Pakistani band Mauj is finally making a return following a long hiatus since the band’s debut album Now in Technicolor, which was released in 2009. Vocalist and guitarist Omran Shafique, the man behind Mauj, disclosed that the band has started working on a new album and they aim to release some good music by the end of the year.
Mauj, which initially included Mohsin Atif as the bassist and co-lyricist, now has a different line-up including the Co-Ven boys Hamza Jafri, Sameer Ahmed and Sikander Mufti. The new line-up, which has been performing under various banners in the past, will provide a unique identity for the band, says Shafique. “I don’t think that the process of making music ever stopped; it’s an ongoing process and we hope to bring good music again,” says the guitarist.
For the love of music
While explaining his passion for music, Shafique pointed out that he was settled in Texas, America, but decided to move to Pakistan only to pursue music as a career. “I wanted to move back at the time to see what I could contribute as a musician,” says Shafique.
The guitarist, who has over the years made a career as both a session player and producer for shows like “Uth Records”, maintains that the band will be a creative outlet since it has never been intended for commerciality.
His announcement comes as a big surprise for the music industry, which has struggled to find any originality of late. While most bands these days avoid investing in an entire album, Shafique intends on working towards a 10-single album but is not yet sure about the details of how the album will be released. “I am a creative person and various songs routinely play in my head. I probably have five to six albums planned in my head.”
Shafique explains that the band’s philosophy is to try and produce music that’s new and has never been made in Pakistan. “The band’s identity has always been its name which has two meanings; a wave and the second one is a reference to something fun,” says Shafique. The guitarist further adds that his experiences (stints at “Coke Studio” and “Uth Records” as well as working with music giants like Ali Azmat) will shape the outcome of the album to a great extent. “For this album, the goal is to do something more experimental and fun, something that has a new sound and has not been done in Pakistan.”
Meanwhile, while speaking about the current music scene, Shafique said he is pleased at the fact that several young bands such as Poor Rich Boy in Lahore, Orangenoise and Mole, have stepped up and are creatively adding a different sound to the rock scene in the country.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 22nd, 2012.