Talal Qureshi: Making waves

Published: January 27, 2012

The record producer and DJ speaks about the dubstep genre in Pakistan. PHOTO: SHAHEER SHAHID

ISLAMABAD: 

In the vast subversive sea of musical genres, Talal Qureshi is no ordinary fish. He’s the deep-ocean variety, taking to the darkest, unexplored musical depths to churn out the electronic-dubstep beats that make waves and ripple across Pakistan. For those who don’t know better, the dubstep genre is a bass-heavy and fragmented style with repetitive drum patterns, electronic textures and sporadic vocals.

The Express Tribune sat down with the edgy producer for a first time interview to discuss his music, what makes him unique and the fate of dubstep in Pakistan.

When did you get started?

I started off making music when I was around 10 or 11 years old. I used to bug around with softwares at that time, playing some riffs on the guitar, making a pattern on a casio keyboard. Yeah. That’s how I started.

Why does this genre appeal to you? Do you think it can take off in Pakistan?

I have the soul of a research professor — I keep experimenting with tunes, samples I make on Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) etc. I was just really inspired with this style and wanted to mix it up with electronica. I think it’s extremely hard to come up with a balanced tune where you want to showcase so much. I try my best to keep my flavour, which are the beat patterns that I create from scratch.

As far as your question about whether this genre can take off in the country, I feel it’s too early to say anything. People do like to listen to dubstep here, but you should also not forget the amount of time it took house music to register here. I guess slowly it will take off. That said, I’d like add that I am purely producing (particularly dubstep/electronica) for the international market. I want to collaborate with the likes of Skrillex, Zedd, Coven, DeadMau5, Trent Raznor, DJ Lethal and Chase and Status.

How’s your extended-play coming along? Are you hunting for a label?

The EP is turning out to be a cracker! It has been produced solely by me, from every synth (synthesiser) to every beep to every beat, it’s me. I am trying to release it as soon as possible. And no, I am not looking for labels locally but I have some very tempting offers from International record labels to do a full-length album.

 Please tell us about your released tracks; the concepts and sound you worked with?

I produced my first track “Sketches” with Faizan Riedinger of the band Mole. We had no concept behind it, we just added a bunch of stuff and created this experimental tune. For “DeadMasi”, I had a concept of a masi (maid) trying to steal money of the owner and how she ends up in a situation where all she can see is death. And for the track “Guetta Kaun?”, even though I like David Guetta, I hate him for recycling his tunes over and over again. That explains the title of the track.

Can you tell us about some of the official remixes you’ve done? How do you work on these; what’s your process when you’re mixing/adding?

Recently, I did an official remix for Adil Omar’s track “Off The Handle” and got a great response from people. I think remixing a song is much easier for me than producing a track.

Collaborations?

I had to change my style for Adil’s album to make it sound more hardcore hip hopish, but we still are experimenting and right now it sounds pretty good. It’s a bit hard to score a movie, but when you have Shahbaz Shigri and Aisha Linnea it gets easier to work. We share the same taste in music.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 28th, 2012.

Reader Comments (9)

  • Dis
    Jan 27, 2012 - 9:20PM

    If he wasnt going to do it then I would’ve. :)

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  • Asim
    Jan 28, 2012 - 12:23AM

    So I’m not alone!

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  • Alex
    Jan 28, 2012 - 2:24AM

    Talal produce great sound ! That’s a great artist ! :)

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  • mansoor laghari
    Jan 28, 2012 - 2:28AM

    its good to see a pakistani Tala quereshi currently working with international companies,that shows the talent of pakistan, may i what he doing to promote our singers n music at internal level..Recommend

  • Jan 28, 2012 - 2:49AM

    Glad to see some coverage for artists of this genre. .
    there are loads of other talented guys out there who could use similar exposure. I to start with :) chk out the link!

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  • Alex
    Jan 28, 2012 - 6:30AM

    You’re right !
    I’m french and I live in France but I know Talal Qureshi, Adil Omar…That’s great to know a part of your culture. I would love to know more about your country.
    So, Talal did a great work to promote his songs in the entire world… I guess… :)

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  • fazal
    Jan 28, 2012 - 5:26PM

    i like him but he sometimes sound like a little adil omer clone, no originality

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  • Winnie
    Jan 28, 2012 - 5:42PM

    Love him alot!!he’s a bright star of Pakistan…wish him love and i wish he spread his magic everywhere…..:)

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  • meeda
    Jan 29, 2012 - 12:28AM

    dubstep is heavy man! asians like heavy stuff! it’ll surely spread faster than house

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