Being dormant for a while in the music arena, Faakhir Mehmood is back not only with a stylish new look but with a whole new ideology to his music. Read to what we uncovered about Faakhir in his exclusive interview with Youth Correspondent.
Finally, Jee Chaahay is out. How has the response been so far?
The response has been overwhelming. However, as they say, you can’t please everyone so I don’t care too much about criticism if any – overall, fans and critics have given a healthy response.
Has the public’s/fans’ response been as anticipated by you or even better?
I always try to deliver my best and that is exactly what I tried again, but I was not expecting such great positive feedback from my fans. Fortunately, I have been blessed to produce several successful songs that have passed the test of time and are still fresh in people’s minds and hearts. With this kind of track record, fans’ expectations from an artist grow and there is always a certain pressure that I feel before releasing any record- I have never taken my fans for granted and feel that every single record needs the same dedication and heart and soul. I sing every song as if it’s my last song.
What is the theme of this album? What kind of music have you produced this time around?
Jee Chaahay is a reflective album; I have expressed my experiences in life with people – both good and not so good, my emotional highs and lows, ups and downs, my heart-breaks, my breakups with the people I love or loved at some point in time, nostalgia and various eclectic situations. It depicts my state of mind at various junctures in life and I feel everyone will find some relate-able elements in this album for sure.
Is this album similar to your previous ones or have you experimented with something different?
As you are aware, I don’t stick to just a uniform, monotonous sound since I find it boring- I experiment with various options by combining different melodies, lyrics and sounds, hence exploring various genres of music in the same album. I don’t want to confine myself in any way.
Your personal favorite song from Jee Chaahay?
I love Baylia, Shikwa and Jee Chaahay the most. After Atom Bomb’s music video release, we are now ready to launch Baylia’s music video. The story of the video revolves around the Partition when Pakistan came into being; I myself played a historical role in this video for the first time. In fact, most of the locations where we recorded the video were apparently haunted. The single also features a top TV host and the model, Shaista Wahidi.
Do you think music reality shows will help the young talent or not?
Yes, of-course! A constant supply of new talent is like oxygen and is extremely important if we are serious about preserving and enriching our music industry. Pakistan is blessed with a lot of talent in art and music and there is a need to channelize that talent.
Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
No one can predict the future but if I’d live that long, I’d still prefer working for the music industry of my country.
If you want to change one thing in the current Pakistani music industry what would that be?
Bollywood invasion is damaging our own music industry. We must support our indigenous talent and singers to stay in the competition.
Do you think Pakistani channels are promoting Pakistani music industry because these days, every channel is more interested in Bollywood and even the news channels are mostly reporting occurrences across the border?
As I said before, we need to promote our own industry and our own people and media should play its role positively here.
Where do you enjoy performing the most? In Pakistan or abroad?
I always enjoy performing for Pakistanis and all my fans no matter where they are and where they are from.
If you were offered a chance of acting in any movie, would you do it?
A few friends came up with offers to act in dramas but I think acting is full-time job and no child’s play. I’m a musician and would like to focus on music more. Hence, I never took a chance with acting. But yes, since I mentioned my upcoming music video Baylia, you will get to see me acting in this video for the first time. It was an excellent experience for me and this effort made me realize how difficult acting is.
Are you the composer and writer of Jee Chahay?
Jee Chahay, the album has been conceptualized, composed, performed and produced by me; however, accomplished lyric writers and musicians participated in the production of the album. Kami & Shani helped me with production and additional composing in some songs.
Your hit number, Allah Karey from Jee Chahay features Mahnoor Baloch as the main protagonist. Why Mahnoor specifically although there are lots of young and beautiful models around?
Mahnoor Baloch is gorgeous and there’s no doubt about that. We were not just looking for pretty faces; we needed an actor who could deliver the noble message in a professional way in the video and look pretty at the same time. The decision was made by the whole team, including the director which turned out to be the right choice in the end; familiar faces and established stars’ presence in a music video definitely helps.
Who has been your muse for your current production?
People, situations, environments and emotions are my biggest muse.
Is there a message in Jee Chahy for your listeners?
As a reflective album, every song has a distinct point of view contained in its lyrics. I hope listeners can relate to them.
What’s next on the cards for Faakhir?
This is just the beginning. Let see how things go about! Prayers are needed.
You have been doing a lot of live shows/concerts recently. Doesn’t it get too much at times? Do you ever feel like saying ENOUGH?
Sometimes, I do get tired because there’s too much traveling involved. But that’s the lifeline—for the past two weeks, I have been constantly on the road doing live gigs in several cities of our country. I have performed so many times in Lahore, Rawalpindi, Faisalabad, Multan, Quetta, Karachi etc.
How much has the music industry suffered due to the tumultuous state of the country?
Yes economics drives the markets and the global recession is not helping any business but we are resilient and adaptive to challenging situations. I empathize with the new talented musicians who find it extremely difficult to find their feet in the current economic crisis. Furthermore, I’d like to add: not all is well with the way our electronic media is pushing the foreign music, strangely preferring it over our very own local music which is not a healthy sign for the nourishment of our own industry.
Can music be a career option for our youth? What is the scope of music in Pakistan?
It’s still a dilemma; there are times when I am convinced that it’s about time that music should be counted as an established vocation but lack of infrastructure forces me to think otherwise. But hope is still there.
Tell us about a lesson you learnt during the making of Jee Chahay.
I should not have quit sequencing and programming because I ended up relying heavily on other programmers and that also contributed to the delay of the album.
What’s your kind of music?
Popular music and by the way, pop music is not restricted to just one genre anymore; it’s a combination of everything under the sun.
Who is the real Faakhir?
Faakhir is a self-righteous, upfront, somewhat blunt and straightforward person who calls a spade a spade.
Most embarrassing moment in your career as a musician?
Every now and then, goof-ups happen and later we laugh at them.
Words of wisdom for musicians-to-be?
There is no shortcut for hard work and I really believe one of the famous old sayings that overnight success takes 15 years of hard work.
One wish that has never been fulfilled?
I was, I am and I will always be thankful to the Almighty ALLAH who has given me more than what is always expected. It couldn’t get any better.