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On the top of the World-Faakhir

Me_Anonymous IF-Veteran Member
Me_Anonymous
Me_Anonymous

Joined: 03 July 2005
Posts: 11407

Posted: 04 September 2005 at 8:57am | IP Logged

On The Top Of The World Faakhir

He loves coffee, is an avid drinker of tea of all hues and flavours (the Pathan's chenak among his favourites), he has a passion for good music and a head brimming with ideas. Faakhir comes across as a down-to-earth young man with feet solidly on the ground – no airs, no hang-ups. Meeting him in person was a refreshing experience. On the day of our rendezvous, fate dealt an unexpected hand that enabled me to also get an insight into Faakhir, the man (as opposed to Faakhir, the artist). One of his associates was involved in an accident and had to be hospitalized - Faakhir was taking care of arrangements at the hospital. A visibly worried-looking Faakhir came over to the Marriot, the venue of our meeting, picked me up, explained the situation and took me along to the hospital as he still had to wrap up a few things, apologizing for the interview going awry. Providence had allowed me a first-hand glimpse into this very humane side of the artist – sensitive, kind and considerate. It was heartening that the heady effects of fame and fortune, at a youngish age, have not tainted him.

Before parting, we had coffee in Zamzama and chatted. He spoke about a number of issues, ranging from the local music industry to politics, from movies to his concerts, amongst other things. He believes that pop music has a great future in Pakistan and as more avenues open up, only good can come out of it.

Faakhir is riding the crest of success, he has been for some time now, but with his head in the right place, he has not let this overwhelm him. His latest album Mantra promises to be yet another chart-buster. He is one of the most sought-after musicians today, both within and outside Pakistan - having had occasion to meet him and talk to him at length, one is not at all surprised.

  1. What made your choose Music as a profession in the first place? Do you have any regrets in not following a professional career as an Electrical Engineer?

A. None at all. I'd always been interested in music and I used to get together with my friends and practice…then in my university days we started getting shows…one thing led to another and Awaz was formed.

  1. What is your recipe for churning out hit numbers time and again? Dil Na Lage (best national song 2000), numbers from Aatish, Sab to Soniyeh, etc.

A. Honestly I think God has been kind and appreciated all the hard work I put in. I'm very happy with the response my albums have received....it's been terrific!!!

  1. What are you more happy doing, Music videos or albums?

A. Albums. I'm a composer and enjoy working on my albums more than music videos because I feel that I don't act very well.

  1. In 1998 Awaz sort of disintegrated, what was the reason? Any regrets?

A. I felt it was time to move on and start my solo career.

  1. Being in a band would allow floating ideas, discussion, advise, critique, sharing of problems, etc, something not possible as a soloist. Comments?

A. I agree. But being a solo artist gives me the opportunity to experiment and explore my creative side which wouldn't really have been possible in a band as a consensus has to be reached regarding the direction in which the band wants to move.

  1. You were around in 1997 when the government clamped a ban on music shows and long-haired male pop singers on PTV. What were your feelings? Do you think the government (or any other entity) has the right to be the custodians of the nation's morality?

A. No, I don't agree with that. I believe in freedom of speech and expression. If somebody doesn't like the kind of music or videos they see on TV they have the option to not watch.

  1. Women are conspicuous by their absence from Pakistan's pop scene - only two really made it big, Nazia Hassan and Hadiqa Kiyani (others simply disappeared). Why is this so?

A. Nazia Hassan and Hadiqa Kiyani were/are two exceptionally talented people. Up           till now there have been no other female singers of the same caliber.

  1. How do you feel has Corporate Sponsorship affected our music industry? Do you feel this provides for an uneven playing field for those not blessed by such sponsorship?

A. Sponsors have been supportive of our music. They played the role of a record label    and made our videos, only when sponsors over do branding that it is a loss for the artist and the sponsor, because no one wants to see a 5 min commercial. Luckily, now the record labels are realizing the importance of videos and are investing in them so I guess with or without a sponsor you can still afford videos.

  1. You were also chosen by RADO for endorsement XERAMO, their new line of watches in Pakistan. How did this come about and how was the experience?

