Shah was born in Swat at Pirkali and lives in Karachi, where he was cultured and educated. He is an ethnic Pashtun. He is multi-lingual and is fluent in Pashto, Urdu, and Punjabi.
Shah's solo career began in the late 1990s with lots of hits to his credit from the onset, to mention the song Ghum
which broke popularity records. Ghum
is not Rahim Shah's personal composition; it is Pashto folk song or tappa, sung by an anonymous singer. Haroon Bacha, a well-known Pashtun singer also sang Ghum
, but it was Shah who made the song a hit because he translated the "tappa" into Urdu and gave the song his own arrangement. In a short span of time, Shah has shown his singing talent beyond belief. He sang Ghum
under the supervision of Salman Alvi and recorded his album working extremely hard on making it different from others. The song turned out to be a huge hit and was highly appreciated by the people.His Pashto album Peera
became an instant hit after its release. Another album called Sabaru
had success with the tracks Tap Tap
, in the same year he released another Pashto album titled Medda Medda
. After taking a short time of reflection he returned to work bringing another hit with the song Channa
. He also worked on three videos that were Priya
and Rang Lai Mehndi
, directed by Sarwar whereas Suhail Javed directed his third video Tere Ishq Ne
. Shah also sang Jhoola
, which he wrote and dedicated to his mother whom he dearly loves.Shah once said the only difference he saw between his debut album and his current album is the music arrangement.His new '12 track' album has taken a year to produce and will be released by the help of Fire Records. Shah has placed a real touch to his arrangements and used authentic music in the songs. The album contains music from three genres: Film based music, folk music and pop music. Currently, he has also been working on a video with professional focus on high budget videos with visual and marketing aids, which are an essential requirement within today's music industry. Shah is known to have said, "There is no doubt that we (Pakistani's) have got very good music, but they (Indians) have a very good market.
Audience in India
Shah attracted the attention of Indian audience with his song Pehle Toh Kabhi Kabhi Gham Tha
, a tune which was sung in Pashto by renowned Pashto singer Haroon Bacha. This was later re-copied by Indian singer Altaf Raja. Shah still has somewhat of a fan base in India.
Shah's favorite singers are Salman Alvi, Nayyara Noor, Sonu Nigam, and Asha. He has interest in welfare work, but he doesn't like to ask for donations. He said about his short hair, "It's better a singer is remembered for his cheerful sounding vocals than his long hair."