Born in Saudi Arabia to Pakistani parents, Samia has lived in the UK since she was a child. Samia Malik’s dynamic, evolving working practice encompasses music, visual art and education. Asking challenging and important questions about our common humanity, Samia’s work has enthralled audiences from the UK to India.
Samia writes and performs songs based on traditional Urdu Ghazal (a highly refined union of poetry with music) extending and subverting the form to explore contemporary issues around identity, race and gender. She has collaborated with acclaimed world-class musicians, writers and artists including Baluji Shrivastav OBE, Mallika Sarabhai, Guiliano Modarelli, Kishwar Naheed, Seemab Gul, Al MacSween, Sukhdeep Dhanjal, Sianed Jones, Anne Tiburtius and Cris Cheek. She has released five albums: The Colour of the Heart (1998) Jaago – Wake Up (2004), Azaadi: Freedom (2017), ‘Colours of Her Heart’ (2019) and ‘Samia Malik Live at Norwich Arts Centre’ (2019). Samia is also a visual artist, mainly working in painting and video – her live shows are supported by projections of her original visual art.
‘Samia Malik’s songs and the rendition could not be more relevant to the here and now. What is a woman’s place? Cultural identity. Whose cultural identity? Experts talk of “fusion”…but no-one’s seen fusion like this’ Janet Trewin – Norwich Future Radio
‘Samia Malik, (a) singer of extraordinary power and Joan Baez-like eloquence’ Geeta Doctor – The Hindu
‘In a world where we are becoming more attune to divisions, Samia’s work, ‘Azaadi, in fact celebrates difference, individualism and originality’ Aisha Farooq – DESIblitz
‘Standout tracks’ are ‘truly moving original Urdu ghazals saturated with birha – melancholic longing’ Amardeep Dhillon – Songlines
‘Norwich Arts Centre is extremely proud to support Samia: her work is simply unique. She has created something very special that I have not really encountered before. The quality of the songs and their presentation hit you from the opening number. We are feeling proud and excited to see where Samia’s work goes, keep your eyes open you will not want to miss this.’ Pasco-Q Kevlin | Director | Norwich Arts Centre
‘For over 25 years Samia Malik has shown that music can be healing as well as entertaining. Azaadi: Freedom charts a compelling journey towards liberation through powerful Urdu and English songs, art and spoken word’ Sarah Albinali – Eastern Eye
‘Passionate and easily understood across international frontiers’ The Asian Times
‘Samia Malik’s singing in Urdu is gorgeous, as are her melodies, but gorgeous though these are her writing is even more striking. She writes in the Urdu tradition of sung poetry and takes it to completely new territory by giving voice to her own and possibly a generation of Asian women’s experience in Britain. It is wonderfully powerful writing’ Alan Scott – Resonance
‘A sensual and melodic sound that touches the soul’ Debjani Chatterjee & Brian D’Arcy – Writing in Education
‘A vivid fusion of mystical poetry, liberationist politics and deep trance grooves, one of those magic projects that grow in intensity with every listen’ David Lewis – Exclaim
‘A wake up call’ Sarwar Kashari – Kashmir Images
‘Beautifully played and finely written’ Simon Hopkins – Motion
‘Renditions in both English and Urdu capture in poignant writing the struggle faced by women’ The Daily Jang