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27 Dec

Abdullah Siddiqui talks about ‘Be Myself’ with Aima Baig and latest album ‘Heterotopia’

Proving age is just a number, the 20-year-old singer/songwriter, Abdullah Siddiqui has without a doubt taken the Pakistani music scene by storm. From collaborating with some of the most prominent musicians in the industry such as Meesha Shafi and Aima Baig among others, to actually making his presence felt, the young talent has covered it all.

Speaking of where his musical journey began, Abdullah said that he had been obsessed with pop music from a very young age. “I started singing and playing guitar when I was 9, and I started writing and producing music when I was 11. I really just learned through trial and error; there weren’t many resources for formal training in electronic music at the time,” he said in an exclusive chat with Something Haute.

 

 

Abdullah says that it’s been an insane journey so far as right after his first album came out in September 2019, he moved to the US for college. “This was followed by a series of developments in my personal life and mental health,” he shared. “All the changes in environment and circumstance made for a very creatively inspiring period; I made the bulk of my second album between November 2019 and March 2020. But beyond that, the time between my first album and now has also just been a whirlwind in terms of my career. I’m working more than I ever have, and that’s honestly when I’m at my happiest.”

The musician’s latest collaboration is with Aima Baig which he labels as a great experience.

Be Myself is a song that’s really close to me. I wrote it about how existentially frustrating it is that our only vessel for existence is the body, and how it’s impossible to separate the perception of one’s mind and personality from the perception of their appearance. And at the core of that is frustration about body image and self-worth,” he explained his perspective.

 

 

When he sent the song to Aima, he was happy to discover that it resonated with her as well. “We had some really deep conversations about what body image means to her and how damaging it can be to be shamed for your appearance. She decided to do the song almost immediately, and then she asked Shahbaz Shigri to direct the video, and he did a stunning job.”

His second full-length album, Heterotopia featuring 14 tracks was released on Friday. “I’ve never worked as hard on anything as I have on this album, and I think you’ll really like it,” he shared his excitement.

Curious to know more about the album, we asked him if he has a personal favorite song from the album.

 

 

“My personal favorite is Unravel, which is a song I wrote when I had a moment of realization about how all of my traumas are interlinked with my personality in a giant network.” He also revealed that he has never produced a song “so intricately and with so much attention to detail before.” Abdullah also admitted that he cannot listen to this song without crying which he feels is always a good sign. “I wanted every single sound in the song to serve an emotional purpose.”

Defining the theme of his album, he stated that it is really about the core issues that define a person. “It’s about identity in every form; the body, space, time, love, ideology, work, trauma. It’s also about mental health, and tackling your own psychological hang-ups.”

“I’m literally inspired by everyone I worked on this album with,” he confessed when asked if he looks up to anyone in the industry for inspiration.

“I think a lot of people have talent, but not everyone has something to say. To be on this album at all is an artistically daring thing to do; it goes against everything you’re taught about the music business to work on experimental electronic English-language tracks. But everyone on this album did it, and that’s why I admire them.”

You can listen to the complete album here:

 

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Muna Moini

The author is a Karachi based writer at Something Haute.