Her story is one which seems right out of an inspiring biopic. Yashal Shahid- an engineering student with a distinctive voice never knew her talent would get her noticed by our very own Rockstar ‘Ali Zafar’ which would pave the way for her to create amazing work which continues to impress and mystify the audience. Young, energetic and distinctive in her style, as she juggles her musical career along with her corporate , it seems she has let greatness come to her through the strings of her heart as her passionate voice continues to amaze one and all.
Social Diary had the pleasure to speak to this massive ball of energy as she dazzles us with work which is fresh like her mesmerizing vocals to the hit OST of popular drama ‘ Hum Kahan Keh Sachay Thay’, as well as hypnotic. Get to know her more:
SD: Music- was it something always on the cards since you were a little girl?
Yashal: Music was never on the cards. I only found out I had a voice in 2015 when I joined NUST and I was in my freshman year. I come from a family where both my siblings are doctors and my dad is in the Police force. So music wasn’t really even played in my house as such.
SD: You have such a distinctive voice- did you ever take on any vocal lessons?
Yashal: I didn’t take any vocal lessons. Funny thing is I had no training whatsoever and didn’t even know how to differentiate between keys but that didn’t stop me from developing my skills and pursuing my passion. What you see and hear is all me. Since 2015, I’ve been learning it all on my own. I never felt the need to hire someone or take any vocal lessons.
SD: Is it something that runs in the family or are you the odd one out?
Yashal: I am definitely the odd one out. As I said, the professions pursued in my family are far off from the artistic strings of music. I myself am an engineer but it was something that was meant to happen.
SD: Your first-time meetup with Ali Zafar sounds straight out of a movie- share with our readers how that collaboration happened?
Yashal: My first meetup with Ali bhai was definitely surreal. How it all happened was I had actually uploaded something for Nescafe Basement Online Audition. I sang Rockstar for the same. His management ended up contacting me and I went to Lahore with a couple of my friends. I had no idea that Ali bhai was going to be there when I thought I was only supposedly giving an audition. But he was there. It was completely magical. He has made a name for himself in such major ways, attaining the title of a global icon, it was overwhelming but also an amazing experience. I won’t shy away from saying that where I am today in the music industry is because of Ali Zafar. I am extremely grateful for this incredible journey.
SD: How do you create unique content – do you feel there is a certain niche in the music world which isn’t quite explored in Pakistan yet?
Yashal: My idea of unique content is limited within the parameters of whatever I feel the public is going to like. It really depends from artist to artist. Whatever you create, be it rock, pop, classic- it all comes down on how well you are able to understand your audience and what they’ll like. A few years back I was of the notion that the music in Pakistan is of a monotonous nature but it is not true. We have multiple artists who are making music which is distinctive and defines how talent has no limitations.
SD: For someone like you- young and completely new and unrelated to the world of glitz and glam, do you feel it becomes overwhelming?
Yashal: It’s very overwhelming. And I feel it’s the same for those who have been around this industry for a while. Every time before going up on stage, everyone gets the jitters. You feel a sense of nervousness taking over you. I feel everyone does go through that anxious phase. But the good thing is, we shake it off and go up on that stage and give our best to entertain the people who’ve come to listen to us. My definite advice to those who are starting off in the music industry is to take it slow, trust the process as it will all work out in the end.
SD: How have you been copying with the pandemic- personally and professionally?
Yashal: I would say I haven’t been copying as productively as I hoped. But I have learned alot about myself and discovered things which I probably wouldn’t have. This is through the ‘me’ time I invested in myself. I have come to the realization that everyone needs to go through the same for self-growth. At the professional end, I am writing and understanding that process. I am pursuing my music professional career along with that I am working in corporate too.
SD: Is there something new and exciting we can look forward to from your musical ingenuity in 2021?
Yashal: There is so much happening in 2021. I have actually recently relocated to Karachi so things are in a whirlwind but it is really exciting. Stay tuned for collaborations, singles and originals.
SD: Do you feel that emerging artists have to struggle a lot to make a mark or will talent shine its way through?
Yashal: Talent does shine its way through. But I would say some people do have it easy. People usually say that voice talent is enough but you do need to have a personality to go with it. Because among the 10 people you get, almost all of them could sing. However from those, only one is who you would call a performer and an artist.
SD: If there is one thing you wish to change about the music industry of this country, what would it be and why?
Yashal: I would change a few things. More innovative people need to come forth. There are a few monotonous things which need to get upgraded and changed. There is still some exploitation going on. If somebody is giving you their vocal, their production talent or if somebody is performing- pay them up. It is important to also give the credit where due. That and ofcourse breaking the monotonous chain and growing at par to global works of art is what we need to aim for.
IN A GLANCE
The Thing You are Grateful for in the Lockdown?
Being able to spend time with my family
Anyone special you want to work with for a music collaboration?
I would love to collaborate with Atif Aslam
The one thing that is a mood killer?
Bad Mouthing others
Three things you have with you all the time?
My phone, a ring that belonged to my grandfather, and the keys to my room.
Your favorite singer?
Currently listening to AP Dhillon a lot
Morning Person or Late Nights Enthusiast
Late Nights Enthusiast
Desi Wear or Western
Western all the way
Losing my parents
I did something really bad to somebody.
Here’s to hoping they’ll forgive me someday
Most Prized Possession
Some jewellery items like a chain I wear
Making really good friends
Someone you wish meet
Top 3 things on your bucket list
. Want to perform at Madison Square Garden
. Have a digital board at Times Square
. Want to get married to the love of my life in Paris
The best thing about your work
Effortless. It comes out naturally
The worst thing about your work
Coming across people who make you want to quit the industry
If you weren’t a singer, you would have been a..
Don’t really have other talents. So a basic 9-5 job.
What people don’t know about you?
I have done engineering from NUST and work at a multinational corporation.
The craziest rumor you heard about yourself
I’m very cocky, which I’m not. I’m a sweetheart.
Your dream destination
Globally-Santorini. Locally- Hunza