The muse can be a fickle thing to find, but Nida Manzoor’s inspiration has always been close to home. “My sister, Sanya, is only a year older than me and she is such a big influence on my work,” says the screenwriter and director. “She’s always been a rebel and I hated to see her being told what to do. She’s become my muse.”
Manzoor’s free-spirited sister has long been a theme in her work. Manzoor, 33, rose to prominence in 2021 with her debut Channel 4 series, We Are Lady Parts, which told the story of an all-female Muslim punk band balancing cultural pressures with trying to write thumping tracks lambasting their daily lives. The Manzoor sisters, who were brought up by Pakistani Muslim parents in Singapore and then London, wrote the music for the series together, along with their brother, Shez . The frontwoman of the fictional band is a tattooed, straight-talking singer called Saira, a commanding presence that Manzoor created to mirror Sanya’s energy. “Sanya is now a musician and spiritual life coach who lives in Berlin, plus she is covered in tattoos,” she says admiringly.
Read the interview in the Observer.
[This piece was published on 16/04/23]