Friday, January 04, 2013

“The song ‘Jinnah’ is unquestionably the voice of every patriotic Pakistani alive.”


Lahore based band Soch discuss singing about Mohammed Ali Jinnah, performing at Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf rallies, being a part of a music show and more

Lahore based band Soch have been operating just below the mainstream radar for the last few years, but have managed to amass a considerable fan following in the process. Comprising of Adnan Dhool on vocals and Rabi Ahmed on guitars, the group is now revving things up and planning to release a number of new songs and videos over the next few months. Instep Today caught up with the band to find out more about their current activities and upcoming releases.

Instep Today: How and when did you guys come together as a band?
Adnan Dhool:
Five years ago, I was looking for a session player for my concert. That is when I met Rabi. He played for the concert, and after that I met Rabi on and off. We hit it off right away; we liked all the same things, and we're both on the same wavelength, so that is when I offered Rabi to join Soch, and Rabi very willingly accepted.

Instep Today: How would you describe the music that you make?
Rabi Ahmed:
I enjoy jazz and blues, usually western, while Adnan, on the other hand, adores eastern beats and he is inspired by Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan Sahib, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Kailash Kher, Sonu Nigam, and Rabbi Shergill. We always sit together while composing, so it is never just one of us alone working on our compositions. To our listeners, it may seem like we are a pop rock band, but I think it will be unfair if the music Soch does is pigeonholed to a specific genre. We experiment with our sounds to create something fresh and experimental.
Adnan: Yeah. Who knows, Soch might even come out with a dubstep track next!

Instep Today: Has breaking into the music industry been easier or harder than you expected?
Harder! In fact, much harder than we thought it would be.
Rabi: For the last three to four years, we have just been waiting for the right moment to break into the main music scene, and honestly there was no right moment. Breaking into music for artists like us is tough, and having limited resources makes it tougher. But what we have learned is that if you have the potential and your content is worth listening to, you get noticed anyway.
It has really been a rough ride for us and our management to break into music. We have faced a lot of criticism for not releasing our videos earlier and delaying the release of our content. But we decided as a team to wait, and in the meanwhile focus on gigs, concerts, and public performances.

Instep Today: How did the chance to do 'Uth Jawana' for PTI come up?
Our major breakthrough was the unplugged version of 'Uth Jawana' that we did for Geo News's Choraha with Mr. Hassan Nisar. He praised our lyrical content and encouraged us to write more such thought provoking and inciting songs. We got a lot of praise and appreciation for 'Uth Jawana', and that was when we received a call from the General Secretary of PTI, Karachi. They rung us to appreciate 'Uth Jawana', and later Madam Andleeb Abbas, through a mutual friend Madam Ramma, introduced us to Mr. Imran Khan. It sure was a great honour to perform 'Uth Jawana' for him at his home and get appreciation from him. He encouraged us and said such songs are needed to inspire the youth of today. After this, 'Uth Jawana' was taken officially for their campaign 'Jaag Utho' and we performed it in different cities with PTI on stage to spread the underlying message of 'Uth Jawana'.
Rabi: Everything is not about making money, and getting fame. It is very gratifying to contribute to history and to do something for Pakistan and the coming generation.

Instep Today: Do you guys support PTI? And do you think music and politics should mix?
Everyone has the right to have an opinion. Considering the business perspective, many may say that musicians shouldn't be political and may diplomatically answer that we support change but never mention a political party and be precise. Our stance on this is pretty simple: we, Soch, are common people and are suffering like any other, and at this point if PTI has come up with a new wave of positivity and change, so far we see no harm in supporting and spreading their message of wanting a change in the current system.

Instep Today: You recently released your new song 'Jinnah'. Please tell us about it.
'Jinnah' is unquestionably the voice of every patriotic Pakistani alive. It is really heartbreaking to see the devastation of Jinnah sahib's vision and all the more shattering to see all his struggles and determinations going right down the drain.
Adnan: 'Jinnah' is a tribute from Soch to our great leader Mohammad Ali Jinnah. It's just another thought of how Quaid-e-Azam would feel if he was alive today. It's about how we have forgotten everything Quaid did and the ideology on which the very foundation of Pakistan was laid.
We had planned to release a video of 'Jinnah' too on the 25th of December, but we ended up releasing the audio only and decided to delay the plan and release the video in some other month on any other normal day, just to make a point that we don't have to remember Quaid in August, September, or December only.

Instep Today: Is a full length album also in the works?
Yes, we are working on our album. We are hoping to complete it by May 2013, and then release it probably in June or July.

Instep Today: Adnan and Rabi, you were also on Nescafe Basement, which aimed to groom undiscovered musicians. Why did you choose to be on the show even though you guys already have some mainstream recognition and experience under your belt?
Xulfi bhai approached us for Nescafe Basement, and the only thing that came to our mind was the learning experience. Working along with an exceptional musician like Xulfi is a remarkable learning experience. Playing music with 13 other young, fresh, and talented musicians as a team was awesome. We learned a lot about music and team coordination. Nescafe_ Basement helped us get massive recognition too, which we believe is going to help us in the long run.

Instep Today: You also performed your song 'Awari' on Nescafe Basement. Please tell us about it.
'Awari' is a bold step taken, to convey the terribly difficult, painful life the girls in the profession of prostitution get to live. It depicts the emotional trauma lived by the girl forced in this gruesome, deadly, unchosen profession. This is one sensitive issue that is ignored but not unexposed in our society.

Instep Today: What can we expect from Soch in the coming months?
Lots of songs, videos, and concerts. We want to work as much as we can and share our content with our fans on a regular basis as much as possible.

- By Sameen Amer

Instep Today, The News - 4th January, 2012

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