(born 25 October 1979) is an English songwriter who records as Bat for Lashes. Incredibly photogenic and fashion-minded, Khan is a glamorous figure for the alternative music realm; a seeming star-in-waiting, successor to that mystical/sexual rock-heroine crown. Bat for Lashes' music has been championed by Björk, Radiohead, M.I.A., Kanye West, and Devendra Banhart.
Khan was born to a Pakistani father and an English mother. Her father, Rahmat, is a member of the Khan squash-playing dynasty; her cousin, Jahangir, is the most famous squash-player of all time. Raised in Wembley, then Rickmansworth, but often tripping to Pakistan to visit extended family, Khan’s childhood was split between the two countries, and torn between the two cultures. Describing herself as being “really geeky and sad at school”, Khan spent her days, on either continent, “daydreaming in the garden”, playing with tadpoles, spiders, and dogs, and 'praying to aliens.'
When her parents divorced when she was 12, Khan turned to music, drawing inspiration from Björk and Kate Bush, two artists to whom she has been frequently compared. “Growing up, Bjork and Kate Bush were really important to me,” offers Khan. “I get tired of being compared to them, and I hope that, as time goes on, I’m going to peel away more and more layers of myself to the point where I’ve made something, and become something, that isn’t comparable. But I understand why it happens.
“As a young teenaged girl, I already had a relationship with music, and had already written my own compositions on piano. But until I discovered those artists, it felt like I was missing part of my family. To know your ancestry, to know those who’ve gone before, is hugely important to any budding, young creative people.
“When I first heard [Björk and Kate Bush], I thought: ‘oh, so it’s okay’. I saw how other people had been interested in the same things as me, and had felt as much passion and emotion for sensuality, or spiritual things, or magical, invisible things as I did. Things turned them on the same way they turned me on. It was like getting a pat on the head from an older sister.”
Befitting someone whose art-school dissertation was on “the artist’s preoccupation with childhood and the subconscious” —a thesis in which she spoke of Michel Gondry and Tim Burton— Khan still draws on those days in her songs.
“Nick Cave has that quote that ‘the child invites tragedy into its life in order that its life become a serious matter’, and I think that’s a really fundamental idea to a lot of my work,” she explains. “My music isn’t something I plonk out on a guitar in a quest to be famous. It’s deeply-rooted in the things I need to discuss about my childhood, growing up conflicted between two cultures.” … (Source: www.altmusic.about.com)