For Hasan Raheem, music was a dream that beckoned to him from a young age, and the magic of it since lies in the "slow-burning process" of its creation rather than the fame he's found in a short span of time.
The young singer from Gilgit-Baltistan revealed some interesting snippets about himself and his personal life to Forbes, which has dubbed him "the wonder-kid making waves in Pakistani music" in an article published on January 22.
Raheem told Forbes many things we previously didn't know about him, including the first time he "experienced the tangible magic of live performances". In fifth grade, he sang a popular dance track by the British-Indian band RDB on stage and saw the crowd "leave their seats to bust a few moves". This experience was the beginning of a grand dream for the singer.
Raheem is the eldest of three siblings born to a father who was in the army and a mother who is a housewife. He described himself as a "rebel", yet he made it a point to get through medical school, all the while making the kind of music he loves.
The magazine described Raheem's music-making as "a slow-burning process that Raheem felt deliciously consumed by".
When it comes to how he comes off as a person, the 'Joona' singer is "soft-spoken" and "somewhat shy" and he's definitely not someone who gravitates towards talking to the media (which is perhaps why we don't know much about him). For the singer, his career is all about making the music he loves.
Raheem is particular about writing his own song lyrics, no matter who he collaborates with. “I usually write about things that tease me,” he said. “I pour my feelings into my music. I try to keep it as simple as possible so that anyone who listens to my songs can connect with them. I keep it straightforward so that everyone understands what I have to say.
“I think I’m learning and experimenting with my music every day. I’m a student of this art form. I try to sing and write in different ways. I practice constantly.”
The 'Aisay Kaisay' singer has high hopes for the Pakistani music industry. “I think the future of Pakistani music is going to be an amalgamation of genres," he said. "Right now we have a whole new Indie and Hip Hop scene, there are so many different sounds out there that in the next decade or so, I’m pretty sure Pakistani music is going to go global."
Raheem also feels strongly about the music industry supporting up and coming artists to foster talent.
“I see new talent in Pakistan and the stuff they’re making and it’s so much better than what we’re currently doing. But they need our support. When I started out, I was helped by peers like the Young Stunners, so I make it a point of paying it forward to those starting out. I go to their studios and help out with lyrics and melodies. I’m not selfish like that. We need to make a community where everyone comes together and makes great music. That’s what the music industry needs at this point.”
Raheem also spoke about how "at times it gets a little 'hard' to convince senior artistes regarding the creation of new sounds".
“I’ve had to persuade some of the seniors that I’ve worked with that this is the kind of music people are listening to these days and that we need to step up our game,” he says, “If we stick with the old sound, it’s not going to better our industry. New artistes need to be motivated more and if they see us working with senior artists and doing cool projects, they’re going to be super psyched about working on their art. I really see our music industry growing.”
The singer will soon be seen on Coke Studio's season 14. He's eager to release his very first album soon after this and plans to do a national tour.