From an aspiring cover singer to a renowned musician Abdullah Qureshi has come a long way! Get yourself a nice cup of tea and read along as Social Diary gets to know more about this talented singer and musician!
- Who is Abdullah Qureshi? Tell us about yourself (your background, education, lifestyle etc.)
A self taught musician who started singing at the age of 4, started playing the guitar at the age of 12 and decided to pursue music professionally in my first semester of university. I have a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication from NUST. I like being real and not made up. A very casual Islamabadi guy, peace lover and full of music inside out.
- How did you get started as a musician?
Well I used to record acoustic covers on this small digital camera and upload them on YouTube. This is about 8 years back from now. Then I started getting gigs, played a few gigs for free and then eventually started getting paid gigs. That’s when I finally decided that this can become my bread and butter.
- How would you describe your music style?
Every song of mine sounds different from the previous one. I don’t restrict myself to one sound, I create whatever I feel like creating and that is the beauty of art, you’re free to make whatever you want. I still don’t know how to categorise my music, every song falls in a different genre.
- Who are the music inspirations for you, both national and international?
Junoon, Vital Signs, Amir Zaki,Noori,EP,Mauj,John Mayer,Foo Fighters,Porcupine Tree,Coldplay .
There are a lot more, the list keeps going.
- You have been a part of the music industry for a good while now; however we have seen a surge in your popularity and music recently. To what do you owe your breakthrough?
Breakthroughs are for one hit wonders. I have a journey. Every step, every release had some kind of value in my music career.
- Had music always been something you wanted to pursue professionally as in was there a game plan or at that time things just went with the flow?
There was no game plan at all, there still isn’t. The mission is to keep making good music and keep putting it out there for the world.
- How experimental are you with your music? Is there a tried and true formula that you find fits your music style best?
I’m open to experimenting. All of my new songs sound very different from one another which I consider a good thing because people enjoy change. However I do have a formula with the songwriting process, I start humming the melody with my guitar first and then pen down the lyrics over that melody.
- What was the inspiration behind your original songs like Kali Santro, Tere Liye, Intezaar and Dastaan?
Kali Santro was about my first car. Intezaar was a friend’s break up story. Tere Liye and Dastaan were about my own personal experiences.
- What is your take on the current state of the music industry in Pakistan?
I think it’s getting better now. We’ve seen bad times when music channels were finished and YouTube also got banned but then things picked up again and now different brands are putting on different shows like Coke Studio, Nescafe Basement, Pepsi battle of the bands, Levis Live etc.
So you can’t just sit home and blame the industry, if you’re good enough you’ll get somewhere someway or the other.
- Do you think more concerts will boost the music scene in Pakistan?
Ofcourse, we have very less public/commercial concerts these days. Most of the concerts are in schools and universities which are amazing by the way but Pakistan needs bigger shows in public venues to reach out to the masses.
- Would you say promoting music through concerts and music albums is still effective in Pakistani context?
Concerts yes but music albums are dead. The more effective way is to release singles. One by one. It’s 2018, its the digital age, no one buys albums anymore, not in Pakistan atleast.
- Do you foresee yourself going commercial in the near future? Composing for television shows, films or other similar collaborations?
I already have done that but since I never planned on becoming a playback singer I always focused more on my own music. But ofcourse you don’t say no to these kind of projects as long as they give you complete creative freedom.
- We must say, you have expressive looks that are ideal for acting. Have you considered venturing into dramatics?
I was offered a Bollywood film 2 years back but I turned it down because they had some intimate scenes which I didn’t wanted to do. I keep getting offers for our local dramas but I haven’t said yes because I feel I want to make more music first because that’s what I love, acting is not my passion.
- So what’s next for you?
I’m coming up with 3 new singles. Good music, cool videos, can’t say much but I’m really excited to share it with the fans. The first one comes out this month.
- How have you been dealing with your popularity?
It feels good overall. Your private life if kind of disturbed a little since people want to know everything that’s going on in your life, point at you at restaurants etc. All of that is annoying sometimes but it also feels great and gives you a confidence boost when the same people come up to you and appreciate your work.
- Share any funny and/or memorable incidents with the fans?
I was standing at McDonalds, I was about to order and suddenly I heard the loudest scream ever from the girl standing beside me and then she ran off outside. Of course she screamed out of excitement but the staff kept staring at me like I did something to her but then she caught her breath and came back in for a picture. It was embarrassing at first but we all had a good laugh about it later.
- Any message for your followers and fans?
Keep listening to good music, keep supporting and cherish the little things in life.
- Who was the last person you got a text from?
Ussayd. My friend/bassist/manager.
- Last book you read?
I tried really hard and I was never able to read books. But I really want to start reading now.
- Favorite movie/s?
Rockstar (Hollywood). I’ve seen it more than 20 times and I can watch it again any day!
- Your all time celebrity crush?
- You favorite TV series of all time?
Two and a half men
- Your biggest fear?
Heights and deep waters
- Biggest wish?
- You spend most of your money on?
- Favorite perfume?
Kenneth Cole – Reaction
- Early bird or Nocturnal?
- Favorite pizza topping?
- Your favorite city in Pakistan?
Islamabad, without a doubt.
- Ideal breakfast menu?
I skip breakfast everyday and have lunch instead.
One word for the following:
- Momina Mustehsan
- Saheefa Jabbar
- Mahira Khan
- Atif Aslam
- Ali Azmat