Pakistan girls sing way to fame with Justin Bieber's Baby

  • 9 March 2015
  • From the section Asia
Saania and Muqqadas Tabaydar with their mother Shahnaz
Image caption Saania and Muqqadas Tabaydar were filmed performing Baby with their mother Shahnaz on percussion

Neighbours gather at windows and on rooftops surrounding the Tabaydar house in a very poor neighbourhood on the outskirts of Lahore.

It feels like an open-air concert - men, women and children are cheering and trying to get the best vantage point to watch the performance.

The two girls they want to see are 15-year-old Saania and 13-year-old Muqqadas Tabaydar, also known as 'Justin Bibis'.

The teenage sisters became an internet sensation when a video of them singing Justin Bieber's song Baby, with their mother doing background beats on a pot, went viral.

'Pakistan's got talent'

People in Pakistan took to social media. Some announced that Bieber had "competition" in these two girls.

"Pakistan's got talent" was another popular comment about the sisters.

"We've been singing since we were very young - many members of our family sing too. We know all sorts of Pakistani and Bollywood songs," said Saania.

"But we especially love Justin Bieber songs because they touch our hearts.

"When we heard Baby, we started dancing and jumping around and we just lost ourselves to it," she added.

Her sister Muqqadas said they have both listened to the song about 70 times.

Media captionSingers Saania and Muqqadas Tabaydar: "We love Justin Bieber songs because they touch our hearts"

"When I heard the song I forgot to eat or drink. I was just listening. I kept practising and practising until I learned it by heart.

"This song has been really lucky for us because we've now become famous!"

'Like magic'

Saania and Muqqadas come from a very poor family and dropped out of education after primary school.

They do not speak much English so to learn the song they sounded out the words and transcribed them into Urdu.

They coached each other on the lyrics and the melodies.

They were soon picked up by local television channels who invited them to perform live.

The new-found fame is a big shift from their daily life.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The girls say their biggest wish is to meet Justin Bieber
Image caption The girls, who cannot speak English, sounded out the words and wrote them in Urdu

"We really didn't expect all of this to happen to us, to be famous like this. 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.

"We had our hair and make-up done. We'd never been to a beauty parlour before. All of it was like magic so who knows what will happen next," said Saania smiling.

Their mother Shahnaz Tabaydar said she was also a big fan of Justin Bieber.

"I still can't believe all of this happened to my daughters, all thanks to Justin Bieber. I like him a lot. I feel he's like my son.

"I wish that my girls could one day become professional singers in Pakistan and India. I hope they get the support they need."

Mrs Tabaydar said the girls were taken out of school because the family was too poor. "But I really want them to go back," she said.

Their father said he was proud of his daughters.

Pakistan is a religiously conservative country and girls singing in public is frowned upon. But their father says they have not received any criticism.

"My daughters do something not many others girls can do. They sing English songs which are very hard for them, but they manage it."

Saania and Muqqadas say they want to travel the world.

"Our biggest wish, though, is to meet Justin Bieber and to sing with him."

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