Following the nationwide success of “Aadat”, the band Jal received great acclaim for creating something so remarkable out of simplistic compositions and basic guitar chords. Not only did they create an impressive fan following, but also successfully attracted the youth’s attention. After enduring an intense year, the band is now ready to make a comeback, with Goher Mumtaz, the band’s lead vocalist.
“I agree that bands and musicians are always busy releasing singles, but Jal’s fans know that we take our time investing in releasing a great new album altogether,” said Mumtaz enthusiastically.
The new album
The pop-rock band released their single “Mahi Ya” with the sole purpose of showcasing their new line-up of Mumtaz as lead vocalist paired with Shazi. Essentially, the album contains 10 tracks but is still untitled. The duo intends to reflect the level of maturity they have achieved in terms of sound and production, ultimately adding a soulful element to their music. Including various ballads and Sufi tracks, they claim the album will appeal to people all age groups and classes.
Providing insight into their latest album, Mumtaz disclosed that Shazi will be serving the role of lead vocalist in one of the tracks. The story behind this track, “Dil Ki Baat”, is rather inspirational. “We were sitting outside a studio waiting to appear on a TV show,” said Shazi, whose role in the band has expanded. “Goher started strumming his guitar randomly and the words just followed.”
“To Lau Guitar”, another track, is a mellow youth-oriented composition revolving around a musician’s life which highlights that a guitar ultimately becomes a musician’s best friend. Other songs in the album include: “Tanhai”, “Tu Muskera”, “Uth Jana” and “Dil Hari”.
The prospect of success for their new album has definitely been complemented by the band’s increasing international tours, including India. They also have a nationwide tour on their agenda as soon as the album is released. At live concerts, musicians including Salman Albert and Kenny have graced the stage with their positive contributions.
Furthermore, Shazi believes that India has developed an appreciation for Pakistani music. “Our own songs are requested by crowds in concerts,” Shazi added, enthralled by the acknowledgement and appreciation the band has received. At the same time, he said the condition of the Pakistani music industry should not be overlooked – clearly something is wrong which results in musicians turning to India. He believes that history bears testimony to the fact that even our legends, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Mehdi Hassan, did not get the respect and appreciation they deserved and were eventually driven to India, craving fame.
Soon after the release of “Aadat” in 2004, Atif Aslam left the band and moved on as a solo artist. For Jal, this didn’t mean the end of the road as they quickly replaced him with Farhan Saeed. Unfortunately the cards were still not in their favour, as Saeed wasn’t planning on sticking around either.
“Rumours were spreading that Jal was ‘no more’,” said Mumtaz. “We had to get the message across to our fans, letting them know that Jal is alive and here to stay.” He expressed how devastated he was when he discovered Saeed’s intentions of leaving the band. “This band is our identity – it’s what we have grown up with,” he exclaimed.
Now as lead vocalist himself, Mumtaz agrees that he was sceptical of the comparisons that would be made with previous arrangements of the band and for this very reason, avoided media and diverted all his energy into music. “Although the band has been through a very difficult time, our biggest support comes from our fans – it’s time we produce something great for them.”
The album is set to release this fall.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 8th, 2012.