Junaid Jamshed (Urdu: جنید جمشید; born 3 September 1964), is Pakistani recording artist, television personality, fashion designer, former occasional actor, and former singer-songwriter. After graduating with a degree in engineering from the UET Lahore, Jamshed briefly worked as a civilian contractor and engineer for the PAF before withdrawing to focus on his musical career. He soon began performing in the rock music scene in various local university campuses before being notice by Rohail Hyatt in 1983. With the help of Hyatt and Nusrat Hussain, Jamshed was inducted in Vital Sign and signed a record deal with record executive and producer Shoaib Mansoor to his PTV Music Studio.
Jamshed first gained nationwide prominence and international recognition as the lead vocalist of the pop-rock, Vital Signs in 1987 with the first highly critically acclaimed and commercially successful album, Vital Signs 1 that topped the Music Channel Charts around the country. The first album included the international number-one single "Dil Dil Pakistan", and "Tum Mil Gaye". The big commercial success of Vital Signs' first album helped raise the rock music industry of Pakistan.
In 1994, he released his debut solo album, Junaid of Vital Signs, which also quickly became a national hit, followed by Us Rah Par in 1999 and Dil Ki Baat in which his song Tum Kehti ho was a great hit, teleased in 2002. In 2004, Jamshed renounced engineering and his music career and since then, Jamshed has focused on Islam and concentrated on reciting nasheeds. His debut religious album, Jalwa-e-Janan was released in 2005 and was followed by Mehboob-e-Yazdaan in 2006, Badr-ud-Duja in 2008, and Badee-uz-Zaman in 2009. Jamshed also owns a clothing boutique with the name "J." (read as "Jay Dot"), which has several outlets throughout Pakistan
Drift from Music
As early as 1999, Media had been speculating about Junaid's drift from music soon after the Vital Signs faded away. The speculations soon died after Junaid released his single albums in mere two years and continued world tours. After 2001, Jamshed disappeared from the public eye, and avoided the media attention. His last two albums did not do well in the market and failed to get any positive response from the country's music critics. His former band mates, Shahi and Hyatt, saw him struggling to negotiate the transition from one world to another. Over the years, Junaid distant from Hyatt who continued to work on producing music. Junaid also struggled financially after the Vital Signs, and it was Shoaib Mansoor who came to help him financially after giving him the role in Gulls & Guys television show.
After 9/11 attacks in the United States, Hyatt and Junaid's tours in the West struggled a lot regarding questions from Westerners about country's culture, terrorism, and music. Upon returning, Junaid filed a bankruptcy and made a triumphant attempt to push his career in engineering after applying at various companies. Theories regarding Jamshed began to arise in media, therefore media outlets hired as much as paparazzi to follow Jamshed. It was highly reported that Jamshed has distanced himself from music and has been praying five times a day regularly at the nearby mosque. Finally, Jamshed who had been out of practice from his engineering career 20 years ago, announced to open a fashion-designing company with a close friend of his. In 2004, Jamshed officially renounced music and engineering after announcing to devoted his life to Islam. Jamshed renounced engineering and to supplement his income, he opened a clothing store "J.", selling Khaadis (a form of Kurta-Shalwar).
In 2007, in an interview in Chowk Magazine, Mansoor admitted that he was badly affected when his Junaid turned away from music:
One morning I was going through a local newspaper when I saw my friend Junaid Jamshed's interview in it. After looking at his new attire in the photograph, published with the article, I could not stop myself from reading it. The more I read the sadder I felt. He had announced that he was quitting music after being convinced that it was "Haram". It really shook me badly. I have never believed that God could hate the two most beautiful things he has given to mankind— music and painting. I felt that a confused man like Junaid had no right to confuse thousands of his youthful followers. I had given him sixteen years of my life as a true friend and had played my role in his professional life to the best of my abilities. How could he throw away our sixteen years just like that without even consulting me? I feel that it was my duty to rectify the damage he has done to the already suffering society under the influence of fundamentalists.
Mansoor directed and also wrote the script of film Khuda Kay Liye, which was an ultimate success in the country. Mansoor also remained that the film was inspired on Junaid's life, and offered him a lead role in place of Shaan Shahid. When offered the role, Junaid maintained that he will "shave his beard" for the film and the role for Junaid Jamshed was written by Mansoor. Junaid later refused to be a part of the film and Mansoor maintained that: "Responses like this one convinced people that Jamshed was not certain about his future, and that the Islamist experience was just a phase."
Nonetheless, Junaid does sing in some circles, privately, that is. Guitarist, Bilal Maqsood of Strings, held an annual open-mic jam session at his home. At Maqsood's party, one attendee remembered that: "But once he (Junaid) started singing, he just couldn't stop. He was having so much fun singing, he was on a roll." Maqsood maintained that later in the night he dropped his wife Ayesha home and then came back to sing some more. Junaid Jamshed was one of the last people to leave that evening.
In 1986, Junaid earn a lot of publicity and attention from public with the Sign's hit rock song, Do Pal Ka. The Signs took Pakistan's media by storm its hit patriotic number "Dil Dil Pakistan". This was a turning point in Pakistan's music history which ushered in a new era of pop/rock music. Fourteen years later, he announced his retirement from music and devoted his time to religious preaching. Junaid Jamshed has been listed by "The Muslim 500" as one of the "World's Most Influential Muslims" for the year 2012.
Jamshed is also actively involved in charity work and has been associated with the NGO Muslim Charity since 2003. Whilst citing Junaid Jamshed, in the Arts and Culture section of the publication, The Muslim 500 states, “Muslim Charity has achieved a great deal under his leadership and expanded its operations to 16 countries.”