Throughout the month of March, in support of International Women's Day 2018, Sound and Music is showcasing incredibly talented women in music. On the British Music Collection we will be celebrating female composers both past and present, with a different profile featured every day.

Today, we recognise Samia Malik and her significant contribution to new music.

Samia Malik- ‘For over 25 years Samia Malik has shown that music can be healing as well as entertaining.’ (Sarah Albinali, Eastern Eye)

Composer, teacher, and singer; British-Pakistani composer Samia Malik uses her work to discuss topics of race, gender, and religion. She believes in empowering others through music, and sees her performances as a chance to help bring justice to those marginalised within society.

For over 25 years Samia Malik has been exploring her experiences as a woman from a Pakistani Muslim background through her work, teachings, and touring her unique Ghazal songs in Urdu and English.

In her own words, Samia describes her experiences as a woman and how this influences her work:

Being a woman and being a third child defined me throughout my early life, severely limiting my opportunities and mapping a restricted possibility of action and a future for me. The arts saved me – I was 20 years old when I read Amrit Wilson’s Finding a Voice about the experiences of Asian women living in Britain in the 80s which made me realise that my experience was not unique; it gave me the courage to leave and find my own path. As a result, I have been on a lifelong exploration of my identity through my performances. Anger has certainly been a fuel, and freedom was the goal. Ultimately, I can only hope my words and actions save others, though I do not make art for that reason. I make it because it saved me!

Her song, ‘The Third Daughter’, is based entirely on her own life experiences. However, Samia believes that the message it carries still echoes the common experiences shared by women across the world. Take a listen to it here:

Samia Malik's British Music Collection records can be found online via here.


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Composer Profile: Samia Malik