When we talk about Pakistani music industry, it would not be wrong to say that our music industry is full of talented artists. Asad Abbas is one of the rising stars in Pakistan who joined the music industry some years ago. Born in the family of musicians, Asad has always been passionate about music. He has created a unique following of listener for the kind of genre he works with. He first recognized his singing potential through a singing competition “Pakistan Sangeet Icon”, and aced it with flying colors. He is a new musician of our industry who is making his ways towards the road of fame. He has also worked with the already well established musicians, the Meekal Hassan Band. Recently he participated in Coke Studio Season 6 which gave him the musical edge he needed and his a platform to showcase his talent. His experience throughout the Coke Studio journey has been amazing. Recently in an interview with Sunday Plus Asad talked about his journey so far in the music industry, coke studio and about his future endeavors.

Q: Tell us about how your journey started as a musician. What drove you towards music?

Asad: It started about eight years back. My parents always wanted me to become a lawyer. I guess there are some decisions made by God for us. My elder brother Ali Abbas told me about Pakistan Sangeet Icon. I had faith in my own ability to sing and consequently I got selected. I didn’t have any hope for winning that competition. Luckily I won. After Sangeet Icon my life completely changed.

Q: You belong to the family of musicians. Did you receive some musical training from the start or was it always your innate talent?

Asad: My mentor was Ustaad Hassan Sadiq. He taught me about the purity of music. I have learned everything from scaling to tempo and from Sur to Raag from him. I always had the passion for learning music.

Q: You have participated first time in Coke Studio. How would you describe this venture for yourself?

Asad: Coke studio is the best experience of my life. It is like a musical haven. Everybody wants to come in. Everybody wants to portray their work with different angles. This platform has given me the ability to learn the music on a very high level.

Q: How was the experience working with Rohail Hayyat? When you got a call from him the first time, what was your reaction when he asked you to participate?

Asad: There are no words to describe Rohail Hayyat. He is an outstanding person, just like his work. This is the best thing in him. My manager Adnan told me that he got a call from Rohail Hayyat and they wanted me to perform in season 6. At first instance I couldn’t believe it, but when I saw the emails, I answered him that I am ready to perform and I did it for free.

Q: This year coke studio has collaborated with some international artists. Did you find any difficulty while coordinating with them?

Asad: I think season 6 has taken Pakistani music to a new threshold. International artists have mixed their culture and traditions with ours and made a new taste for music lovers. Working with them was a new experience for me. I didn’t face any difficulty but I would mention this that I have learned many things from them.

Q: In your view how has Coke Studio played its role for the betterment of Pakistani music industry?

Asad: There is no doubt that it’s the biggest platform for the musical industry in Pakistan. Everyone desperately wants to come in. Our industry needs more platforms like this. Coke studio gave folk music a new life. Today if Ustaad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan would be alive he must have appreciated this platform. After performing on such a huge platform, an artist always gets fame at an international level.

Q: Who is your musical inspiration?

Asad: As I have already mentioned above my mentor was Ustaad Hassan Sadiq. I was always inspired by him. I have learned everything from him. Infact I am also inspired by my elder brother Ali Abbas. The work he did for music and the work he is currently doing always inspires me.

Q: While working for Coke Studio, you must have come across some senior artists. Do you think that they have inspired you?

Asad: Every artiste comes on this platform with a proper mind set. I was just doing my own work with concentration. Allah has granted me a lot of respect due to my voice. Everyone who works with me always appreciates my working style. I was younger among all the artists in coke studio. Good work and good music always inspires me. It doesn’t matter if anyone is elder or younger than me.

Q: Any memorable moment in Coke Studio?

Asad: The most memorable moment was the final recording of this season. While I was listening to the final track, I saw many artists were doing a lot of takes for recording their tracks. I was much happy when Rohail Hayyat appreciated me for recording my track in one take and it’s just because of my hard work and practice.

Q: What does music mean to you? What kind of music do you mostly play?

Asad: Music is like oxygen for me. I try to venture into different genres. I do practice for learning music on different chords and then doing hard work does lead to success. I can’t even think of living without music. Music is like a cleaner for my soul. It tells me what Sufism is.

Q: We have heard that you are also working on a project with Meekal Hassan Band. What new are you bringing for your fans?

Asad: Meekal Hassan Band is the biggest band of Pakistan. Working on their western style and music was a challenge for me. I did a world tour with them. Now I am on a break as far as the Meekal Hassan Band is concerned because of some personal reasons and my own work load. I will let my fans know whenever I will get a call from MHB for a project.

Q: You were the first winner of Pakistan Sangeet Icon. Share your experience as a participant in a musical competition?

Asad: Pakistan Sangeet Icon changed my life completely. Still I remember those moments and that wonderful experience. I didn’t know about singing, recording and playing live with the musicians. It was so quick. I did hard work for that. I am still wondering that how I got selected, how I reached in the finale and finally I won that competition.

Q: Our Pakistani music industry has a downfall, as many singers are working for Bollywood. Don’t you think we should take steps for making our Pakistani music industry better instead of using their talent on other platforms?

Asad: Sur sangeet doesn’t have any voice. It’s from your heart. There should be no boundary for the artists. I have done a song ‘’Teri shirt daa button’’ for Balaji’s production ‘’kya super cool hain hum’’. That song was also sung by Sonu Nigam and it was an honor for me. We need more platforms for bringing our music industry again to its original standing.

Q: You have also hosted a show ‘’Yeh sham mastani’’. Will you be hosting the shows in future?

Asad: I did ‘’Yeh Sham Mastani’’ after ‘’Pakistan Sangeet Icon’’.  I did it for two years. I got appreciated for hosting the show. That show gave me recognition in the market. Right now I don’t have any plans for hosting the shows in future. It all depends upon the projects.

Q: What is next in pipeline?

Asad: After coke studio there are a lot of projects I am doing. I am going to launch a music video of my song and I am hoping to get a good response for that. I also have some other projects with Bollywood in the pipeline, hopefully my fans would like what I will do.

Rapid Fire:

Favorite fragrance…

Cuba

Favorite designer…

RizwanBaig

Favorite food…

Ladyfinger and meat

Things you will never do…

Don’t want to repeat my childhood mistakes.

One thing you can’t live without…

Music and my parents

Any childhood memory…

Being a naughty child in my house

What you do mostly in free time…

Practicing music

Place you love the most…

NewYork and Paris

What kind of music you like…

Sufism

Greatest fear…

Me without music

What makes you impatient…

When I feel my goals are pushed backed either intentionally or unintentionally. It leads me towards anger.

When you mood is upset. What one thing cheer’s you up…

My family

One thing you would like to change in yourself…

Childish Asad

Personal style…

Classic

Secret talent…

Good at making jokes

Vacation spot…

Paris

Zodiac sign…

Leo