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Pakistani Rock Star's Roots in U.S. Metal

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Pakistani Rock Star's Roots in U.S. Metal

Pakistani Rock Star's Roots in U.S. Metal

Pakistani Rock Star's Roots in U.S. Metal

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/91232580/91232621" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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Lead singer Salman Ahmed of the Pakistani rock band Junoon performs during a concert in Srinagar, in the Indian-administered region of Kashmir, May 25, 2008. Tauseef Mustafa/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Tauseef Mustafa/AFP/Getty Images

Lead singer Salman Ahmed of the Pakistani rock band Junoon performs during a concert in Srinagar, in the Indian-administered region of Kashmir, May 25, 2008.

Tauseef Mustafa/AFP/Getty Images

As part of our series, "The Urban Frontier," Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep speaks with musician Salman Ahmad.

Ahmad was born in Pakistan, but grew up in suburban America listening to bands like Van Halen. When his family returned to Pakistan so he could study to be a doctor, Ahmad took along his guitar.

He discovered that Pakistan, under a military dictatorship, "had changed significantly from the '70s and I landed in the middle of that nightmare."

Ahmad's music shocked Pakistan, and Pakistan shocked him.