Ahmad Wali was born in Kabul, Afghanistan, as son of Mohammad Akram Nawabi, a former Police Commander who served in various provinces of Afghanistan. He is said to have grown up in an influential family around strict discipline. According to his official website, he is reported to have developed an interest in music, and particularly in singing, early on. He learned to play the Tabla (hand drums) at twelve years of age, before the renown Master player of Tabla Ustad Mohammad Hashim. Emerging from the background figure of a Tabla player, he eventually took the spotlight to start singing. First shadowing other commanding singers in events, he established a position for himself over time. He eventually recorded an audio tape of his live recordings which was presented to Ustad Zaland, a prominent director of Kabul Radio Station.
His encounter with Zaland proved fruitful as the legendary singer took the young singer under his wings. He composed a song for Ahmad Wali titled Chashman –e –Abee and this song coupled with Mah-ruye-tu (composed by A. Wali himself) immediately shot the singer to fame. This was when he was still attending the Habibia High School.
As was the practice in Afghanistan at the time, new talents were expected to immediately start performing live after their initial recordings to solidify their fame and gain mass popularity. Ahmad Wali’s first performance was held on the occasion of Mother’s Day on which day he sang the newly composed Ma Qurban-e-Saru-Paye-tu-Meshum Madar-e-man. A performance applauded, he immediately became a household name as the range of his voice and confidence coupled with his looks completely stunned Afghanistan. That year, he won the “Singer of the Year”">award. He continues to be one of the top singers of all times.
Given his talent and his look, he instantly became the new sensation of Afghanistan’s music industry. Vying with other professional rivals, he was counted as one of the top singers in Afghanistan. Several surveys conducted in the 70s named Ahmad Wali as the “Most Handsome” and “Most Goodlooking Bachelor” and “Most Desirable” singer. He often teamed with other singers in recording music albums, such as Hangama, Mahwash, Salma Jahani and others. He also joined the musical parties together with Ahmad Zahir, Zahir Huwaida , Ustad Nainawaz and others. Moreover, he toured Iran in an International cultural exchange event which further contributed to his popularity. At this time, he took upon himself to enroll in the orchestra group of Ministry of Interior .
Furthermore, he took music lessons from one of the greatest Masters of Classical Music, Ustad Sarahang. A couple years of complacency followed and then came the revolution of 1978 that gripped the nation into a political chaos. Between 1978 and 1980, Ahmad Wali (like other singers of his era) were harassed by various political factions. So in 1980, he fled the country for Germany where he restarted his career.
Throughout the early to mid 80s, Ahmad Wali toured several European countries. Often the proceeds of these concerts were sent to the refugees and displaced persons of the civil war of Afghanistan.
In 1987, Ahmad Wali moved to the United States and thereafter permanently settled in that country. He now continues singing in various parts of United States, often in concerts and charity events.
Ahmad Wali is one of the most popular and influential singers of his era, and his legacy of patriotism and musicianship has endured to this day. His devotion for his homeland and culture is evident in his songs and his generous donations for Afghanistan´s widows and orphans.
Ahmad Wali has played with lots of the great singers of Afghanistan throughout his career ex. Jalil Zaland , Nashenas, Zahir Howaida. His tabla player has been Siar Hashimi for the past decade. Siar has learned tabla from the great Zakir Hussain and is one of the most popular tabla players in the world.
Ahmad Wali, on numerous occasions in the 70s, had been linked to his fellow singer Hangama. The two recorded several songs together, and the attributed romantic chemistry of their music videos was a constant topic in the press. Neither of them admitted or denied any involvement beyond professional level when interviewed. But when the two left the country and met up in Germany again, they married. However, both Ahmad Wali and Hangama do not talk about their marriage or their subsequent divorce, the details of which are not elaborate written material.
However, Ahmad Wali has been re-married after divorcing Hangama and lives in San Francisco with his wife. He has a son named Masih from his first marriage who lives in Canada with Hangama.