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26 Jan

Natasha Humera Ejaz’s indie takeover

For many, Pakistani indie music is still an undiscovered genre however, for those in the know, it is the most exciting thing playing. Whether it’s the organic lyrics, the hybridism of western and eastern influences, or the very fact that it evokes the feeling of being attached to your own soul, you cannot help but be a part of it. And, being an integral part of the swift indie takeover is none other than Islamabad’s very own, Natasha Humera Ejaz.

A name that became synonymous with indie music over the last few years, Ejaz’s entry into the Pakistani music scene has been most celebrated ever since her return from college abroad. Whether it was her first ever Lux Style Award nomination for album of the year for her EP, Till the End of Time or front-lining at a number of gigs, the singer has proven she’s here to stay.

However, if you think she’s done after the release of her EP last year, she’s ready to prove you wrong. Talking to Something Haute, the singer reveals what she’s been up to post the success of her songs, and what we can expect from her soon!

Something Haute: Till the End of Time was released almost a year ago; how has the response been?

Natasha Humera Ejaz: “Till the End of Time was probably the best decision I made in my life after I graduated from college. I had had those songs lying around in my repertoire for the longest time and hadn’t made the effort to record them and let them be free in the world. And with the exception of doing this music on stage for years, and people loving them, I had no idea what the response would be like on a bigger more public scale. Luckily, people that had been following me for a long time served as a catalyst for the confidence we as a band had in the music itself. But what was supremely overwhelming were kids dancing along to the video of ‘Khwab’ being played in various venues over the course of the last year. Or people coming up to me randomly and saying, “Sometimes I put on ‘Raqeeb’ and stare out my window for hours on end.” Audiences, new and old, seem to have a very personal connection with the music and as a songwriter, I couldn’t have asked for anything more.”

SH: Will there be an album in the near future? And if so, what kind of music can we expect this time around?

NHE: “Yes. Expect it to be even more eclectic, chaotic, and passionate. I don’t have a clue when I’ll actually get to it but I write a song almost every month towards it so *fingers crossed*.”

SH: We saw you performing at a mix of events this year and the last few months such as Cote Rotie, Karachi Eat 2017 and Lahooti Melo; are there any plans on going big with events?

NHE: Yes! The idea is to open myself up to every kind of performance opportunity and style that I can possibly learn from. It is the ultimate goal, really, to try and communicate with as many people around the world as possible and I have found that the best space for that is on stage. When I can look someone in the eye and hopefully make them feel what I felt when I wrote the music they are hearing for the first time.

SH: What does the future hold for Natasha Humera Ejaz? What are we going to see next?

NHE: “Hopefully a lot more collaborations. In 2016 I started work on a concept album with some Norwegian folks. Haniya Aslam, Shehryar Mufti and I are also in the middle of working on a song together (something Mufti wrote a few years ago). This year I may also branch out into more acting related work that I can’t necessarily talk about at the moment but am very excited to start work on. I think 2017 is going to be the year for me to put to practice everything I have been working towards.”

Shahjehan Saleem

The author is Contributing Editor at Something Haute as well as a professor in the Media Sciences department at SZABIST, Karachi. Socio-cultural theories and geography fill up the rest of his time.