A PRODIGY, RETOOLING SOUTH ASIAN MUSIC IN FUTURISTIC CONTEXT! IN CONVERSATION WITH Abdullah Siddiqui

Eccentric, somewhat of an enigma but there’s no denying his genius and creative intuition towards Pakistan’s music scene.
Social Diary had an interesting conversation with the absolute brilliant Abdullah Siddiqui who at the tender age of 18 years, dwelled into giving EDM its rightful stature in our industry. His soulful tunes, thought-provoking lyrics and out-of-the box works of art continues to impress the masses and we can’t wait to see what he’s up to next. Let’s hear it from Abdullah:

SD: Having established so much at such a young age, when was the first time you were inclined towards creating music?
Abdullah: I’ve always been very musical. I used to listen to pop music obsessively at a very young age, and really just wanted to be a part of it. At around the age of 11, I started learning how to produce my own music electronically and instantly fell in love with the process. And I’ve been creating ever since.
SD: Where do you get your inspiration from?
Abdullah: I feel like my point of inspiration changes with every project I do, and that’s how I allow myself to stylistically reinvent. At the core of it though, my lyrics are always inspired by my own life and its emotional ups and downs. The filter that I pass that through is what changes. For example, my first two albums looked at my life through the lens of scientific language and futurist pop aesthetics. My new album is much more diaristic and honest.
SD: Your music has such a melancholic sound to it; is there a special process you adapt when creating new work?
Abdullah: My writing process has gotten a lot more defined over the years. At this point my approach involves writing down everything I’m feeling in a given moment in a completely prosaic way, and then going through what I’ve written and picking and choosing particularly alluring themes and phrases, and then putting that into a more poetic or lyrical framework.
SD: Among all the collaborations you’ve done, which has been the most exciting and awakening experience for you?
Abdullah: I think that has to be my experience working with Meesha Shafi. I find that in this industry, rarely does a collaborative relationship last beyond the process of making a song, but Meesha and I have found a very unique and prolific creative synchronicity that has allowed us to collaborate on many songs (a few of which are hopefully going to come out soon), as well as maintain a really amazing friendship and mentor/mentee dynamic.
SD: We heard you are still quite shy when it comes to making a strong presence in front of the camera, is the fame becoming too overwhelming?
Abdullah: I’ve definitely struggled with keeping myself in the public eye, and more specifically, being in front of the camera with confidence. And that can be a real detriment to a career in music, which is a very visual medium. If people can’t see you, you’re not an engaging personality. I do feel that that’s beginning to change for me though; these last few months, I’ve done several video projects in a row, and I’ve begun to feel myself loosen up.


SD: Your music has melancholic tones to it; how do you wish to bring an edge to Pakistan’s music stance with your unique production?
Abdullah: I’ve always been a futurist. I want to level the playing field, and bring Pakistan into the same soundscape that the world is in, and maybe even a few notches ahead of that. I’m particularly excited about the idea of retooling South Asian music in a futuristic context, that involves more than turning it into EDM or trap music.
SD: Share with our readers about your recently launched third album ‘dead beat poets’, what kind of music can we expect from it?
Abdullah: This album was definitely a departure for me. It’s still electronic but it has a lot more acoustic element. It’s more in the realm of ambient Americana, country and folk, and the lyrics are a lot more personal.
SD: Do you feel there is a huge disparity between mainstream and underground music, also do we target the right audience for both within Pakistan?
Abdullah: There is a disparity, but I feel like that gap has been closing as of late. It’s almost a cyclical process in the industry, where indie musicians rise to prominence and then they are plucked out of obscurity and brought into the mainstream.
SD: How would you say the lockdown has impacted your creativity and can we expect to see you in live performances this year?
Abdullah: I’m honestly so grateful that the lockdown was actually very conducive to my creative process. I’m not naturally super outgoing, so being alone for extended periods of time allowed me to introspect in new ways, and the result of all that introspection is my new album, “dead Beat poets”. Once the COVID situation is a bit better, I would love to get back to performing. I do miss the stage.

 



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