Bilal Maqsood

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Bilal Maqsood
Maqsood (left) with his father, Anwar Maqsood
Maqsood (left) with his father, Anwar Maqsood
Background information
Born (1971-03-23) 23 March 1971 (age 52)[1]
Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan
  • Guitar
  • Bass
  • Vocals
Years active1988–present

Bilal Maqsood (Urdu: بلال مقصود) is a Pakistani singer-songwriter, composer, music video director and painter better known for being a founding member of the pop-rock band Strings (1988–2021).

With his Strings partner Faisal Kapadia he was the director and co-producer of Coke Studio Pakistan from 2014 to 2017 and has also directed a number of music videos for his band as well for other artists.[2]

In 2020 he became the director and executive producer of another musical show, Velo Sound Station, for its first season.

After the end of Strings in 2021 he has chosen a solo career that he launched in 2022.

He along with fellow Strings band member Bilal Maqsood has been a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for Pakistan since September 2005.[3]

Early life[edit]

Bilal Maqsood is the son of the popular writer, actor, artist, TV host and comedian Anwar Maqsood.[4] His mother Imrana Maqsood is a novelist and playwright who has written children's books and cookbooks and is the recipient of numerous national awards.[5]

He is an alumnus of the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture.[6]

Music career[edit]

Strings (1988–2021)[edit]

For Bilal and his band Strings, formed in 1988, success came in 1992 after the launch of the song Sar Kiye Yeh Pahar, which was well received by the public. The quartet disbanded in 1992 so the members could concentrate on their studies and came back years later in 1999, with Bilal Maqsood and Faisal Kapadia now forming a duo even if other artists would complement them during the live performances. Generally, the band's music was composed by Bilal while the lyrics were penned by his father Anwar Maqsood.[7]

Strings made its entry into the Bollywood music scene in 2006, when the band sung Yeh Hai Meri Kahani for the movie Zinda, the single topping the charts.[8][1]

The band ended in 2021.[9]

Solo career (2022–present)[edit]

After his departure from Strings following 33 years of activities, Bilal launched his solo music career with gigs in Karachi and Lahore.[10]

In May 2022, he released his first solo single, Naya Naya, which he co-wrote with his father.[11]

Later during the same year he released the album Urdu Nursery Rhymes, having written, sung and composed eight nursery rhymes so children could get closer to the Urdu language.[12] He developed an online series for children named Pakkay Dost (transl. Close friend) in the vein of Sesame Street to further bolster children's entertainment in Urdu; the first episode was released in September 2023.[13]


Before seriously pursuing a career in music he was a painter, having his paintings exhibited at the Pakistan American Cultural Center in Karachi while he was still a student at the Indus Valley School of Art & Architecture.[14]

Since the end of Strings he's spending time on painting again, involving his son Mikael Maqsood in the process as well.[15]


Solo studio albums[edit]

  • Urdu Nursery Rhymes (2022)

Solo singles and EPs[edit]

  • Naya Naya (2022)
  • Zalima (2022)
  • Thak Sa Gaya Hoon (2022)



See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Bilal Maqsood Singer/ Composer/ Guitarist Strings".
  2. ^ "Profile on IVS' website". Archived from the original on 3 February 2023. Bilal was a co-producer and director of Coke Studio from 2014 to 2017, alongside his bandmate Faisal Kapadia. He's also directed music videos for his band and other artists.
  3. ^ "National ambassadors". UNICEF. 15 May 2019. Retrieved 19 February 2020.
  4. ^ "Strings and Javed Bashir make their comeback in Moor's 'Talabgaar'". Dawn. Pakistan. 21 July 2015. Retrieved 19 October 2018.
  5. ^ "Profile on Karachi Literature Festival's website". Archived from the original on 3 February 2023.
  6. ^ "Profile on Karachi Literature Festival's website". Archived from the original on 3 February 2023.
  7. ^ Chaudhuri, Shaswata Kundu (9 May 2021). "33 Years of Strings: How the Pakistani Band Championed Rock Music in the Subcontinent". The Wire. While Maqsood composed the songs, the lyrics were penned by his father – poet Anwar Maqsood.
  8. ^ "Strings, Bilal Maqsood, Faisal Kapadia – MTV UK".
  9. ^ "Pakistani band Strings comes to an end, as heart-broken fans demand a concert: 'They pulled a One Direction on us'". Hindustan Times. 26 March 2021.
  10. ^ Sabeeh, Maheen (9 May 2022). "Instep report: The surprisingly astonishing appeal of Bilal Maqsood". The News International.
  11. ^ Sabeeh, Maheen (15 May 2022). "Bilal Maqsood talks about first solo single, 'Naya Naya'". The News International.
  12. ^ "Bilal Maqsood releases nursery rhymes in Urdu". Daily Times. 11 March 2022.
  13. ^ "Bilal Maqsood debuts 'Pakkay Dost,' an online puppet show for children". Daily Pakistan Global. 2 September 2023. Retrieved 7 September 2023.
  14. ^ Rahman, Dr. Tariq (January 2009). "Sound and Vision". Newsline magazine.
  15. ^ "When Bilal Maqsood's son sketched India's most prolific artist in person". The Express Tribune. 24 June 2021.
  16. ^ Hindustan Times

External links[edit]