Haniya Aslam is a Pakistani-Canadian musician, composer, producer, and audio engineer. Dubbed a “songwriter extrodinaire” by Newsline Pakistan, Haniya’s childhood was filled with diverse musical influences, ranging from Pakistani folk and Qawwali to classic rock and Turkish funk. In 2007, Haniya formed the band Zeb and Haniya with bandmate Zeb Bangash, going on to achieve international recognition with their debut album, Chup. A year after its release, Chup, was singled out by Time Magazine Asia: “…In their debut album, Zeb and Haniya produce a complex sound that has hints of Dylan yet still calls itchy feet to the dance floor” (Asia Edition, 23rd February 2009).
As a composer and producer, Haniya brings together musical styles and genres effortlessly, “blending the sophistication of jazz and blues with eastern mystical Sufi and folk.” (Arab Times, Kuwait, February 9th, 2009). After touring extensively with her band, Haniya brings her innovative aesthetic and sound to Toronto.
Citrus Audio is geared towards scoring for film and TV, sound design and audio post production, commercial compositions, as well as music production.
The Express Tribune asked Rahman if he was looking at any collaboration with Pakistan. He responded, “There have always been collaborations; ones with Shiraz Uppal, Nusrat Saab, Zeb Bangash and Haniya Aslam as well – they have beautiful voices.”
- THE EXPRESS TRIBUNE, Interview with AR Rahman, JANUARY 2018
“Aslam is a star in her native Pakistan, having co-led the country’s first all-female band Zeb and Haniya. Their groundbreaking 2008 hit album Chup! (Silence!) topped the charts for months. Now a Toronto resident, singer-guitarist Aslam fluidly combines pop, folk-rock, alt, blues and jazz with vernacular songs she learned in her native Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Lyrics in Urdu, Pashto, Dari and Turkish, and thematically bold subject matter, thicken the regional-transnational tensions in her songs, yet at the same time give them unusual potency.”
- THE WHOLE NOTE, APRIL 2017
“There was the music – enchanting, lilting melodies that transported us to beautiful lands in beautiful times. Haniya – who seemed to us not unlike an artisan at work, and almost wizard-like (perhaps craftmanship and wizardry are manifestations of each other) – holds all the heart and soul of their music together with her intelligent and precise arrangements. It has been said that far from having an easily categorisable style, [Zeb & Haniya’s] body of work is an emerging genre in itself – and one that’s especially easy on the ears.”
- CONCERT REVIEW, Alchemy Festival London, APRIL 2013
“Zeb and Haniya’s sound is urbane, very polished and orchestrated. Their writing is easy and comes from a comfort with the Hindustani language. And there is an intelligence at work. “
- THE NEWS, SEPTEMBER, 2009
"The Indians may have cornered the bhangra market, but when it comes to rock `n` roll. It`s the Pakistanis who have found their rebel yell. In their debut album, Zeb and Haniya produce a complex sound that has hints of Dylan yet still calls itchy feet to the dance floor."
- TIME MAGAZINE ASIA EDITION, FEBRUARY 2009, Pick of the Week
"There was a time when people thought Urdu could not lend itself to rock, but then Junoon came along and changed the rules. With Zeb and Haniya, the same has been done: a new canon of folk rock, jazz-influenced numbers and blues in Urdu has been created. That’s a lot for a debut album. It struck a high note with us because: The duo not only created a fresh, distinct sound but also pulled it off with great proficiency. The infusion of jazz with soft rock and Eastern elements has never before been heard in mainstream Pakistani music. The album does more than just live up to the hype built up before the launch. With excellent compositions, arrangements and good vocals, Chup is something to shout about."
- THE HERALD Pakistan, JANUARY 2009
"Zeb & Haniya [are] one of Pakistan’s hottest pop duos. Aslam and Bangash are at the forefront of a group of independent-minded Pashtuns who have harnessed the power of the media to beat back the conservative tide."
- NEWSWEEK, JANUARY 2008
Justin Gray - Toronto-based electric & acoustic bassist, Indian classical bass veena artist, composer, band leader, teacher
Whether as an engineer, composer or performer, Haniya always matches her incredible talent and musicality with her inspiring work ethic and unending creativity. Each time I have been fortunate enough to get a chance to work with her has been a true pleasure. I would recommend her to anyone looking to hire or collaborate with someone who has passion, skill and professionalism all at once.
Bandana Singh - Toronto-based alt/rock singer-songwriter
Working with Haniya is such a pleasure! She co-produced my track 'Handsome,' with Dave Henriques from Coalition Music. We were lucky that she also hopped on the track to play the bendir. Haniya has a keen ear and a fantastic technical foundation. Her expertise and insights into recording and producing instruments such as the esraj and the bass veena, helped bring my unusual vision for a song with punk, North Indian, soundscape and cinematic elements to life. With 'Handsome,' I was then able to secure OAC funding for the rest of the album and I'm very excited to continue working with Haniya to complete this complex record.
Carinne LeDuc - Toronto-based film maker
Working with Haniya Aslam on my film "Jamais Sans Toi" has been fantastic. She is a very easy going person, full of resources, talent, and fun to work with. The film had no dialogue a per the scenario, and no sound whatsoever was recorded during the shoot. Her first pass at the sound design was high quality and realistic; I didn't have many notes on it. For the score, I had an idea of moments I wanted to underline, but not more than that. Haniya came with a beautiful score, full of drums, a bit of strings and jazzy - I loved it! And I still do! Merci!
Mekaal Hasan - Award-winning Pakistani producer and guitarist
Haniya Aslam's music is imbued with the colours of her native homeland. Her understated style of singing, replete with a languid turn of phrase, evokes an almost pastoral setting, whilst her musical influences, filtered through a sensibility that is both delicate and imaginative, creates songs and soundscapes which are hauntingly beautiful. It should be noted that Haniya's song writing and musicianship have been a great example to young singer songwriters in her birth country of Pakistan. As a female artist, she led the way for other women to learn music and aspire to be artists worthy of being heard around the world.
Bilal Sami - Lahore-based filmmaker, screenwriter and director
Haniya is one of the most talented songwriters and artists I have had the opportunity to collaborate with. With the versatility, attention to detail and consummate professionalism that she brings to everything she does - you can rest assured when your sound and music needs are in her safe hands.