Arif Lohar (born 1966) is a Punjabi folk singer from Pakistan. He usually sings with a native musical instrument resembling tongs (called a ‘chimta’). His folk music is a representative of the traditional folk heritage of the Punjab. He is the son of folk singer Alam Lohar.
Arif Lohar was born in Lala Musa in Gujrat District, Punjab, Pakistan. His father was Alam Lohar, a prominent folk singer in Pakistan. Arif Lohar started singing with his father and eldest brother, Arshad Mahmood Lohar, and younger brother Tariq Lohar at an early age. Arif Lohar briefly moved to acting in Punjabi movies before returning to his music career at the age of 22.
He is the only South Asian artist to have performed in North Korea as part of an international delegation of peace and goodwill, performing in front of late President Kim Jong Il. In 2004, he performed in China for the opening of the Asian Games, which had a crowd of close to 1 million. Arif Lohar has had more than 50 foreign tours around the world during the last 20 years, including in the UK, US and UAE. He has also played multiple lead roles in Punjabi movies, and sang and produced three songs for the soundtrack of Syed Noor’s film Jugni (film), the highest grossing Pakistani film of 2012. In 2005, Arif Lohar was awarded the Pride of Performance Award from the Government of Pakistan – the highest civil award in Pakistan. To date he has more than 150 albums to his credit and more than 3000 songs recorded, mostly in the Punjabi language. In 2006, he made headlines in the Punjabi music world by releasing his album 21st Century Jugni, with music produced, arranged and mastered by Mukhtar Sahota in Wolverhampton, UK, and released by Internalmusic UK. In June 2010, Arif Lohar participated in Coke-Studio (Pakistan live session programme by Rohail Hayat). In Coke-Studio season 3, Arif Lohar performed “Alif Allah (Jugni)” with upcoming musician Meesha Shafi. Arif lohar’s performance for Coke Studio consisted mainly of two soundtracks, Mirza and Alif Allah Chambey Dey Booti/Jugni (collaboration), which became an international success that contributed to several notable precludes by other artist, singers and comedians. Recently Saif Ali Khan bought the right of Alif Allah Chambey Dey Booti/Jugni as a feature song for his Bollywood movie Cocktail. Other versions of Jugni have also been featured in Bollywood movies, including an adapted version of Mukhtar Sahota and Arif lohar’s 2006 album 21st Century Jugni in Diary of a Butterfly