Canadian Indo-Pak band naQsh certainly knows how to entertain a crowd, they have recently launched their debut album ‘Saptak’ which received a tremendous response overseas. Sunday Plus went up and close with lead vocalist Daksh Kubba to bring to you the inside out of this ascending band.

1.      What kind of music did you listen to while growing up?

I grew up listening to 80’s & 90’s classic Bollywood music, A.R Rahman being the biggest influence and then came the band Euphoria but A.R Rahman is the one I looked up to the most.

2.     When did you realize that you had a passion for music?

Since I was 8 or 9 from what I remember. My dad also sings, and as you know being Pakistani or Indian we concentrate so much more on studying and taking tuitions so definitely my mom made sure of that, but growing up my Dad was more inclined towards me doing what I felt from within which was writing shayari and singing. I still remember, I was around 8 years old and had a small notebook and on each page I use to write a 4 line sher.

3.     What distinguishes naQsh from other bands?

Imran and Irfan being from Pakistan have such a rich Pakistani musical culture they bring with them and me writing hopeless romantic songs from my background. But jokes apart, the experience they bring with them combined with singing-songwriting I do has definitely created a unique sound and is much more than just music, its an Pak-Indo band just trying to spread happiness and love through our music.

4.     Which genre of music do you mostly focus on?

We don’t. Focus is purely on what inspiration you can gather and compose what comes to you. As a result of which if you listen to our Debut Album Saptak, it has songs from all different genres.

5.     You have performed at many venues, where do you enjoy the most?

As a matter of fact, it was our debut album Saptak’s launch in Canada, Vancouver at The Fox Cabaret. It was purely a humbling experience to get a standing ovation from the full house of 250 people that were there. We performed a lot of classics along side songs from our own debut album Saptak. The two main responses we got from the amazing crowd was – 1. They had teary eyes. 2. They lost their voice singing and screaming with us. It was THE BEST show we have put on yet, till date.

6.     How many of your videos are ready and when are you releasing them?

Video for our song Megha is ready to release in August and are truly excited as we have collaborated with yet another Pakistani artist and my dear friend Mooroo (Taimoor Salahuddin).  Aflatoon Productions to bring this video to life.

7.     Who is featuring in your videos?

In the previous videos we have had actresses from SHIAMAK feature in our videos Armaan and Pagli with me pairing up with them. Upcoming video Megha is all about featuring the local people of Pakistan and India along with the band in a very unique and artistic way.

8.     How many tracks are there in your debut album and how long did it take you to complete it?

We have 7 tracks in our album, hence the name Saptak. It took us a good 5 years to come together as a band, find our uniqueness and embark this journey to create Saptak. We couldn’t have been more proud of it.

9.     Can you please share your experience of performing at the Royal King Palace Canada?

That was a very special moment as it was for Mother’s day. My mom has never seen me perform on the stage. My parents have actually not witnessed this side of me at all in person as they are back home and I work out of Canada, so that performance at mother’s day was an emotional day for myself and also for the team that put the show on.

10.What do you enjoy the most, singing medleys or single tracks?

I think I love singing medleys, because you can surprise people and touch their hearts even more by incorporating all the single tracks they love.

11.What’s the inspiration behind Saptak? What is its literal meaning?

Saptak means – series of 7 notes, from ‘Sa’ to ‘Ni’. And all the 7 songs have a unique story behind them and are different like the 7 notes.

12.Where have your released your album apart from Pakistan?

The main release has been in Pakistan and Canada, with the album being available all over the world like India, Dubai, Australia, via iTunes, Spotify and a lot of other channels.

13.What’s the musical strength of your album?

Every song belongs to a different genre. Musically there is so much diversity, change overs from 8 beats to 6 beats within a song, tone and feel of the song. For example Pagli is a happy romantic and polite song. Kaka is such a fun song that describes the life of a college student, and Iltejah is truly a plea to humanity, to stop all this negativity and war and just live with peace like brothers and sisters. Pagli and Musu are very similar sister songs which I composed that way on purpose and every other song is so much different than the previous with each of them having a unique story.

14.Where do you mostly record your songs?

We have our recording studio in Vancouver, Rain City Recorders, where we spend most of our recording time and dinner time.

15.What has been your most memorable performance?

I would have to say our Debut Album Launch Party on June 11th. It was so humbling to receive a standing ovation after we performed for 2 hours. Second to that would be when we collaborated with Qurat-ul-Ain Balouch in Vancouver Downtown, she has an amazing soul and an awesome voice, and we had a blast putting on a show for VIBC (Vancouver International Bhangra Celebrations)

16.Any upcoming tours or shows planned for 2015?

We have a bunch lined up already, June 27th we are collaborating with Bollywood’s one and only SHIAMAK and doing a guest appearance at their Annual Summer Funk Show. In August we are celebrating August 14th Independence and performing for Pakistani Association of Canada. Past that we are going to start working on our 2nd Album.

17.How is Pakistani market different from Canadian and Indian music industries?

I think the Pakistani music industry is very open to new sounds at this point. The opportunities are endless as the audience is very welcoming and appreciative of new artists. The response that we have received from Pakistan so far is overwhelming, and it truly exceeded our expectations.

18.If you could work with 3 musicians, living or dead, who would they be?

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan Saab, A.R Rahman, John Mayer.

19.How do you prepare for an event?

Oh this is a big one, being in a band we really have to be on our toes, organizing and managing time between 3 different members and their personal lives, time for countless practices and studio sessions to arrange a particular song. Late nights trying to totally change a composition and put in an element of surprise. It’s a process we really love and look forward to.

20.Besides music, what are your other passions?

I dance street jazz and contemporary styles when I can squeeze that time in. I also really like Science, Mathematics being my favorite and I absolutely love Rubik’s cubes.

21.How often do you visit Pakistan? Any plans of performing in Pakistan this year?

Inshallah we will visit Pakistan very soon. It’s been a dream of mine to visit Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad and all the amazing cities that I have heard so much about. I am eagerly waiting for the right opportunity to show up so that we can connect with everyone there.

RAPID FIRE

22.Favorite vacation spot?

Vancouver, Canada. It is truly the most beautiful place on earth.

23.Cologne you wear?

Burberry is my weapon of choice – Always!

24.What makes your impatient?

When I’m working on a project and timeline gets pushed because of someone else.

25.Addicted to?

The feeling and the rush you get being on stage and performing.

26.If you could change one thing about yourself, it would be?

Go to the gym and build a physique like Hritik Roshan.

27.Secret talent?

I play drums and I do different styles of dance. 

28.Brains or beauty?

Brain is what creates the perception of beauty.

29.Love or money?

Love, without it I won’t have a life or a career.

30.You hate it when you see people wearing?

Fake personalities.

31.Your closet is a shrine to?

My closet is filled with suit jackets from Zara.

32.Oldest item in your closet?

A beautiful sweater that my mom sew for me.

33.Necessary extravagance?

Suits and Ties.

34.Favorite piece of furniture in your home?

Guitar Wall Mount.

35.What make you laugh uncontrollably??

Geeky jokes! They make my life!