The musical duo of Naseer Afridi and Shahab Qamar lends credence to the old adage that distance is but a state of mind, churning out new music despite being split by multiple time zones and over 10,000 kilometres. They have not only managed to sustain their partnership but also make sure that if flourishes through the interspace.
Ironically, for a band that prides itself on having conquered the miles and completed nearly half a decade in the industry, Naseer and Shahab have released just a handful of singles. Naseer attributed this to their hectic schedules and professional commitments but also revealed a brand new single entitled Hero will soon be out. The track is their return to action and set to release on February 5 on the third anniversary of their first single, Za Pakhtoon Yum. Hero will be the band’s second Urdu song.
Reflecting upon this, the Ghalti Men Shta singer hinted that listeners can expect to hear a different kind of sound this time as the boys have shuffled around their style a bit. “Our latest release is primarily a rock song infused with elements of electronic music and electro-rock,” shared Naseer. “The idea behind the track is for people to acknowledge that every person is the hero of their own story.”
With an animated video ready to accompany the song, Naseer said that sci-fi fans are in for a treat once Hero comes out. Animations have always been a vivid part of Naseer and Shahab’s music videos but this time around, the venture will contain plenty of Star Wars references. “It will be a treat for fans of the series and tech-savvy people in general.”
Naseer admitted that distance often proves to be quite a hindrance when it comes to their work. “Of course, the biggest obstacle in our situation is the time difference between Pakistan and Australia,” said Naseer. “When Shahab is at home there, I tend to be at work [here] and vice versa,” added the vocalist.
Under such circumstances, it is hardly surprising that a song — which would normally take about two weeks to be produced — ends up costing the Pakistani band close to three months. “It always helps if the person you are collaborating with is physically present during the production process,” explained Naseer. “For instance, when I tell Shahab that there is something wrong with the snare, pointing out that particular bit is extremely difficult over video chat or text messaging.”
But all is well that ends well! Though the longwinded production process may be more tedious than preferred, Naseer claims the logistic issues between him and his band mate have actually given him a lot of patience. This has, ultimately, enabled him to enjoy the final product even more. “I have become much more patient now. Seeing the end result after putting in so much time and effort gives one a greater sense of satisfaction and fulfilment,” he shared.
Tied up in professional commitments, Naseer remained mum regarding any future prospects for the group. He did, however, state that both the musicians are open to composing for films, given their mutual admiration for the work of international composer, Hans Zimmer. “We both love Hans Zimmer’s music. If we were approached to compose for a feature film, why would we say no?”
Published in The Express Tribune, February 2nd, 2016.