Farhan leaves Jal

Published: September 5, 2011
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Band splits once again as another vocalist, after Atif Aslam, calls it quits. DESIGN: AMNA IQBAL

Band splits once again as another vocalist, after Atif Aslam, calls it quits. DESIGN: AMNA IQBAL

LAHORE/KARACHI: 

After Farhan Saeed covered Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s “Halka Halka Suroor”, rumours were abuzz that the singer would be calling it quits with his band Jal. On September 3, Saeed finally confirmed the speculations, disclosing his departure from the band. He is now set to pursue his solo career and look after his business, the singer told The Express Tribune in an exclusive interview at his cafe.

Saeed, who joined Jal at the age of 19 after Atif Aslam left the band, believes that he has departed in an amicable manner, leaving no hard feelings with the other members — Goher Mumtaz and Shazi Aamir.

“When you’re in a band, it’s like being in a company where there is a board of directors and all decisions have to be made collectively,” explains Saeed. “Being solo now is like being the owner of my own business. I can do the things I want and do them on my terms.”

Saeed claims that he disclosed his decision to Mumtaz and Aamir around the first week of Ramazan, saying that the decision was met with nostalgia as the band is known for its close-knit nature with regular jam sessions: “I invited them over to my cafe and explained my reasons for leaving the band. Goher offered that I could pursue my solo career while being a part of the band, but for me it’s always been black or white as Jal would be my priority if I stay with the band.”

Recounting his years with Jal, Saeed explains that it was the most formative time of his life, playing for the band for nearly eight years. Though his contract terms only required him to sing for the band for five years, he remained a part of Jal for three more years until he realised that the band was not releasing enough music. “I think the pace was sort of slow because people need music and to serve music, you can’t really wait to release albums,” says the singer.

Understanding that many fans would connect Saeed’s departure to the rift of Atif Aslam with Mumtaz earlier, the singer says: “People love Jal and it’s heartbreaking to see us go our separate ways. So they would naturally blame Goher, but that’s not the case here. The fact is that I’m getting busy.”

Having opted for a solo career, Saeed intends to dedicate 60 to 70 per cent of his timeto music, leaving the rest for business and family. He also plans to get more active with humanitarian causes and is currently in talks to become Pakistan’s youth ambassador for The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation. His new album is under production and several singles are also lined up for Bollywood with Saeed as a solo artist. “Khwahishain” — an original number, composed and written by Saeed — will be released along with a music video at the end of the month.

“I think my album will be very different from Jal’s music. It will be more like my music and how I want it to be,” says Saeed.

Part of Jal’s latest controversy are two more people — Saad Sultan and DJ Maq. Sultan has been the session guitarist for Jal for about three years, and even performed with the band at their last gig on July 29. Sultan also happens to be the producer of Saeed’s solo cover of “Halka Halka Suroor”.

DJ Maq, the former manager of Jal, was recently replaced with Mumtaz’ brother. He is now Saeed’s manager.

Though Jal’s frontman Mumtaz was not available for comments, his brother and the band’s manager Khurram Mumtaz said: “Jal the band will move on despite any controversies. The band is working on its third album, which includes a lot of new, exciting and experimental tracks. All our fans around the world should brace themselves for a lot of surprises and music worth listening to.”

Saeed called it quits with Jal — that gave him his identity — on a rather touchy and emotional statement: “I will not say anything to make the separation difficult.”

In less than a decade, yet another vocalist has left Jal. However, whether or not Saeed will get even remotely close to Aslam’s success, is a question only time can answer.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 6th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (24)

  • Saad
    Sep 5, 2011 - 8:54PM

    No body cares.

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  • Bilal Z Khan
    Sep 5, 2011 - 9:10PM

    They are my favorite. :(
    This is just sad.

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  • sumeet
    Sep 5, 2011 - 10:20PM

    this band is cursed.but then again breaking of bands is regular in world of rock music and bands get disbanded and reunite.best wishes for jal and farhan.

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  • Rehma
    Sep 5, 2011 - 11:14PM

    I always liked Farhan & thought he’s better being a solo artist.
    Anyways.Good luck to both the musicians : )

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  • Bilal
    Sep 5, 2011 - 11:20PM

    People care abt good music. Where ever it might come from

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  • Rehma
    Sep 5, 2011 - 11:26PM

    Farhan will become more popular than Goher.

