“The song is a tribute to all the people who go through cancer. Not just the people who go through cancer but the people who have to go through it with the ones suffering”, Maria Unera Qureshi while introducing the song. The singer, songwriter, and actor from Islamabad has a special connection to the composition having lost her mother to the disease last year.
Maria has been instrumental in the emerging music scene in Pakistan.
Starting from her stint with the All Girls Band from Nescafe Basement, she also appeared in Levi’s Live and Walnut sessions. While working with several other campaigns she has also continued to pursue her solo music career. Along the way, she has worked with media moguls like Xulfi and Farhad Humayun while also dipping her toes with amateur musical acts in the capital.
Titled “Strong” the song laments over the struggles of cancer patients and is particularly heart-wrenching due to Maria’s personal experiences.
Maria’s mother was diagnosed with cancer and unfortunately, lost the battle and passed away last year. The song explores how she spent her time trying to encourage her mother to remain positive through her illness and believe in whatever God has in store.
“You taught me how to live, you taught me how to love.”
“You taught me to be the best that I ever could be.”
“Please, darling, be strong. I know it’s been long”
Ending with the “Lord, please help my mama be strong”, we’re left with a photograph from her childhood.
Speaking to MangoBaaz about the song, Maria shares, “this song is particularly close to my heart as it takes me back to the final moments I spent with my mother. In the last few days when she was in a coma, this song turned into something more. It turned into a prayer, of sorts, when she was lying unconscious. We knew she wasn’t going to make it and her body was weak. During that time, every now and then I would read these lyrics to her, humming them in her ear. In a way, these lyrics became the last words I ever spoke to her.”
“I held her hand this one time and said the words, ‘Lord please help my mother be strong’ and she slowly woke up, clenched my hand really tight after which she went back to sleep. Six hours later, we lost her. “
“I do believe wherever she may be now, she’s listening. Up in the heavens above, I know she’s there. Just because of that one experience.”
Calling herself a full-time musician, Maria Unera Qureshi disclosed that she’s working on a number of projects and collaborations at the time while also dedicating all her energies towards an entire EP. Each song has a bridge in between and she wants to explore the mother-daughter relationship in each one of them.
The 22-year-old half-Filipino singer dedicates her time to multiple social initiatives including “Dance for Life”, an international platform that mobilizes youths to raise awareness and push back the spread of HIV and AIDS.
This video is a tribute to all those that have suffered due to this terrible illness, powered by FM 91.
Watch full video here:
This post has been sponsored by FM91. FM91’s CSR platform, 91Cares, released “Strong” as part of it’s Cancer Day initiative. The video has been directed by Bilal Khan of “Moving Images”, produced by FM91 with support from TVOne and recording support by Dixson studios. Their aim is to give Maria a platform to express and showcase her talent as well as show solidarity to all those that have been affected by the disease.