We know him as the singer behind Coke-Studio’s Umraan Langiyan, Bewaja and Mujhse Pehli si Muhabbat. His dun mic voice has touched souls and won a million hearts. Keep reading as Social Diary finds out more about the singer in this exclusive interview.
Tell us about your job, family, education.
Ans: I was born on 29th of August in Dubai. In my family we are five brothers including me and two sisters. I have studied up till B.COM (Bachelors) and I am planing to do a masters degree in Music.
How did you enter the field of music? What motivated you?
Ans: Many things motivated me to do music but most of all when I was a child I used to listen to Mohammad Rafi Sahb’s songs. They inspired me to become a singer. My first performance was when I took part in a competition when I was 7 years old singing Rafi Sahb’s song “Rang Aur Noor ki baaraat” in Dubai. As a matter of fact, I won that competition. From then on, I began to do more performances, leading up to another Indo-Pak singing reality show “SurKshetra.” I also won this competition. After that I started composing my own songs out of which “Bewajah” became a hit. Soon after “Bewajah” was in Coke Studio season 8 sung by myself. This was followed by another enormous hit “Kooch.” Because of my music people began to know me more and more. They were listening to my music, which made me happy. As well as doing original music, I have also done plenty of original sound tracks of Pakistani dramas and Film songs. Now I am planning to do more original music which is unique.
Have you taken any professional training?
Ans: As a child I had no formal training, however, I had some help from my father listening to good music, classical and semi-classical, pop and rock was also my teacher in a way. In 2011, I was taught by the ghazal maestro Ustad Ghulam Ali Khan sahb.
Tell us about your coke studio journey.
Ans: My first coke studio song was a solo in season 8 “Bewajah” and my second song was also in season 8 (Chan Chan Wanga). My most recent song in Coke Studio was in season 10 “Mujhse pehli si mohabbat” a collaboration with Madam Humaira Channa. I had three songs so far in Coke Studio. I had a great experience working with Strings my most favorite Pakistani Pop Band and the whole team of Coke Studio was amazing. Hopefully there is more come.
What were the most horrible odds you have fought with, to enter the industry?’
Ans: The list is too long. But everyone in this field has faced some sort of difficulty or hardship and they have worked hard to overcome that which is what I have done.
Can you tell me the story of your prior successes, challenges, and major responsibilities?
Ans: Prior successes has been mentioned above. When it comes to challenges, I would say that singing alongside other male singers who have a lot of potential is a challenge itself. As an artist in Pakistan, one of the things which I consider to be one of my biggest responsibilities is to provide the country with good music and to help the music industry in Pakistan prosper more and more. This includes film industry, drama industry, Pop industry, etc.
It’s common for musicians to be out of work for long periods of time. How can you supplement this time without work? How can you transition out of this period as quickly as possible?
Ans: The key to this is to always keep on working on something.
Which famous musicians or singers do you admire? Why?
Ans: I look up to many singers and musicians. A few favorites would be Mohammad Rafi Sahb, Kishore Da, Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Lata g, Madam Noor Jahan, Michel Jackson, Junoon etc. These are my favorites because I feel like their music is unique and heart touching.
What are your fondest musical memories? In your house? In your neighborhood or town?
Ans: I was always singing wherever I went, whatever I was doing I was always humming something, composing something or practicing.
How often and for how long do you practice? What do you practice – exercises, new tunes, hard tunes, etc.?
Ans: I practice everyday two to three hours and I make sure that I challenge myself. I practice some classical tunes, western tunes, etc. I really enjoy myself.
Do you think there are next to no singing/music academies in Pakistan? Are they important? Give your stance on it.
Ans: Yes I agree there are not enough. I feel like they are important for people who wish to study music.
How do you balance your music with other obligations – family,travel, job?
Ans: I balance everything by simply making time for each thing so that it does not get difficult.
Describe a typical day of yours.
Ans: I wake up at 9. I get up and shower. Then I have breakfast then I spend my time with my family. After that I do my Riaaz (Vocal Practice). Then I go for my lunch after that I play music instruments which I love. Then I go to the gym for my workout and then come back take a shower and then I go out with my friends. Then I come back and go to sleep.
What skills/personal attributes are most important to being successful?
Ans: Being focused, being creative on the right direction, hardworking, confidence, luck and blessings.
Is there growth in this field? How do things generally look for new musicians entering the field?
Ans: It is quite a journey, considering that there are so many good musicians in the field. One has to work hard in order to prove themselves. The harder the musicians works the most successful they are.
What projects you are currently working on?
Ans: Working on my original music and some international projects.
What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
Ans: I guess it could be mimicry.
Name a few things you cannot leave your home without?
Ans: My phone, wallet, keys, sun glasses and watch.
Whats on repeat on your ipod?
Ans: Depends on my mood.
What message would you like to give to your fans through the platform of Social Diary Magazine?
Ans: Keep loving me and my music and love one another. Peace.