Page 3 Profile: Saania & Muqaddas Tabaydar, singers


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Singing from the same songsheet?

Two sisters have been propelled to stardom in Pakistan after footage of them singing Justin Bieber’s “Baby” went viral. Saania and Muqaddas Tabaydar were filmed performing the hit song while their mother Shahnaz provided percussion beats on a pot.

I’d only just got the original version out of my head…

This one’s worth a listen. “We’ve been singing since we were very young …We know all sorts of Pakistani and Bollywood songs,” Saania, 15, told the BBC. The girls speak almost no English so to learn the 2010 track they sounded out the words and transcribed them into Urdu.

Of all the songs by all the pop stars in all the world, they had to pick one by Justin Bieber…

Sannia explained that she and her sister “especially love” songs by pop star because “they touch our hearts”.

I can’t say I feel the same.

The devoted teen said: “When we heard ‘Baby’, we started dancing and jumping around and we just lost ourselves to it.” Muqqadas,13, added that they had both listened to the song about 70 times. “When I heard the song I forgot to eat or drink…I kept practising and practising until I learned it by heart,” she said.

And now they’re internet stars just like their idol?

The sisters, who come from a poor neighbourhood on the outskirts of Lahore, have become overnight celebrities – their rendition of the song has been viewed 1.8 million times on Facebook.

What do they make of their new celebrity status?

“We really didn’t expect all of this to happen to us, to be famous like this,” said the teenagers, who have been dubbed “Justin Bibis”. “Because of this video we got on a plane for the first time and we’ve been on TV. That’s always been our dream,” they said.

What’s next on the agenda?

Mrs Tabaydar said her family was too poor to send her daughters to school: “I really want them to go back,” she explained. Saania and Muqqadas said that their “biggest wish” was to meet Justin Bieber and sing with him.