Junoon (Sufi Rock Band) – Complete Biography

#Junoon (Urdu: ????) (meaning “obsession” in Urdu and “madness” in Arabic) is one of Pakistan’s most popular Rock bands, based out of Karachi. It was formed in 1990 by guitarist/songwriter/medical doctor Salman Ahmad.

Junoon (Sufi Rock Band of South Asia)

Junoon (Sufi Rock Band of South Asia)


#Lahore, #Karachi, #Pakistan

#Sufi #Rock, #Alternative

Years active:
1990 – Present

EMI: Pakistan
EMI Arabia
Lips Records
Sadaf Stereo

John Alec
Sameer Chatterjee
Tom France
Sunny Jain
Jeremy Wilms

Former members
Brian O’Connell
Nusrat Hussain
Jay Dittamo



#Junoon has played a major role in bringing the people of India and Pakistan close to one another. When tensions were high after the nuclear explosions in 1998, Junoon’s’ “Yaaron yehi dosti hai” was being played quite enthusiastically across music channels in India which also had a sizeable audience in Pakistan. Junoon’s viewpoints on nuclear tests were loud enough to reach the White House. Their claim that rather than spending billions on nuclear weapons which would basically cause nothing more ruthless destruction, should be spent on spreading the light of education, alleviating poverty and providing good socio-health care conditions to the masses. Junoon was the first band to have played in the troubled state of Kashmir in India in 2008.


Salman Ahmed - Lead Guitarist

– Salman Ahmad (Guitar/Songwriter)
* Founder of the band
* Song Writer/Leader/Lyricist/Guitarist/Pianist/Composer/Co-Producer of the band
* Previously was in Vital Signs, Eclipse, Eastern Winds, The Doctor’s League (pop band)
* Brought up in Rockland County, New York.
* Appeared in the VH1 News Special Islamabad Rock City, a rockumentary on Junoon hosted by Susan Sarandon
* Appeared in the PBS/BBC documentary The Rockstar and the Mullahs in 2003.
* Appeared in the PBS/BBC documentary It’s My Country Too in 2005.
* UN Goodwill Ambassador for HIV/Aids
* Made two appearances on Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher in 2001.
* Currently teaches a course on Islamic Music at the City University of New York’s Queens College campus and is involved with QC professor Dr. Mark Rosenblum’s efforts to bring Jewish and Muslim students together through shared cultural and musical experiences.
* Performed at the Nobel Peace Prize ceremonies in 2008, headlining the event with famous stars such as Kylie Minogue, Annie Lennox, Umma Thurman and Kevin Spacey.

– Ali Azmat (Lead Vocalist)
* Previously was in Jupiters.
* An icon of angry youth, he commands a wide range of vocals.

– Brian O’Connell (Bass)
* A U.S. citizen by origin who eventually called Pakistan his home[citation needed].
* Was friends with Salman Ahmad long before Junoon was formed.
* Joined the band during the second album Talaash in 1992.
* Responsible for harmonizing the western 5-string bass riffs with the traditional tabla and drums.
* Was married toPakistani actress and model Ayeshah Alam

– Shehryar Ahmad (Band Manager)
* Pakistani-American, born in London, England
* Attended University of California, Los Angeles
* Trained as an investment banker with JP Morgan at their 23 Wall Street office
* Designed www.junoon.com as the first Pakistani music website[citation needed]
* Joined the band to release the Azadi album, negotiating the band’s first international record deal with EMI World.
* Arranged Junoon’s first international tour of the US, UK, Europe, the Middle East, Japan, China and India.
* Negotiated largest endorsement contract with Coke in 2003.
* Announced departure from the band in 2005 to join BMA Capital, an investment bank.

– John Alec (Producer/Bassist)
* Mixed and produced Azadi, Parvaaz, Ishq, Daur-e-Junoon, and Deewar
* Childhood friend of founder Salman Ahmad
* Owns J.A. Studios in New York
* Started playing bass for Junoon after Brian’s departure from the band

– Nusrat Hussain (Keyboards)
* Was previously with the band Vital Signs.
* Was part of Junoon only during the debut album.
* Was the voice behind the first composition and hit ‘Khawab’.
* Went on to release a solo album in 1992.
* Is a pilot for Pakistan International Airlines.


– Junoon (Obsession)

* Singles: “Khaub”, “Neend Aati Nahin”, “Heer”

* Label: EMI: Pakistan

– Talaash (The Search)

* Singles: “Bheegi Yaadein”, “Jazba-E-Junoon”, “Talaash”

* Label: EMI: Pakistan

* Released: 1991 * Released: 1993
– Kashmakash (Struggle)

* Singles: “Mujhay Insaf Do”, “Husan Walo”, “Saeein”

* Label: VCI Records

– Inquilaab (Revolution)

* Singles: “Dosti”,”Rooh Ki Pyas”, “Mein Kaun Hoon”

* Label: VCI Records

* Released: 1995 * Released: 1996
– Millennium 1990-2000

* Singles: “Azadi”, “Muk Gaye Nay”, “Allah Hu (Live)”

* Label: Lips Records

– Ishq (Love)

* Singles: “Chal Kuriye”,”Chaen”, “Ishq”

* Label: Lips Records

* Released: 2000 * Released: 2001
– Azadi (Freedom)

* Singles: “Khudi”, “Meri Awaz Suno”, “Sayonee”, “Yaar Bina”

* Label: EMI Arabia / VCI

– Parvaaz (The Flight)

* Singles: “Bulleya”,”Ghoom”, “Mitti”, “Sajna”, “Sanwal”

* Label: EMI Arabia / Lips Records

* Released: 1997 * Released: 1999
– Daur-e-Junoon (The Era of Junoon)

* Singles: “Garaj Baras” Live Songs: “Heer Alap”, “Sayonee”, “Jazba

* Label: Sadaf Stereo

– Junoon for Peace

* Singles: “No More”, “Khudi”, “Bulleya”

* Label: Nameless Music

* Released: 2002 * Released: 2002

* Junoon expressed interest in singing with Morten Harket, vocalist of the Norwegian band a-ha. Morten Harket and Junoon teamed up for a duet in 2001.
* Junoon has also sung a cover of the Morten Harket song ” Holy Ground “.
* Salman who is the UN Goodwill ambassador for HIV Aids, was invited once again recently to perform at the UN General Assembly Hall with Richard Gere, Whoopi Goldberg, Naomi Watts, Wyclef Jean (from the Fugees) and Jackie Chan in 2006.
* On December 11, 2007, Junoon performed on the Nobel Peace Prize Concert in Oslo, Norway together with a variety of artists, which was broadcast live to over 100 countries.


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