Up-close and personal
By S. Hamza Asad and Noman H Malik
A talented individual may not necessarily translate into a charming personality. Today's celebrities are the prime example of this statement. But we were in for a surprise when we talked to one of the coolest youth icons of our country. This 25-year-old energetic soul is one of the rare genuine human beings one can find in today's celebrity list. Being the lead vocalist of Jal, his spirits are akin to the bottle of soda, which starts off with a lot of energy, and then its fizz settles down leaving a soothing effect on your soul. He sizzles you with 'Main Mast Hoon' while staying wonderfully relaxed. We are talking about none other than the very dynamic, Farhan Saeed. He has a distinctive vocal style based on the coalescing of classical as well as of modern contemporary music trends.
Farhan did his A' Level from KIMS in 1999 and started singing in front of the audience within the institute. He participated in a number of events organized by his school and was highly appreciated and encouraged by students and teachers alike. He went on to win numerous singing competitions and gained the experience and confidence to perform live, flawlessly. In 2001, Farhan got accepted by FAST, from where he obtained his bachelor's degree. Throughout that time, he continued working on his vocals and often participated in competitions.
Farhan's songs are always well penned and innovative. Apart from Jal's debut single 'Aadat' which was re-done in Farhan's vocals, he has to his credit seven other soundtracks for Jal's debut album which include 'Rangon Main,' 'Ik Din Aaye Ga,' 'Lamhay,' 'Teri Yaad,' 'Manchala,' 'Har Jaga Hai Jal,' and 'Bikhra Hoon Main'.
Lately, Jal has bagged a couple of awards including Best Album (Boondh), Best Song of the year (Sajni) and Best Video (Sajni) at the Lux Style Awards 2008. More recently, it got the award for 'Best ballad' for their song 'More Piya' at the MTV Awards 2009.
Talking to Us, Farhan spoke about a lot of things like their music to their fan base and Jal's popularity in India to their videos to his take on one's fashion style.
It wouldn't be wrong to say that music is in Farhan's blood. While most of the singers have some or the other inspiration, Farhan's inspiration for entering this field was someone very close to him. According to Farhan, his father, who is a doctor and also a brilliant musician, inspired him to pursue music.
It is said that music is the food for soul; it is the medium through which the message of peace and unity, which may not be that effective through sermons, can be delivered. And the good thing is, by using music as the medium, one can ensure that the message would not only reach the masses, but it would be accepted, too, as everybody understands the language of music. Talking about peace, it is a fact that our singers have always tried their level best to be ambassadors of peace when it comes to Indo-Pak relationship. In fact, our pop singers have always been on the forefront in the promotion of friendly feelings between the two countries. Regardless of what the politicians and even the media may try to tell us about the 'hatred' that exists between the two countries, our singers get warm welcome when they go to the other side of the border and we have always shown the warmest hospitality to Indian people -- celebrities or not . "Honestly speaking, the response that we get from that side of the border is over whelming. The people there are very welcoming and acknowledging, and it's always wonderful visiting and performing there," says an enthusiastic Farhan who has only good things to say about his experience of working in India. "We try to represent Pakistan in the best possible way internationally, and particularly try to promote the feelings of love between India and Pakistan," he further says. "Being Pakistanis, we feel it our duty to do as much as we can for its betterment, especially keeping in mind the current socio-political environment of the nation."
Once upon a time, songs used to be a treat for ears. It's no more the case. Now, a good video plays an essential role in making a song a success. In fact, in some cases, it guarantees the success of a song. Jal can boast of some memorable music videos, especially 'Ik Din Ayega -- The earthquake special'. Their last video 'Main Mast Hoon' which was shot near the Taj Mahal, has a touch of Sufism. Since it is touted to be an out and out commercial fare, one does expect yet another good musical score from Jal in the near future. "We will be coming out with a video soon. As for the album, we have also started working on that. You'll get to hear it, hopefully, by early next year," Farhan says.
Showbiz in general and the music industry in particular is all about glamour. Our musicians are well-known for their unique sense of style and are hugely followed by the youth. Farhan Saeed is also regarded as a fashionable and stylish musician of our country. And why not? It's his confidence in himself that makes him stand out in a crowd. "Be yourself," he says. "Don't follow others; make others follow you."
All over the world, musicians have carved a name for themselves by participating in worthy causes like providing aid and recreation to poor and needy people, and for taking part in relief work for people suffering from natural disasters like earthquakes and other traumas. Internationally, the band U2 is famous for its charity work. In India, the turnover from most of the concerts (Rock on!! etc.) is used to help the poor. Our musicians also try their level best to bring a positive change in the lives of destitute and traumatized people. "We are working for a campaign by the name of 'Save SWAT, Save PAKISTAN'. Under this, we would be performing at concerts, and would be making media appearances to raise funds for the IDPs. Apart from this, we are working on other projects as well," Farhan says.
Number of winters you have seen?
Emmm…. 25 may be :)
Date of Birth/ Zodiac Sign
September 14. I'm a Virgo.
Favourite punch line
Sub ho jaye ga! :)
Sum up yourself in three words
Careless. Passionate. Loving.
If you were stranded on a deserted island, what three items would you take with you?
Well, that's very typical but I am never able to answer this. Perhaps, I would take my piano, guitar and my girlfriend. Emmm…I really don't know man!
Are you a party animal?
Used to be.
What kind of gatherings do you like the most?
Those with close friends around.
Whom do you admire as a singer?
A lot of them.
Is Gohar a good friend or just the lead guitarist of Jal?
We are very good friends.
What was the last book you read?
I don't remember. :)
What is your favourite colour?
Your recent crush
Recent and last! You'll know… :)
Five songs in your i-pod
I don't carry i-pod.
You are very conscious about…
What is the one thing about our music industry that you'd like to change?
Would like to make it more professional.
Things you cannot live without?
Family, friends and music.
Thing you hate the most?
Double faced people.
One true confession...
I am a flirt.
One biggest fear …
Going away from my parents.
On Sundays, you …
Do what I usually do everyday.
The last gift that you got...
Perfect idea to relax….
Beach, guitar and friends.
Your friends describe you as...
A good companion.
What do you think is the most important invention during the past 10 years?
I'm proud to be a Pakistani and I hope it's the same for all of you! Stay rocking and contribute in making Pakistan a better country!