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18 May

It has been a difficult journey: Umair Jaswal on releasing solo album

An engineer by profession and musician by passion, Umair Jaswal has found his true calling in music. While he experimented as an actor in between, the Saami Meri Waar star has now established that he’s meant to be a rock star. After being a part of two bands earlier, he went solo and his popularity is proof that it was probably the right thing to do.

Umair has now revealed that his solo album is finally ready for release. We got in touch with him to find out about his journey from Qayaas to releasing the solo album and everything in between.

 

 

“It was a great experience with Qayaas. I’ve been a fan of every single member of that band and it’s been a joy ride. That band was a journey in itself; of self-exploration and discovering our music, sound and roots through music. It was, in fact, a very important part of my career; being a part of the band, being the lead vocalist, the frontman, lyricist and songwriter,” Umair said in an exclusive chat with Something Haute.

After Qayaas, he decided to go solo and got more recognition. However, that journey was not easy.

“It has been difficult. The journey of moving solo, especially for someone who believes in a band sound and is more of a band member kind of a musician, was not easy, it was very tough. But at the same time, it was necessary.”

Speaking of the dying band culture all over the world, he added, “Over time we have seen a demise of bands and the band culture, and there have been quite a few reasons for that. The whole scope of bands was changing worldwide.”

“It was becoming very hard to sustain, especially in a county like Pakistan where there were hardly any shows,” he explained adding that the decision to go solo was very important. “Also we had done enough music to find our musical differences. When a few of the really core members of the band left, I lost my interest as well. To me, Qayaas was the original lineup and having a few session players could not cut it.”

Comparing his music with Qayaas‘ music he said that his thought process is quite different, so it wouldn’t have been possible to continue with the same band members. “I had to go out there and find different musicians, I had to jam and rehearse with them, I had to audition them and see what works for me. It’s been a long journey, but fruitful nonetheless,” he said, adding that the sound of Umair Jaswal is something very pure, new, and close to his heart.

“It’s something very original and I’m sure no one has ever heard that kind of sound in Pakistan ever before.”

Umair has been working on this album for the past one-and-a-half year. However, there are a lot of songs in the album that he wrote quite a long time ago. “Some have been written around 10 years back. From the beginning, through Qayaas and onwards,” he revealed.

Speaking of motivation and the inspiration behind the upcoming album, he said it has always been the same. “I always wanted to do music and music has always been my first love.”

“When Qayaas was disbanding, it was a very depressing point in my life and I really really wanted an escape. I came to a point where I nearly gave up. I was leaving the county and pursuing a different career outside of Pakistan as an oil and gas engineer which I had studied for,” he shared. “But at that point, I decided to give it another shot, one last time and see what happened. And surprisingly it worked. People accepted me as a solo artist making me realise that Umair Jaswal was connecting and reaching to more people than Qayaas was. That gave me the push to continue with my music.”

One can’t speak to Umair and not ask about Coke Studio. Will he be part of the next season?

The rockstar said he can’t say for sure because he’s taken a break from all commercial platforms for a while. “I will continue taking a break for another year because I really want to discover myself and invest time in making original music.”

 

Let's do this 🙌🏻#CokeStudio10 #cokestudio #umairjaswal

A post shared by Umair Jaswal (@umairjaswalofficial) on

 

“Now, I think the time is right to put out your original stuff. You will be remembered for your original work. So, good or bad, I want to sing my own songs. My original music comforts me and brings me peace,” he added.

Muna Moini