Ashar Z Shah, AKA Manifest ONE, was born on August 12, 1983 in Karachi, Pakistan. His family moved to Southern California in 1987. Shah purchased his first Michael Jackson cd, “Bad,” in 1988 and later found himself intrigued by the style, energy and charm of rappers Run DMC and The Beastie Boys. He began writing about the injustices he witnessed in his early teens, which ultimately led to him writing his own music and to begin performing as a hip hop artist by the age of 15. Shah knew he wanted to pursue music as a career by the time he witnessed his first concert at 17, inspired by the performances of hip hop artists The Roots and Jurassic 5. Upon graduation from Rancho Cucamonga High School in 2001, Shah enrolled as an English major at Cal Poly Pomona and graduated in 2006 with a degree in Business Management. Even as an undergrad, Shah continued performing under his stage name Manifest ONE and released his self-titled debut album in 2004.