Asad and Jamshad Ali Khan are 18-year-old twins with a fiery passion for the guitar. They may be young but their skills are sharp, making one think they are seasoned musicians. “Most musicians in Peshawar pick up the guitar to impress girls,” laughs Jamshad. The twins, however, were inspired by their father’s fascination with music.
“Our journey began years ago when I came across Sajid and Zeeshan’s “King of Self” while flipping through TV channels,” Jamshad recalls. “I was completely in awe of their music and requested my father, who is a music lover, to decode the chords for me. Much to my surprise, he smiled and said, ‘That’s Sajid Ghafoor and he is a friend of mine. Do you want to meet him?’“
And so, the four musicians met. While Zeeshan proved to be a mentor to Asad, Sajid taught Jamshad the artistry behind the guitar. Jamshad, who plays the acoustic guitar, claims to have mastered the art of percussive tapping — a rare quality amongst Peshawari guitarists. Asad plays the electric guitar and works on post-production and other music editing programmes. The budding artists have received two thumbs up from Imranuddin, a veteran bass guitar player, who has performed alongside Sajid at a number of gigs. “I haven’t seen a better guitar virtuoso than Sajid, but now we have Jamshad,” Imranuddin said, appreciating of Jamshad’s dexterity.
Praise aside, the twins’ excessive inclination towards cover songs remains a cause of concern. Why don’t they compose their own music? “We are just 18 and we have to complete our education first,” says Asad, who seems to have his plans chalked out. “But keeping the recent demand of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa musicians in the market, we are trying to release some original music in the coming months,” he adds.
The K-P music industry, it seems, is in its golden period; emerging musicians like Yasir and Jawad have impressed listeners with “Reidi Gul” and Naseer and Shahab have become a YouTube sensation with “Za Pukhtoon Yam”. Another well-known artist is Rahim Saranjam, who made his mark in the industry with his stint in “Uth Records”, a platform that was behind the discovery and launch of Yasir and Jawad.
“‘Uth Records’ did help a lot of artists, but as a band, we’d rather come into the market the way Bilal Khan, Atif Aslam and Qayaas did,” Asad stated confidently, when asked if music platforms are going to be their next step. “Frankly speaking, Rahim’s original song was much better than what he did in Uth Records,” added a not-so-impressed Jamshad.
Asad and Jamshad’s musical identity is still unclear. While Asad listens to trip-hop, Jamshad experiments with the acoustic guitar. “I have recorded the rough cut of our next melody and all I need is a mic to record the vocals — the track will be done,” said Asad casually. “This may sound very random to you, but that’s how Sajid and Zeeshan started out,” he added, the admiration apparent in his tone.
Asad and Jamshad have already won a few music competitions and played live sessions for acts like Qayaas and Ali Azmat. They may be naïve but are passionate about music and know how to play their instruments. Only time will tell how far they will go to be a sensation in Peshawar — they certainly have the skill.
Published In The Express Tribune, June 24th, 2012.