History has been witness to a number of boy bands drifting apart, be it the Backstreet Boys from Hollywood or EP in Lollywood. With the Pakistani music industry facing a staggering decline over the years, this has become more of a trend, with rock/pop bands splitting up and members going their own ways. While the bands were successful, going solo came with lesser fame and a great deal of criticism. Such has been the case with Atif Aslam’s successor to the band Jal, Farhan Saeed.
When Farhan Saeed left Jal, there was quite a lot of speculation of how he would survive as a solo artist. With the release of his single Pi Jaun last year, he silenced critics who felt he lacked the versatility to make it on his own.
However, since then, he has been building a career rather quietly.
Saeed has certainly branched out by frequently touring and performing in India and making his own mark on a global level.
His long-awaited solo album will release in the last quarter of this year. Having faced delays in releasing his album, Saeed has been quite vocal over Twitter about record labels and their unfair attitude.
“Record companies are not being fair. Maybe they can’t be, I don’t know. But one thing is for sure, at the end, it’s the artist who suffers,” he says.
“According to the labels, the physical sales of music are almost nil, which kind of makes sense considering the new trend of downloading music through social media platforms, but then the region in which we do music doesn’t have transparent ways of sharing royalties either,” adds Saeed.
Saeed’s debut album aims to have all the ingredients for success. He claims that the album will be more of a fusion of two different genres of music – a surprise for his listeners and will incorporate an element of versatility and various different sound techniques.
“I love being a versatile artist and that’s what I’ll try to be in my upcoming album. Having said that, my first priority would be to offer quality music to my listeners,” asserts Saeed.
Although he attempted to prove his flexibility as an artist with the two singles Kyun Gayi and Tu Thori Dair following Pi Jaun, they did not manage to garner the same viral success.
Despite that, Kyun Gayi will be featured in an untitled Bollywood film. The song basically brings out the emotion of separating from your lover. “The video of Kyun Gayi has been played on all channels and has been appreciated by the viewers.
However, the lyrics being in Punjabi makes it a little less commercial for an international market,” says Saeed.
Meanwhile, his other track Tu Thori Dair released just last month and Saeed seems enthusiastic about the product as it involves the use of sarangi, an instrument that has never been used in any of his songs.
“This one’s a relatively new song in that it has a soft, melodious tune with the addition of a new instrument, sarangi. It is a slow romantic number that emphasises on the concept of it’s ‘never enough’ when two lovers meet,” he says.
Like most young Pakistani artists who have indulged themselves into Bollywood’s temptations, Saeed, too, has been working more and more in India with several tours across the country at local concert hotspots.
He is of the belief that currently India is one of the most vibrant environments for music and with the local industry going downhill, Bollywood offers a great way to connect with international audiences.
“India is a good market for any profession. Pakistani singers and musicians are warmly welcomed there.” says Saeed.
“It’s always helpful to have access to an international market. However, when the local industry is facing a relapse, it becomes more of a necessity.”
The singer currently has several projects in the pipeline including music videos and some Bollywood projects apart from his upcoming album scheduled to release by the end of the year.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 22nd, 2013.
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