Meesha Shafi, who started out as an artist and a model quickly expanded her portfolio to encompass the many dynamic facets of her personality and has since collected one accolade after another, for singing, acting and being a style icon of sorts. If there is a theme that remains consistent in her work, it’s a desire to embrace her many interests.
Hollywood, Lollywood and Bollywood – she’s done them all!
Making her acting career debut with a top notch Hollywood film is a dream that not everyone can chase. With The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Meesha made her cinematic Hollywood debut in 2012 alongside Om Puri, Kate Hudson, Shabana Azmi and Riz Ahmed. In 2013, Meesha emerged as a powerful performer in Bhaag Milkha Bhaag and Waar, both of which became the highest grossing movies at the box office.
She’s the master of all trades
Having started her career at the young age of 17 as a model, she has evolved into a powerhouse. Over the years she explored other creative inclinations that she had, after leaving the band Overload, she made her solo debut in 2006, with Arif Lohar on Coke Studio: Season 3, with the song Jugni. She gained critical acclaim and love from all over, year after year, as she juggled her parallel careers. In the last 2 years, the model turned actress and singer shone the brightest, conquering all that she set her eyes on. She became the advocate for UN Women Pakistan’s #BeatMe campaign and bagged the leading role in Pakistan’s most elaborate fantasy fiction television series, Mor Mahal in 2016 and left Coke Studio to become a judge in Pepsi Battle of the Bands in 2017, which turned out to be a huge success.
She’s very picky about her roles
Known to be very particular about selecting projects, Shafi ensures she picks up roles that challenge her as an actor. “I don’t like doing repetitive roles — that’s the reason I don’t do too many local TV shows. I feel our depiction of women is a little one dimensional.” For some actors it is easy to repeat a certain character because they feel they get better at playing the particular role, Shafi likes to take up projects that allow her to discover her own range and produce good content.
She’s all about women empowerment!
YES, that’s our girl! She’s a full-on feminist and believes in empowering other women. She’s opinionated and isn’t scared to express herself, she says “misogyny is rampant in our surroundings and showbiz is no different. Some of the biggest divas I’ve encountered have been men. But I’ve learnt to ignore men who feel threatened by powerful women. Fortunately, there are also many men that I have worked with who are very vocal of their support towards women making strides in this industry or any other sphere of life.”
She’s the only female Pakistani musician to tour internationally
2016 marked the year when Shafi became the only Pakistani female musician to perform live in a multi-city tour. Shafi toured everywhere from the Far East to the United States. Performing live is not unfamiliar to Shafi, but when asked what goes through her head, standing in front of massive crowds, all eyes on her, she answered: “With live performances there is no margin for error, there is definitely adrenaline that you take from your audience. I get excited and maybe even a little anxious as every audience is a different package.”
Style and Meesha are inseparable!
Style is as much Meesha Shafi’s personal brand as is her booming voice or her unabashed views on women empowerment. She is comfortable embracing her fashionable identity; in fact she more than embraces it. She celebrates it, which is evident in her sartorial choices. Critics have credited Meesha for her personification of an effortless blend of East and West and she is hailed as a style icon with an avant garde sensibility: whether it’s her androgynous jumpsuits accessorized with heavy metal, her Gucci Malin sandals or her unorthodox use of glitter in her makeup, or an ivory Rohit Bal traditional dress worn with a nose ring. Her bold, red lips are trademark but Meesha Shafi can just about make everything work.
- Meesha Shafi is married to music producer Mahmood Rahman, both are ex-members of the Pakistani rock band Overload.
- She is a trained artist from the National College of Arts, one of South Asia’s leading art institutions
- She’s desi, very desi: “I am born and bred in Pakistan. I didn’t even go abroad for college.” You go, girl!
- Her performance with Arif Lohar in Coke Studio: Season 3, received over 35 million hits on Youtube alone, making it the most viewed song ever exported by Coke Studio, Pakistan.
- Shafi has endorsed and been the face of many local and international brands during her career, like L’Oreal, Coca-Cola, Fanta, LG, Mobilink, Allied Bank, Lipton and Sprite.
- Shafi has been featured in many international publications such as L’Officiel and Vogue India.
- She attributes her multifaceted career to how she started out in the creative fields, when she tried several things without managing to find much success anywhere.
- She loves yoga! Her Instagram account is full of stunning photos of her in a variety of yoga postures against beautiful vistas around the world.
- Her single Jugni was used in several Bollywood films like Cocktail, Diary Of A Butterfly and Jugni.