highly of me,” she remarked.

But, as a hijab-wearing woman rapper, she adds, condemnation for not being “a nice girl” is never far away.

“What I’m doing isn’t damaging; I publicly sing songs, and there’s nothing wrong with it.”

It’s straight from Karachi.

Eva B grew up in Lyari, a Karachi neighborhood plagued by gang violence and poverty for decades and formerly regarded as one of Pakistan’s most dangerous, which generated a growing hip-hop scene and inspired a generation of musicians.

Karachi’s primarily ethnic Balochi neighborhood stands out for its history of violence and lawlessness, even by Pakistani standards, due to its closeness to the sea and history of smuggling.

However, the worst of the violence has subsided, and increased security has resulted in a burst of creativity.

The beleaguered enclave now prides itself on producing great footballers, iron-chinned fighters, and, most lately, socially concerned rappers.

“We didn’t go to any prominent music institutions; instead, we taught ourselves what we know via our love. As a result, I continue to showcase Lyari, and I am happy about it, “she stated

Hip hop’s emergence in Lyari echoes the genre’s origins in New York’s Bronx borough. It was mostly centered on street performances and contained lyrics highlighting societal evils and living in urban ghettos decades ago.

Eva B also speaks candidly on the challenges women experience in Pakistan and income disparities, and the delicate topic of women’s rights.

In her native Balochi language, her favorite song, “Bayani Rog,” chronicles the narrative of her transformation from a timid, frightened youngster to the confident, forthright lady she is today.

“I recognized that remaining silent isn’t going to work, so I’d best speak up,” she explained.

This press release is drafted by Prittle Prattle News
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