Pakistan and India are finally joining hands, not through our political circumstances but our Pakistani artists from the entertainment industries are. Lately Pakistani artists like Ali Zafar, Atif Aslam and Rateh Fateh Ali Khan are a part of the Bollywood industry so to join their league are Rabi Ahmed and Adnan Dhool from ‘Soch’.
Rabi and Adnan have contributed their song ‘Awari’ for the Bollywood movie ‘Ek Villian’ by Mohit Suri. We at ARY Digital had a small chit chat with ‘The Soch Band’ to let you all know about their experience.
Tell us something about your band? Why did you name it ‘Soch’?
Rabi: “7 years ago, Adnan was looking for a session player for a concert. That is when I met him. We played for the concert, after that I met Adnan on and off. We hit it off right away, and we did it rather wonderfully well. We liked all the same things, and we’re both on the same wavelength, so that is when Adnan offered me to join ‘Soch’, and I so willingly accepted it.”
Adnan: “I always wanted to do music that will be inspirational something with bold and thought provoking lyrics and compositions. So that’s how SOCH came up.”
What is music to you and who has been the inspiration to your band?
Rabi: “I enjoy jazz and blues, usually western, while Adnan on the other hand adores eastern beats and he is inspired by Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan Sahab, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Kailash Kher, Sonu Nigam and Rabi Shergill. We always sit together while composing, so it is just never one of us alone working on our compositions. Each of us has his input and feel to every song is composed.
Though for our listeners it may seem like we are a pop/rock band, but I think it will be unfair if the music ‘Soch’ does is pigeon-holed to a specific genre. We experiment with our sounds and express these sounds of what is fresh and experimental.”
Adnan: “Music is an important aspect of ‘Soch’, for both of us something we can relate the world to. It can personify emotions in life if written well.”
What has been your biggest achievement so far?
Adnan: “Well we once performed for PTI on a float leading more than 100 thousand people and we performed that day at every single corner of Lahore.”
Rabi: “When people start listening to our songs and praising our work that’s an achievement for me but the recent event of our debut in Bollywood in an A grade movie and working with all these big tycoons of Bollywood music industry is a biggest achievement for me now.”
‘Awari’ is your debut song in Bollywood how is your feeling? How has the response been nationally and internationally?
Adnan: “Break in Bollywood is like opening of a door to a whole new series of ventures. We are loving every bit of this moment, we are excited and nervous at the same time.”
Rabi: “The response is upbeat, with barely a few days to the release of ‘Awari’; we are overwhelmed by everyone’s response. ‘Awari’ is being lauded and applauded world wide. We are so humbled by the appreciation and attention we are getting from people from all walks of life.”
How did the band come across this opportunity? How did it happen?
Adnan: “Our manager Murtaza Niaz had been contacting and reaching out to different film producers in India. He was in touch with Amul from Balaji and he told our manager that Balaji Motion Picture and Mohit Suri were really interested in our music, and he wanted us to do a track for ‘Ek Villain’.”
Rabi: “A year ago, Adnan and I were watching ‘Aashiqui 2’, we then wondered what would it be like to give music to a Bollywood flick like this one.
Back then we never thought, we would too in a few months time will be making music for Mohit Suri’s and Balaji Motion Picture’s upcoming project. And today it feels marvelous to see our name in the credit list alongside most popular music composers like Mithoon and Ankit Tiwari.”
Did you make a new song for the film, any changes or it’s your old tune?
Adnan: “From inception of ‘Awari’ for Nescafe Basement Season 1 (2012) to recreating ‘Awari’ for Mohit Suri’s ‘Ek Villain’, the entire experience was undoubtedly very challenging and incredibly remarkable. We had to keep the outlook and perspective of director Mohit Suri in mind at the same time we had to keep the requirements, theme, story, and actors of ‘Ek Villain’ in to consideration too. The entire process was really exciting and wild. It was a real challenge for us to keep all the aspects in a perfect balance and create harmony.”