A.  Rado was looking for a brand ambassador for their product and I fit the profile. They approached me for the endorsement and I was more than happy to do it.

  1. Some say that pop music in Pakistan is a "flash-in-the-pan" industry – your views?

A. No way. Its high time people treat it like a full fledged industry. Half the channels are running on the software we provide; music industry is the biggest in the entertainment field.

  1. Is pop music contributing in any positive manner in Pakistan?

A. Absolutely. I can't think of any negative effect that it has caused.

  1. Your first album, Aatish was a phenomenal success, selling over 2 million copies. What made you go out and make Aatish in the first place?

A. I felt it was time to move on and to tell you the truth I wasn't sure what people's reaction would be to my solo album…I could never have imagined that I'd gain so much success with my first solo album…it was a complete surprise.

  1. How has the advent of Music Channels, ARY Digital, Indus Music, etc affected the music industry in Pakistan?

A. There are a lot more opportunities now…Pakistani music channels have helped a lot. I have always believed Pakistani artists have terrific potential. Some of them are making great music.

  1. The invasion of satellite and cable TV has brought Indian (and other) music into our lives. How would you compare Indian and Pakistani pop music?

A. India has a huge film industry and they make great music for their movies. Pakistani pop music has caught up very fast...not in the sheer volume of music produced but most definitely in quality...I feel it's just as good.

  1. Any favourite singers – Pakistani, Indian, others? Have you drawn inspiration from anyone?

A. I have looked up to Nusrat Fateh Ali, Mehdi Hassan.

  1. Everyone has ups and downs – that is part of life. As an artist, how do you react to failure?

A. Failure is always disappointing. The trick is turning it to your advantage in a way that it makes you want to do better and work harder.

  1. It is said that you set the stage on fire as a live performer with your energy and enthusiasm. While everyone's hearts race as they watch you perform, what are your feelings as thousands of fans cheer you on?

A. Initially during my first few solo performances I was quite anxious...but now I am very confident and at ease. It's a major adrenalin rush to have so many fans cheering for you.

  1. There is a lot of miming when Asian artists perform "live" on stage. Why is this so?

A. Performing on CD and lip syncing is cheaper for the organizers of the show. For a live performance it costs more because then you have the added expense of having your band travel with you, band's fee, accommodation etc. Playing on CD however just doesn't give the same meaning to the songs and doesn't do them justice. If people want an artist to come and perform on CD they might as well hear the CD. I only perform live except for TV recordings.

  1. Have you ever considered playback singing for the film industry? What about composing for films?

A. I was approached with a couple of offers to do play back singing from Bombay but at this point I am more keen on composing my own songs.  In the future, not just compose but do a direct and produce music for a movie.

  1. Tell us something about your latest album, Mantra? How is it different from your previous album?

A. The album contains 12 tracks. I have experimented a lot in this album; each song carries a different mood. I have done an 8 1/2min musical which is called mantra… this was done for the first time in Pakistan. The most interesting part of this album is the way our own eastern scales such as bilwal thaath, pahari, darbari etc are fused/blended with east European, Mediterranean and bluesy scales in a very simple and subtle way. The choice of instruments is very rich, classy yet extremely contemporary wind instruments, saxophones and brass section eastern and western string instrument, rhythm section, violin and viola orchestras are all recorded live and a treat to the ear. Arrangements are least predictable, the production is slick and I feel the melodies are soulful.

  1. How much do visuals help in the success of a song? Other than the singer, what is more important - lyrics, music or visuals?

A. I believe having good videos is important. It adds a visual element to the song and helps the viewers identify more with the song thus making it more popular. But at the end of the day it is the song and the melody that determines its success.

  1. What is music to you?

A. Something that moves you deep inside, touches you on a level that nothing else ever does - it relaxes you.

  1. Do you have any hobbies/pastimes that you turn to, when (and if) you need to relax or have free time?

A. Listening to music, traveling, spending a day at the beach hut with my wife.

  1. Of all the places that you have performed, which do you consider to be the most memorable?

A. I have performed nearly all over the world so its difficult to say. I have fond memories of almost everywhere I have performed. But I think its performing in Pakistan that I enjoy the most.

