Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The resurrection of Mizmaar

interview: music mix

Kashan Admani talks to Instep about the group’s new single and working with multiple vocalists

Ever since they resurrected the band earlier this year, members of Mizmaar have been busy mounting a comeback. After releasing two new songs – ‘Jee Loonga’ and ‘Dur’ – in the last few months, the Karachi based pop rock group has now unveiled their latest track ‘Yeh Dil’, a melodic, soft rock tune that features Indian band Euphoria’s frontman Palash Sen on vocals.

New song 

“‘Yeh Dil’ is a song about love, peace, and the search for truth,” says Mizmaar guitarist Kashan Admani. The single was launched on the eve of Pakistan and India’s Independence Days with the aim of promoting harmony and bridging the divide between the neighbouring countries. “We hope that this song will send out the same message [of peace] on both sides of the border,” the group’s frontman reiterates. “We surely believe that only music alone can bring about peace and harmony between the two countries.” 

So how did the chance to collaborate with the Indian singer come about? The opportunity presented itself thanks to a now-scrapped television show. “The song was initially recorded as part of a reality TV show that we had produced,” reveals Kashan. “Due to plagiarism of the concept by a renowned TV show and producer, the program did not see the light of the day. On the relaunch of Mizmaar, we thought ‘Yeh Dil’ would be a great addition to the album.” After being further queried about the detailed of the defunct television project, Kashan replies, “it was about international music collaborations in recording studios around the world and the name of the show was Dream Music. Coke Studio season 6 stole the concept, and we have a lawsuit going against Coke Studio and Rohail Hyatt.” 

As for the song itself, ‘Yeh Dil’ was composed by Kashan along with Mizmaar drummer Alfred D’Mello, while the lyrics werewritten by lyricist and poet Sabir Zafar. “The idea was to get the right voice to complement the composition, and Palash Sen seemed to be the only choice, given his ability to sing high and low notes with complete command. We are glad that he showed interest in being a part of this song,” says the guitarist, who clearly cherished the experience of working with the Euphoria singer. “Palash Sen is the most humble and friendly musician one can come across. With him it never felt like this was a cross-border collaboration. Working with him was one of the best experiences we’ve had so far.” The video for the track was shot in both Pakistan and India “in the environment of a recording studio” and was directed by the Mizmaar duo themselves.

Multiple vocalists 

Conspicuously absent from this whole endeavour is Mashhad Sharyar, the youngster who was revealed as Mizmaar’s new vocalist just a couple of months ago but is now no longer listed as a member of the band on their social media profiles. So is the singer no longer a part of the group? “At present Mashhad is not the official vocalist for Mizmaar as he is in the U.S.,” Kashan divulges, “but he may return depending on his immigration status. He is currently in the U.S. for his immigration process, so he cannot come back to Pakistan for some time and therefore cannot carry on his activities with the band.” Kashan, however, maintains that the group always intended to work with multiple vocalists. “Mizmaar was always going to be a multisinger venture as we had already recorded a lot of material with various artists before Mashhad became a part of the band. As Mizmaar we want to make music which is not limited to a particular genre, and only having multiple singers can help us achieve the right sound. Mashhad has recorded quite a few songs with the band like many other artists and some of those songs will surely be a part of the album which we hope to release by the end of this year.” 

Among the other singers who have been working with Mizmaar is Nescafe Basement participant Hamza Tanveer who served as a guest vocalist for the band’s I Am Karachi performance. “It was a great experience to work with Hamza Tanveer for our live performance at the I Am Karachi Music Festival,” Kashan remarks. “He is a great talent and Mizmaar wants to work with the best talent available. His voice will surely be a part of our upcoming album but we have not recorded with him as yet.” The guitarist also has nothing but good things to say about the festival itself “It was great to be a part of an event that had such a huge line up of artists. Similar festivals should happen more frequently in the future.” 

“Music has always been a tough career to pursue in Pakistan,” he continues, “but we are hopeful that things will and have become more conducive for new and existing artists.” Mizmaar plan to be a part of this hopefully brighter future of the industry and promise that they will unveil “more collaborations and great music” in the coming months.

- By Sameen Amer

Instep Today, The News - 19th August, 2015 *

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