Thursday, May 14, 2015

Sing for the moment - Junaid Khan


Junaid Khan announces a new single and talks about his upcoming acting projects that may include a Bollywood debut 

Junaid Khan all smiles with Lollywood heavyweights Syed Noor (left) and Shehzad Rafique (right)

Socio-political turmoil in Pakistan often overshadows all other aspects of our lives. Politics is on everyone’s mind, and our musicians are no different. That’s why it comes as no surprise that singer/actor Junaid Khan is planning to release a politically-inspired song as his next single.

Titled ‘Taqdeer’, the track motivates listeners to strive for self-improvement instead of relying on others to fix the problems of the country. “The idea behind ‘Taqdeer’ was circling in my head for the past ten months,” Junaid explains. “We trust the individuals who run the country and the world, and believe that they will do something for our betterment. We place our destiny in their hands ourselves. Then when we end up with problems, we complain and blame the system. Instead, we should own up to our mistakes, and look at ourselves first rather than pointing fingers at others.”

Junaid is hoping that his new song will inspire his countrymen to take their destiny into their own hands. “We as a nation should not trust and follow fake idols; after all they are human too,” he cautions. “We should stand up for ourselves to excel in our own particular divisions, so that we progress as a nation. If we improve our individual selves, we can improve the nation.”

Junaid’s plan to release his debut solo album is currently on hold.  “I am actually waiting for the right time to release the album,” Junaid elucidates. “The songs are almost ready, and I am almost done with the production part of the record. I think, after I release ‘Taqdeer’, I’ll have a better idea about when I should release the album.”

As for how soon ‘Taqdeer’ will be unveiled, Junaid says he hasn’t finalized a specific date yet. “I’m still thinking about the right medium and way to communicate the message of the song,” he says.

Keeping him busy is his acting career, with roles in multiple television dramas that are airing on various channels. His current project is the Geo series Neela Mausam. “I shot Neela Mausam a few months ago,” he says. “It has Ushna Shah, me, and Zainab Ahmed as the lead cast, and has been directed by Ali Faizan, who has also directed plays like Chhoti and Piya Mann Bhaye for Geo. It will start airing later this month.” The drama revolves around “the lives of four friends who end up at a turn in life where the only solution left is making a huge sacrifice.”

Junaid will also be seen in the upcoming series Main Awara Hoon. “This project is being directed by Shehzad Rafique, who is a well known Lollywood film director. He has been directing successful films for more than a decade, and is making his television debut with this series. He has really high hopes for it and he’s working really hard on it. The cast has me, Javed Sheikh sahab, and film star Saima in the lead roles. The story is very interesting – it is complicated, and full of emotion and drama.” Also in the works is Kuch Ishq Tha Kuch Majboori, which Junaid describes as “very deep, very dark”, and “close to reality”. It is being directed by Awais Khan and also stars Hareem Farooq and Mansha Pasha.

There are two things that Junaid kept in mind when choosing all these acting projects. According to the entertainer, the script is the most important element of a series and the most vital aspect when selecting a television drama. His next consideration is the director. “A director actually controls the fate of the actor and the project,” he observes, “so a good director, who can tell you what he has in mind and teach you, is very important.”

The actor, who recently made a guest appearance in Momina Duraid’s feature film Bin Roye, says he is in talks for a few movies, but is “still waiting for the right script and the right team” to make his proper big screen debut. A Bollywood project might also be in the cards. “I am in discussion with a couple of people from across the border,” Junaid reveals, “but I can’t really disclose anything about that right now. Until something materializes I can’t discuss it, but hopefully I will have some news on that front pretty soon.”

- By Sameen Amer

Instep Today, The News - 14th May, 2015 *

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