nabil amiry: What country were you born in? If you were born outside of Canada, how old were you when you arrived here?
Mozhdah: I was born in Kabul, Afghanistan and my family was forced to leave when I was 5 years of age. We lived in Islamabad, Pakistan for a year before moving to Canada. We resided in Oshawa, Ontario for a couple of years and later settled in Vancouver, British Columbia.
nabil amiry: Where do you currently reside?
Mozhdah: I have lived in Vancouver, British Columbia for most of my life. I find it is one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
nabil amiry: Have you had a chance to visit Afghanistan?
Mozhdah: I never had a chance to visit Afghanistan because of my studies, but it is definitely a dream of mine to go back one day.
nabil amiry: What subjects did you enjoy studying in school? What subjects have you majored in?
Mozhdah: I can honestly say I loved every subject in school except for Mathematics, and Physics. I recently received my Diploma of Technology in Broadcast Journalism from the British Columbia Institute of Technology and am currently majoring in Philosophy at the University of British Columbia. I do have to admit, it is getting tough juggling school and music. I have an unbelievable thirst for knowledge and I’ve understood that the more you learn, the more you realize how little you know. I have a long way to go…My favorite educational quotes are:
“Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.” Malcolm X.
“There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance.” Socrates.
nabil amiry: Other than Dari and English, do you sing in any other languages?
Mozhdah: I have yet to release a song in Pashto, and I am happy to announce that there will be one very soon bakhair. I’ve been working very hard on getting the pronunciation right because if you’re going to do something, you do it right. My father, who is originally from Herat, speaks fluent Pashto, and he has been a great help.
nabil amiry: What do you think has been your biggest obstacle as an Afghan female musician
Mozhdah: Being an Afghan female has definitely been the biggest obstacle. There have been so many obstacles that I have lost count. The only reason I have made it this far is because of the amazing level of support from my wonderful parents, as well as brothers. My mother is an extremely strong woman, and I have learned a lot from her. My father believes that the issue of women’s rights should not even exist in this century. He writes the lyrics to most of my songs, and he has written a piece particularly about Afghan Women. It’s called “Dokhtare Afghan”, and the composition is my own. The Afghan music industry is very male dominated, and I feel some of them don’t take female artists too seriously. I could write a book about how unfair the Afghan music industry is to women. Again, I am very grateful for the strength and support of my family. They are my backbone. I definitely owe everything to my fellow Afghans for their constant support, encouragement, and acceptance from the beginning.
nabil amiry: Being a successful singer must bring many rewards with it. In your opinion, what are some rewards that you’ve gained throughout your journey?
Mozhdah: The best reward is reading amazing e-mails, letters, Facebook and Myspace messages from fellow Afghans. I make sure to reply to every single message because I appreciate their kind words, support, and constant encouragement. The best feeling of all is when I receive messages from girls who let me know I have helped them realize they can do, and be anything they want (with respect for their families wishes of course).
nabil amiry: What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Mozhdah: My favorite thing to do is read fictional novels. My mind gets lost into a different world, and sometimes you just need to escape reality, it is fun, and you learn a lot. I also love Tae Kwon Do, and basketball, but my first priority is spending as much time as I can with my cat “Mittens”. Cats don’t live very long, so I want to spend as much time with him as I can.
nabil amiry: You seem to have a good eye for fashion. Aside from singing, is it safe to say that fashion is another one of your interests?
Mozhdah: I don’t know if I should admit this, but my mother buys/designs all of my clothing. I actually don’t know much about fashion, but am slowly learning from her. She has an amazing talent when it comes to fashion. She makes me wear things that look so “out of this world” sometimes, but then I see them in stores one year later, so she is definitely ahead of the fashion game.
nabil amiry: Who were some of your musical (or non-musical) inspirations growing up?
Mozhdah: My biggest inspiration, I would have to say, is Marhoom Ahmad Zahir. I started listening to him at a very young age, and although I didn’t attempt singing until recently, his music would just make me want to sing. My parents’ way of thinking inspired me to follow my dreams, and my mother’s family is very involved in music.
nabil amiry: How is it traveling and touring all over the world? Are there specific cities that you most enjoy performing in?
Mozhdah: It has always been a dream of mine to be closer to my people, especially because I have been a bit isolated growing up. There is no better way to be close to my people than through music. Music brings people together, and puts minds in a state of euphoria. Being on tour is amazing because I’m constantly surrounded by my people. I’ve enjoyed performing in all cities that I have been to, but my dream is to perform in Afghanistan itself one day bakhair.
nabil amiry: You recently won a Noor TV Award. Please tell us about that experience.
Mozhdah: Noor TV has been one of my biggest supporters since the start of my music career and it was an honor to be nominated. I really have to thank everyone who voted for me. I owe the award to my fans, the ones who made it happen.
nabil amiry: Do you have any CD’s on the market for fans to purchase?
Mozhdah: My very first CD will be released by March/April 2009. It took a lot of hard work, and more than two years to complete, so I’m really hoping that everyone will like it.
: Please give one final message to Payam-e Rooz readers.
Mozhdah: Please have respect for your fellow Afghans, Hazara, Pashtun, Herati, Kabuli, at the end we are one nation and one people!! For all of you younger people, education is the key to a successful future, and a successful nation, so make sure you secure your future, and nation.