Beyond Disco: Nermin Niazi and Feisal Mosleh
In the early 1980’s, teenage Nermin Niazi and her older brother Feisal dreamt of making a record. They came from music royalty, after all. Many members of their family, including their parents, composed and performed traditional Pakistani music.
The Multi-Generational Musical Family. Photos courtesy of Nermin Niazi.
But when they finally got their chance to make music, the siblings did something entirely new.
One of the siblings' many fashion editorials in '80s Pakistan
They made an album that fused the Pakistani diaspora they belonged to with the British New Wave they loved so much. It was the perfect harmony of both their worlds.
Nermin, Feisal, and session musician Andrew Morris at Zella Studios.
Disco Se Aagay was released both in the U.K. and in Pakistan. And almost immediately, Nermin had to contend with the opinions of both her peers and the press, her white English audience and her Asian listeners. It was a conflict many people face in diaspora - too western for the east and too eastern for the west.
"East and West" Fashion Fusion
Nermin and Feisal’s disco dream didn’t get the recognition they had hoped for in its time. But it remains a masterpiece: a testament to something lost, something found, and something beyond.
Nermin recording at Zella Studios, Birmingham, England
Nermin, Feisal, and their LP with the Lord Mayor of Birmingham
Teenage Nermin in Akhbar-E-Jahan, Karachi, Pakistan
A Fashion Shoot with Nermin and Feisal