Friday, August 31, 2012

“I feel extremely lucky and honoured that a huge icon like Brian O'Connell agreed to work with me”

interview: music mix

Junaid Khan rocks and rolls away

After making his mark as an actor in several television plays and serials, as well as performing at the recently concluded Lux Style Awards, Junaid Khan returns to the world of music with his new song 'Keh Do', which features former Junoon bassist Brian O'Connell. The Call vocalist, who collaborated with American singer Jennifer Jandris on the song 'So Close So Distant' earlier this year, is now working on his first solo album, and also has a number of other projects currently brewing. Instep Today caught up with the singer to find out more about his new single...

Instep Today: Tell us about your new song, 'Keh Do'.
Junaid Khan:
Yeah, 'Keh Do' is going to be the first Urdu track from my solo album. The song has been produced by Sami Khan, who produced my previous track 'So Close So Distant' as well. Sami is very talented, without a doubt. He presented the concept behind 'Keh Do' and I absolutely loved it because it is an idea which I totally believe in myself too when it comes to life in general. In life, we usually hold back our feelings for people around us, maybe due to some personal differences, grudges, etcetera, but we only realize the need to express them when those special people aren't around us anymore. We usually regret it later on, that if they were around us we would have expressed how much we love them or care for them. So why not express now when you have them? Why not tell them that you respect them and care for them now that you have them around you? Forgetting all the grudges and leaving all differences aside, one should just express and spread love when you have time, and this is what 'Keh Do' is all about. The sound is very mellow and soft in order to go with the message behind the song, and yeah, it is different from 'So Close So Distant'.

Instep Today: What do you think sets 'Keh Do' apart from the music you've made so far?
: 'Keh Do' is slightly different from what I have done so far. It's more towards the ballad side and quite mellow as compared to the rough,  rock melodies I am known for. But I think based on the message that I wanted to convey in this song, this genre was best suited for it.

Instep Today: How do you know Brian O'Connell? How did he become involved in the project?
I had a chance to talk to Brian through a common friend, Qurat-ul-Ain Baloch, when she was visiting New York this year. I have always been a fan of Brian's since his Junoon days and always wanted an opportunity to share my respect for Brian's work and also to ask him for an opportunity to work with him. I had to convince the man a lot, but I am sure the love for this country and the respect that musicians like me have for him convinced him to do me this huge favour.

Instep Today: Brian is such a well-known and important figure in the Pakistani music industry and history. You must be very excited to have him on the track…
Well, I don't have the words to explain the love and respect I have for Brian.  Usually listeners don't pay much attention to what bass does to a song, but once you grow as a musician, you realize how important the instrument is and its true magic. During the initial phase of my musical journey, I deeply analyzed why we all loved so much the sound that Junoon produced, and once you start making music you realize how important and great the bass line is. The magic that Brian used to do with Junoon in terms of bass and engineering is something that you never got to hear after the Junoon breakup. I feel extremely lucky and honoured that a huge icon like Brian agreed to work with me on this track. I can't thank him enough for this. He sure is the best that this country has seen when it comes to music.

Instep Today: Tell us about the video…
The video is made on the same lines as the concept mentioned earlier. The video has been directed by Abdullah Haris who is making his mark in terms of the twisted ways in which he conveys the simplest of messages. 'Keh Do' will also be quite interesting for the viewer as the way it has been shot hasn't been done before in this country. I am sure the viewer will be engaged throughout the four minute duration of the song. There are two characters in the video played by me and Mehreen Syed.

Instep Today: Who chose Mehreen Syed to co-star in the video with you? Why did she seem like the best choice for the role? And how was the experience of working with her?
When I was discussing the concept with the director, we needed talent who was glamorous, gorgeous, and also could do a good job as an actor, as the concept required the talent to act as well, and we couldn't think of a better suited name than Mehreen Syed's. Mehreen is without a doubt a supermodel. She has also recently proved herself as an actor too, and is also doing a few Bollywood ventures. Abdullah and I were unanimous on the decision of asking Mehreen for the part, and luckily she agreed. She sure has done a fine job in 'Keh Do'. You'll see a different side of her.

Instep Today: How was the experience of working with Abdullah Haris?
Abdullah is very comfortable to work with and is a gem of a person. He has immense passion for this field and is always searching for unique ways of execution, and I think that is the reason he is finding his way up the ladder very quickly. Of course his recent work has been very creative, thus it was very easy for me to make the decision of choosing him for the task. If you ask me, I am convinced with what he has done with 'Keh Do', but now it's up to the people to judge.

Instep Today: Can we expect a solo album from you soon?
Yes, of course. I am working on the production side these days, and will soon announce the release date.

Instep Today: Are there any other music or acting projects that you're currently working on?
Well, there are a few projects that I am working on these days. Apart from my solo record, I am shooting another serial now for Hum TV by the name Qadoorat, which has me, Sanam Saeed, Moomal Sheikh and Imran Aslam in the leading cast. There's another play Madiha Aur Maliha. Plus, I recently performed at the Lux Style Awards, which will show quite a different side of me; I actually did a dance performance alongside Ahsan Khan, Faisal Qureshi, Meera, Sana, and Mathira, so that would be something interesting for me to watch as well.

- By Sameen Amer

Instep Today, The News - 31st August, 2012

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