Rabi: “Yes, indeed! The other factor that we really cared for was that how would ‘Awari’ in reality, appeal to the masses. Till date we did music at times keeping target audience in our mind, and at times we did songs, because we had a message to give out to the public. But this was not the case for ‘Ek Villain’. ‘Awari’ for ‘Ek Villain’, was something big, huge, and catering to a larger crowd. We really had to study and analyze the likes and taste of this larger audience precisely. Contrary to the Nescafe Basement version, ‘Awari’ in ‘Ek Villain’ had to have female vocals. Keeping the soulful voice Adnan had, we had a tough time auditioning for a female voice. It was after a few days, that our manager Murtaza Niaz introduced us to Momina and insisted that she will be a perfect match with Adnan’s voice. Momina sent us a few demos of her recordings from NYC, and BINGO!!! we all fell in love with her voice right away. Her vocals were a perfect match with Adnan’s and there we made the deal, signed her for ‘Awari’ and hence had the pleasure of introducing her in Bollywood, making ‘Awari’ in ‘Ek Villain’ not a debut for ‘Soch’ but for Momina too.”
With the current situation in the country how do you see the music industry of Pakistan now?
Adnan: “Pakistan has forever produced highly talented musicians and artist, who have without doubt been recognized globally. From Madam Noor Jehan to Ahmed Rushdi, Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan Sahab to Abida Parveen and then ever dominant bands like ‘Vital Signs’, ‘Strings’ and ‘Junoon’ will absolutely be reminisced for generations to come.
But sadly considering the current scenario of Pakistan, the music scene too has gone towards the downhill. Many prominent artists have frequently been picked up for sponsored or international projects, but that has only done wonders for each of them individually and these have so far not been constructive enough for the Pakistan’s Music scene as an entity.”
Rabi: “The nation-wide ban imposed on YouTube has been a setback for the Pakistani artist’s. YouTube had fairly made it very easy for everyone to either release their music videos or share and reveal their musical outburst and with just about everybody.”
Are you planning to debut in Pakistani cinemas on a big scale also?
Adnan: “We have already done a track for Shahzad Nawaz’s Chambelli. Our track ‘Khabar’ was taken as an OST for the movie.”
Rabi:“We do have a few projects for the Pakistani cinema’s in the pipeline, disclosing details right now is not appropriate. Our fans will just have to keep their fingers crossed and wait.”
Where do you see your band after five years?
Rabi: “Richie Rich!”
Do you have any new projects lined-up from Bollywood or Lollywood in the form of concerts or albums?
Adnan: “We have two more Bollywood releases planned in coming months. A few other releases of our songs are under discussion.
Apart from the Bollywood projects, we are focusing on out band’s single, titled ‘Hamesha’ in about two weeks time in India. We are going through a series of final discussions with Indya Records for that.”
Rabi: “Oh yes! We really are excited for that, and after a month or two we plan to release music video of our song ‘Arz’ from India which is currently in post productions. In about another two weeks time we are off to shoot for another new music video ‘Naina’, which is going to be a mix of Urdu and Punjabi. Our music album is under production and we plan to release it by the end of this year. We do have lot of concert queries are from India. So fingers crossed and we hope that our fans from India would be seeing ‘SOCH’ live in India in coming months.”
What is your message to the young and upcoming singers?
Rabi: “Keep in mind that there are no short cuts to success. I must advise them that this is not an easy profession if you want to get in to this world you have to do it as a full time thing and come up with a different idea like genre of music of lyrics so that your product can stand out in the market.”
Adnan: “The world is no stranger to Pakistani music talent. Pakistani musicians have long been recognized internationally and especially in neighboring India for their fresh sound. No matter what challenges come along, find a way of staying alive. Being an musicians means you have to be able to write and perform great songs, and produce them with a contemporary sound, AND you have to take the time to understand about the music business and stay on top of the evolving marketing and promotional opportunities popping up all around you.”
Watch ‘Ek Villian’ releasing on 27 June 2014 on Pakistani cinemas nationwide and keep your fingers crossed for more releases from ‘Soch’. We wish you Best of Luck!