  1. Your feelings on love?

A. I am very lucky to be blessed with a loving wife who I love just as much. That's a rare thing and not many people are lucky enough to experience that.

  1. The highest compliment ever received by you?

A. "People like you make us Pakistanis proud."

  1. Do you have any regrets in life so far?

A. Al-Hamdo Lillah, none so far.

  1. What is the one thing you would never leave home without?

A. My cell phone and organizer.

  1. Do you feel that the media, especially the print media, is doing enough to promote pop music in Pakistan?

A. Yes I do. The print media is doing a lot to promote pop music but I feel that the electronic media has also helped tremendously.

  1. How would you define your relations with the media, electronic and print?

A. Very good. I have received terrific reviews from the media.

  1. Would you define yourself as a perfectionist, or…..?

A. Definitely a perfectionist. I personally have to be satisfied that I have done everything to the best of my abilities.

  1. Your performance with Aamir Khan, "Pehla Nasha, Pehla Pyar" during the fund raiser for Imran Khan's cancer hospital was a smashing hit. How was this experience for you?

A. It was a wonderful experience. I felt honored to be a part of the fund raising campaign.

  1. Would you say there are too many people jumping on the music bandwagon in Pakistan?

A. No I wouldn't. Initially there were very few music bands in Pakistan but with the advent of more music channels there are far more opportunities now. I think Pakistani artists have terrific potential and like I said, some of them are making great music.

  1. As a composer, what in your views makes for a truly good composer?

A. Compositions come naturally to me. I am a self taught musician and have been doing this since the age of 12. I don't think this is something you can learn, though if you have the talent you can polish it.

  1. Any words of wisdom for hopefuls aspiring to get into the music industry?

A. There are a lot of opportunities for musicians these days...and the Pakistani music channels have made things easier in the way of providing a platform. It is becoming a full fledged industry ....work hard and you will succeed.

  1. In what direction do you see pop music heading in the future?

A. I see it evolving into a much bigger industry...with world class studios and even better quality music and videos.

  1. You recently returned from the Asian Bollywood Awards in Dubai. How did it go for you?

A. It was an experience to remember

  1. Your plans/projects for the future?

A. To set up a music studio of international standards for our own artists so that they don't have to go aboard to work

source: http://www.socialpages.com.pk/116/personality.asp

amreen1409 IF-Dazzler
amreen1409
amreen1409

Joined: 28 September 2004
Posts: 4224

Posted: 04 September 2005 at 1:01pm | IP Logged
Thx 4 sharing Aji, he is looking sooo cute in the pics..

He is a very good singer and I am sure he will go much higher in future... i didnt know he was in the bollywood awards n about campaign with Amir.. and the biggest thing.. HE IS MARRIED!! Cry Cry
sadaf18 Senior Member
sadaf18
sadaf18

Joined: 14 January 2005
Posts: 733

Posted: 04 September 2005 at 2:10pm | IP Logged
Thanks Aji...

Great interview and wonderful pictures! And Amreen, I am as shocked as u are...I had no clue whatsoever that Fakhir was married...It is just heartbreaking!! Mein nay kya socha tha aur yae kya hua!! Ouch

-sadaf
Me_Anonymous IF-Veteran Member
Me_Anonymous
Me_Anonymous

Joined: 03 July 2005
Posts: 11407

Posted: 04 September 2005 at 3:16pm | IP Logged
well i'm not shocked coz i knew when his song for Pantene got on aired
ppl siad the girl in the song is his wife
that's all i know may be i'm wrong but it's for sure that he's married
i like his songs especially Tuba Hai
~LiL*PrInCeZ~ IF-Sizzlerz
~LiL*PrInCeZ~
~LiL*PrInCeZ~

--
Joined: 20 October 2004
Posts: 11310

Posted: 04 September 2005 at 4:13pm | IP Logged
grt pix od him
thankz 4 da interview
yea im surprised dat hez married 2
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