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  • Rizwan
    Sep 5, 2011 - 11:42PM

    I have to agree with Saad; who cares what jal is upto if they’re not in the highlight. they’ve been out of the light for quite sometime now. Apart from that Jal has never been able to meet the success story like Atif has. I however think that Farhan is a good singer but honestly still i don’t think he can do music any different from what Jal has been producing for past 8 years. Farhan always fit into the band because he seems like a similar kind of musician. I’m not speculating any different for him even now… Anyways still keeping my fingers crossed as Saad Sultan is a talented musician and he has already produced some of the great ht covers already.

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  • iswar
    Sep 6, 2011 - 12:23AM

    i believe since 2004 that jal=farhan+goher+shazzi…………………..it is unvulenearable…………..we all miss u farhan as ajal

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  • Sep 6, 2011 - 9:07AM

    To be honest, all of Jal’s songs sound more or less the same. Recommend

  • Javed Shah
    Sep 6, 2011 - 12:01PM

    Who cares..Band lost everything once Atif left it. Whoever comes and goes doesn’t matter anymore

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  • Mujtaba
    Sep 6, 2011 - 2:23PM

    using surname Saeed,Mumtaz,Aslam and Aamir does not make sense. People know them by first name

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  • Mudassar.R
    Sep 6, 2011 - 2:27PM

    shoda group :DRecommend

  • Sep 6, 2011 - 9:56PM

    jal are together forever it iz forad

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  • lola
    Sep 7, 2011 - 9:20AM

    Goher is crying in his basement!

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  • Anas Tahir Khan
    Sep 7, 2011 - 11:34AM

    few things that lead to the split. the band was not producing enough music .. fact!! .. all of the Jal’s songs sound almost the same .. yes to some extent .. the lyrical content and the music .. same thing! .. Will farhan be as big as atif .. who knows but yes farhan surely lacks that charisma! .. about saad sultan .. hes not a superman and there are alot of good producers in the country .. about goher’s future .. jal was never as big as junoon but gohers future to me seems like salman ahmed .. goher surely cannot go and talk about sufism in newyork .. but lahore isnt that bad eh? ..
    to farhan .. opening that cafe was a smart move man !! .. and with going solo you will surely go big bucks! .. good luck.

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  • Mobeen
    Sep 7, 2011 - 9:56PM

    Yes I can definitely foresee a “bright” future for Farhan. And I read someone said “breaking up of bands is part of rock music..”.. Jal being rock?? They were and never can be more than pop-churning commercial machines. Peace

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  • Sep 11, 2011 - 4:38PM

    all the best farhan.goher shazi

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  • Samreen
    Sep 14, 2011 - 2:13PM

    The real problem in the band is Gohar who is always tries to take credit. The band was going nowhere so Farhan’s decision to leave it seems to be justified.

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  • Sep 18, 2011 - 11:11AM

    We love you so much Farhan, please don’t leave JAL. You have come about due to JAL, you should not leave it, we wil miss u too much! WE LOVE YOU!

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  • ruaani
    Sep 29, 2011 - 9:22AM

    best of luck farhan.

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  • Venus Khan
    Sep 30, 2011 - 6:53AM

    Jal deserves a better vocalist, it always did. Goher is a creative guy and he needs someone who can actually portray his creativity. Even some of the greatest songs by Jal sounded mediocre because of Farhan’s vocals.Farhan made a very good and an intelligent decision. He can afford and enjoy more being solo.
    Goher should find some really good guy now!
    Goodluck to both of them!

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  • sara
    Oct 3, 2011 - 8:18PM

    i was very upset wen heard this news,but i think tht never mind m sure that farhan give us very gud music alone.so shud wish a best of luck.<3<3.Recommend

  • Nida
    Oct 3, 2011 - 9:37PM

    Its quiet annoying people came, become famous and left JAL.. its confusing actually…. one should attach with the thing, which has given them fame, popularity and success.. they were ZERO before JAL & was NO CHANCE of becoming ANYTHING now after JAL has given them everything, they left JAL.. anyways.. best of luck to farhan

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  • Tabish
    Oct 20, 2011 - 4:23PM

    No I think that farhan will go down and that its really sad and another time jal go backward

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