Jasim Haider’s journey as a musician and film-maker has been a rather turbulent one. He came to Karachi to study film but his heart always remained in his hometown, Islamabad.
As he completed his studies, Haider joined MTV Pakistan as a producer but after working on a couple of shows, realised that it is not where he belongs. He constantly felt that his heart lies in music and the sound of the guitar is what really gets him going — he just needed a push to dive head first into it.
However, Haider’s ‘eureka’ moment is not a happy story. It is a tragic incident, the death of his childhood friend, Mohsin Javed. He was amongst the five spectators who were killed in an accident when a car participating in a drag race organised in Bahria Town, Islamabad, blindly smashed into the stands. After the sudden loss of his friend, Haider was inspired to compose his first song “Khamoshi”.
“I was shooting for a project in Karachi when I heard the sad news,” recalls Haider in a melancholic tone. “But what was worse was that I couldn’t attend his funeral due to my professional commitments,” he adds.
Popularly known as “Lalay” amongst his friends, Javed was an MBA student whom Haider shared golden memories with, and the person who ultimately inspired him to begin his musical career with a tribute to a dear, deceased friend.
“I had come up with the melody before his death but wasn’t really sure what lyrics to pen down until he passed away. That is when I titled the song ‘Khamoshi’,” adds Haider.
The short teaser of “Khamoshi” shows the silhouette of five boys, including Haider, standing with the beautiful Margalla Hills in the background. The video has been shot in several beautiful locations near Javed’s home.
The track, which is yet to be released, was exclusively shared with The Express Tribune. The music is very soft on the ears, following a typical blues melody craftily played on the tabla. On the YouTube link of the teaser released online, one of the comments mentions that it sounds like a modern day Vital Signs number — precisely what Haider had aimed for.
“I am a diehard fan of Vital Signs and Shoaib Mansoor. The kind of music they produced — from the lyrics to the way their videos were made — is phenomenal and remain a source of inspiration for me,” he says.
The song has been composed, sung and written by Haider himself while also featuring Mansoor Mujtaba, a student of the late Ustaad Mehdi Hassan Khan, on the vocals. It has been produced by Jonathan Jones. A few lyrics from one of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s popular song “Watna Nu Aaja Dholna” have also been used by Haider.
Looking at his music career, “Khamoshi” is just the beginning for Haider as a number of other songs and music videos are underway. However, unlike most other artists, Haider doesn’t plan on releasing a music album.
“Gone are the days of releasing complete music albums, I’ll follow the standard practice of releasing videos online and performing live shows,” says Haider.
The complete video of “Khamoshi” will be released in the next 10 days on YouTube and if it manages to gain popularity, Haider will join the league of other brilliant musicians that have emerged from Islamabad, such as Abbas Ali Khan and Qayaas.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 13th, 2012.
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