Josh has always followed a fan following in Pakistan. In fact, Q calls Karachi his second home. Q and Rup were recently in the city for the Unplugged series performance with Komal Rizvi when Images on Sunday caught up with them to discuss new music, live performances, videos, piracy and more.
At the gig, the revamped ’50s classic Punjabi track Desaan da Raja got a new and hip sound. Komal rewrote its lyrics whilst Q reproduced the music. The remixed version got an amazing response from the audience.
What’s up, Josh?
Qurram says, “We have been working on new music and finding the best ways to get it out. There are more creative ways to get the music out nowadays, which include aligning music with movies etc, so we are exploring those. We also are going to release an exciting new single. We were also very excited to see the director of our last video, Adnan Kandhar, win the Best Director award at the Lux Style Awards.”
“Evolution and growth in music is inevitable. I think that’s where we have landed. We still keep the signature Josh sound, but we try to have fun with new things. At the same time, we have songs that are quite ‘classic’ as well. I think as always, everything is a mix of genres and that’s where Josh always lands,” adds Rup.
Is it feasible to launch albums now when bands are launching singles?
“We don’t have any plans for an album yet, but we do have enough songs ready for one, so you never know."
“We are not against launching albums. We just feel that you have to try to diversify how and where you release an album. Also, timing is the key. The album should come out after you have a couple of singles released from the album, so you get an idea of the kind of traction the album will get.”
Collaborations and Komal
“Collaborations are great as they give artists a chance to bring a little bit of each of them in a new creation. Lots of learning can happen during this process, and that’s the best part about it.
Josh came calling on Karachi for all the right reasons
“Komal had expressed interest in doing something fun together on stage, and once we started to jam and discuss ideas, the process was quite natural. I think we get along great as people, and our energies match, so that was clear on stage when we performed together. I took our ideas and made something different and special and we all liked it, so decided to perform it live. It’s tough to do a new song for a new audience, and get the positive reaction we got. People seemed to like it after one listen, so that’s a good sign!”
Rup: “There is a big video-viewing audience, it’s just more online than on TV. Videos bring life to the meaning of a song in a way that’s very special, and I think that needs to continue.
To the question how does Josh see the present Pakistan music scene, Q says, “I don’t hear as much innovation as I would like, but the scene is bouncing back. I think people can be more creative and they have the capacity to be so, but for some reason I don’t hear it being released. Let’s hope that changes.”
Down with piracy
“Piracy is all around us and it’s hard to battle. That being said more and more people are getting used to streaming music, preferring it over downloading songs for free. Pakistan is still a little behind in this movement but I think that’s going to change soon. Affordable streaming service plans are round the corner, and this industry is due for a big change.”
What the future holds
“I think we are diversifying a bit with Rup’s acting and I’m looking to get involved in some other projects as well. That being said, the music bug is not ready to leave us any time soon.”
“I’m not singing for a bunch of complete strangers. I know a lot of the people in the audience and that they are advanced listeners.”
How did the Josh collaboration happen?
“Q and I had been in talking about doing a song together for a couple of years now. I had suggested a remake of Desaan da Raja which they had considered redoing a few years ago.
Personally, I have drifted towards Sufi rock and I hope to make more original music like Jhoolay Lal and Tu beh Gaya.The collaboration with Josh will be released this year with a music video. So stay tuned!”