Saturday, May 24, 2014

Flying solo

interview: music mix

Since parting ways with Call in 2012, Junaid Khan has been busy with small screen acting and jingle humming, but that doesn’t mean he’s not taking his music career seriously. Call fans have been treated to a single every few months while Junaid finishes his debut solo album, and the singer has recently returned to belting out his rock ditties on stage. Junaid recently took to the stage for his first solo show with a new backing band, and has more performances planned for the coming months. In a chat with Instep, Junaid talks about his live shows, upcoming releases, and acting projects.

Instep: You have truly branched out as a solo artist with your first solo live show. How did it go?
Junaid Khan:
It felt great to be back on stage! In fact, I didn’t even notice that I hadn’t performed for almost a year because the crowd was so loud and pumped up! The show was held at Karachi Medical and Dental College (KMDC) and even though I was put up on stage as the closing act at 2:30 a.m., the crowd was excited enough to stay up and jumping till the last song I did. Karachi impresses me every time.

Instep: How is it a different experience to perform without your usual band mates?
A performance loses its magic when the people on stage don’t gel well together. But thankfully my new backing band has the same passion for rock music that my ex-band mates had, hence the energy is the same as before. Plus we’ve jammed plenty of times, so they’ve grasped the essence of my songs to be able to play them comfortably.

Instep: How did you recruit the members of your new backing band? What can you tell us about them? And will the line-up remain the same in the future?
I’ve jammed with lots of musicians recently and found some great talent. The ones I played with at KMDC are amongst the finest. I played with Shahid Rehman on rhythm guitars, Faraz Rizvi on lead guitars, Hassaan Sohail on bass, and Bilawal Lahooti on drums. The line-up so far is the same but might change depending on their availability for a particular tour.

Instep: Which songs are part of your live set now?
The set list hasn’t changed much from my Call days – a few originals, a few of my solo tracks, and somecovers which I like performing. 

Instep: Do you have any other gigs planned for Pakistan or abroad in the coming months? 
Junaid: Yes, I have a few shows lined up in Pakistan and a U.S. tour later this year.

Instep: When can we expect new tracks from you?
I really want to release this one particular track titled ‘Besakoon’ which is one of my favourites from my upcoming album. Its dark melody will remind you of my compositions from the early Call days. I have a few tracks ready to shoot, but I’m trying to find the right director who can translate the imagery in my head to reality.

Instep: In a previous interview you said your album will release in the end of 2013. How close is it to completion? And do you plan to release it this year?
My album is almost complete and I am planning to release it this year for sure.

Instep: You have also been acting on TV. What can you tell us about your television dramas?
I am currently shooting two serials. In Rasam, which is about a couple driven apart by a misunderstanding, I’m playing the lead with Sumbal Iqbal as my co-star. Sumbal also acts with me in Najany Kyun, in which I play a young, careless guy who suffers in life because of his attitude. Both plays are directed by Asim Ali.

Instep: You said previously that you’d like to act in films. Has there been any development on this front?
There have been a few offers but I haven’t locked them as yet, though I am a part of an upcoming feature film titled Bin Roye Ansoo in a guest appearance.

- By Sameen Amer

Instep Today, The News - 24th May, 2014 *

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