Rising Stars of 2022 

2022 has given rise to many new stars in music and screen. While this may have been fleeting for some, here are some of the new stars we think are here to stay on our screens, our playlists and in our minds.

Iman Vellani

Iman Vellani is a Pakistani-Canadian actress who debuted her acting career with Ms Marvel on Disney+. The actress represented her roots in a show that respected and addressed Pakistani history. She will be reprising her role as Kamala Khan in 2023’s The Marvels.

Abdullah Siddiqui

This musical genius has raised the bar for Pakistani music and musicians. He came under the spotlight after releasing the Nescafe Basement version of his Resistance. This year he embarked on a journey with Coke Studio 14 as an AP and the rest as they say is history. He has helped create literal magic with this project and there is no slowing down for Abdullah. We are rooting for him and we hope to see more and more of his work in 2023 and the years to follow. 

Hamza Khawaja 

The actor made his debut with Sarmad Khoosat’s Kamli earlier this year. Although the movie itself was dialogue-light, there was so much that the actor, in his debut performance delivered just through his expressions and acting. We are hopeful that we will be seeing more of him in the near future.

Shae Gill 

The young debutante made waves with her performance in Coke Studio 14’s Pasoori with Ali Sethi, following which she featured in Hassan and Roshaan’s leading single “Sukoon,” which has gained over a million views in just a few weeks. She is also Spotify’s EQUAL PAKISTAN Ambassador for December 2022 and was featured in NY Times Square.

Jenna Ortega

Jenna Ortega shone this year in her role of Wednesday Addams in Netflix’s Wednesday. Although the actress had been in Disney shows and minor roles since 2012, her role as the sharp-witted, gothic teen has pushed her into mainstream media. With the success the show has garnered, we can look forward to seeing Ortega in another season of the show.

Abdul Hannan 

Abdul Hannan became a popular name nationwide when his song Iraaday and Bikhra was ranked in the Top 10 Pakistani Hits Playlist on Spotify. Both the songs are still in the Top 10 list as the fans just cannot get enough of him. He also released a new song Siyah earlier this year and we managed to spot him at various concerts as well. In a conversation with Libas Now, the upcoming musician told us that he has a lot of fun things in the pipeline; and we are hoping to hear more from him in 2023. 

Simone Ashley

Although Simone Ashley had acted in mainstream shows before, like Netflix’s own S*x Education, her role as Bridgerton’s leading lady in the second season propelled her into being a household name. The actress gave a powerful performance in the show that resonated with the audience. Ashley will return to the screen with the third season of the show in 2023.

Hassan and Roshaan

The Pakistani musical duo have garnered massive success this year. Not only was their song featured in Disney’s Ms Marvel, but their latest single Sukoon ft. Shae Gill has exceeded 1.2 million plays on Spotify in just a few weeks. Their songs have taken the industry by storm and are receiving some cross-border love as well. Their new song which is set to release soon features QB.

Lewis Pullman

After many minor films and TV appearances, Lewis Pullman delivered a performance alongside Tom Cruise, Miles Teller and Jennifer Connelly in Top Gun: Maverick. The film, which has a box office of almost $1.5 billion has propelled Pullman into the limelight. He will be starring in the James Wan production of Salem’s Lot, an adaptation of the Stephen King novel by the same name.

Natasha Noorani 

The singer and music historian has been in the Pakistani music scene for a while, especially for spearheading Lahore Music Meet with Zahra Paracha, but it was only recently that she came into the spotlight with her music releases. Earlier she had given us songs like Baby Baby and this year she released Faltu Pyar with Hasan Raheem, which became instantly popular with Gen-Z listeners. She was also one of the musicians who made it to NY Times Square as Spotify’s EQUAL PAKISTAN Ambassador. She released a single Laiyaan from her debut album Ronaq, which will be released in the coming weeks and we cannot wait to hear more from her.

Faris Shafi 

We all know Faris Shafi for his music and there is no doubt that he’s developed his fanbase over the years. His acting is what qualified him for the Rising Stars list as he appeared in Bilal Lashari’s The Legend of Maula Jatt as Mooda earlier this year. His acting and character have won hearts of the audiences worldwide. Not only did he do a great job with the acting, but he also had the perfect comic timing (he is actually a funny man in real life) and we just want to see more of him on the screen in 2023 and well more music from him, we know we cannot get enough of that.

Austin Butler

Another former Disney star that rose to mainstream popularity this year, Austin Butler delivered an excellent performance in Elvis this June. The young actor was able to mimic the Rock n Roll icon’s distinct mannerisms and style, and deliver a stunning performance. The actor will be seen in Dune: Part Two next year, as well as in The Bikeriders alongside Tom Hardy.

Aashir Wajahat 

The singer/actor has appeared in various films, tv dramas and advertisements, but his prominent role as Azaan in ARY Digital’s Pinjra is a notable one. He has also sung the OST of drama with his on-screen mother Hadiqa Kiyani and it has been on our radar ever since it went on-air. Although he has had a musical career, in our opinion, his performance in this drama is applaudable and we cannot wait to see more of him in 2023 and the years to come. 

Eva B

The Balochi rapper became a household name after featuring in a song for Coke Studio 14 with Kaifi Khalil and Abdul Wahab Bugti. The song Kana Yaari became an instant hit amongst listeners and we have seen Eva B in the spotlight even more following its release. She had released numerous songs over the years and also became the first female Balochi rapper to be featured in NY Times Square for Spotify’s EQUAL PAKISTAN campaign.

Kaifi Khalil

The singer/composer comes from a family of musicians and is known for bringing a twist to traditional Balochi music with his style of combining it with modern music. His song Kana Yaari with Eva B and Abdul Wahab Bugti became popular soon after its release. Since then he has been a rising sensation amongst young listeners and his song Kahani Suno 2.0 was one of the most popular songs this year.

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