With his contribution to Jinder Mahal's entrance theme, rapper Ali Kaz becomes the first Pakistani artist to work with the WWE.
The song, titled Sher (Hindi for 'lion'), has been popular with audiences ever since it accompanied a returning Jinder Mahal in 2016. The voice and lyricist behind the track, Ali Kaz, recently sat down with The Express Tribune. In the interview, Kaz (short for Kazmi) discussed his collaboration with WWE, admitting that he assumed the email he received from longtime WWE composer Jim Johnston was merely a prank.
"At that time, I didn't know who Jim Johnston or Jinder Mahal was," Kaz confessed. "Upon researching, I figured that this was going to be the biggest project of my life."
Once he realized it was the real-deal, the Pakistani-born Canadian rapper had to work quickly. Johnston reportedly only allowed Kaz two days to write lyrics for the track.Despite having such a short interval to craft a catchy refrain that could potentially be heard around the world, Kaz was able to write the lyrics within three hours and record the track the following day.
With his flair for music, Ali Kaz hoped to one day "bring Pakistani hip-hop on the map". Not unlike Mahal, Kaz had to work hard to achieve his goal. For years he tried to turn his dreams into a reality, firmly believing that his talents in rap and poetry would lead him to success. Although those around him urged the now 31-year-old to become a doctor or an engineer, Kaz finally gained popularity in the underground circuit after the release of his first track, Fauj Da Jawan, in 2012. Today, confidence has replaced his past discouragement.
"I am the first Pakistani hip-hop artist to work with WWE on a track and it gives me a new confidence and pride that I can bring Pakistani hip-hop to a new level."
Though he only learned of the current WWE SmackDown champion prior to recording the song, Kaz speaks highly of The Maharaja.
"I think Jinder Mahal is very hardworking and talent wrestler. He has been trying to build an image for a very long time and I think finally he has proven his potential to the world."
It's not hard to see the parallels between the Indian born superstar and the Pakistani rapper.
"He didn't give up for years and he improved himself tremendously to be the world champion. I have mad respect for him."
2016 proved to be a springboard to success for both men; one that has undoubtedly showcased their potential on the world's stage.
Source: The Express Tribune