LAHORE: Faakhir Mehmood is a household name when it comes to music. Faakhir has produced three albums as prior to 2006. He has the ability to touch mysterious components of the soul with grace and panache. His 2000 debut album, Aatish, was a big hit. His song in the album called Dil Na Lagey was the number one song for many weeks and was the best national song of the year 2000. Faakhir returned as a music director in Coke Studio's Season 9. Faakhir first direction was NFAK's 'Afreen Afreen", the song has been directed in an unplugged version. In an exclusive interview with The Nation he talks about his career and experience singing in Coke Studio. Following are the excerpts of the interview:

You started off your career with the formation of band Awaz. What made you shift to a solo career?

The band disbanded which eventually led me to embark on solo journey after all the efforts to keep the band intact failed to succeed. 

You have a lot of western and European influences in your music, what inspires you about them?

Music listening during formative years of any musician play an all important role in determining direction which his career will take. I heard all sorts of Pakistani, Indian and western music when I was growing up and that probably reflects in my music as well in different ways.

Being an International Icon for diverse music and an award holder, how do you make such a difference in the world of music?

A good artist always tries to carry a certain social responsibility. I in my humble capacity have always tried to produce meaningful music that can help the society and individuals, be it attempts to evoke patriotic sentiments, euphoria, romance, rejoicing & celebrating life, socio political undertones, Spirit of Never say die etc, I make a conscious effort to convey a solid message of substance through my music.

What made you sign up for Coke Studio?

I find collaborations really exciting and this was a great opportunity for me to work with so many different artists and musicians in a single project, it was more like a challenge. I enjoyed it a lot.

What is special about the song you have recorded for Coke Studio?

As I always say, "Music cannot be explained or defined, it must be heard and felt". So let's enjoy the music and let listeners find that special feeling in my music.

How was your experience of working with Zeb Bangash for the song?

Zeb is a terrific artiste, I was already in talks with her to work on this project. However Coke Studio offer came along and I decided to make this part of this season.

Any upcoming project after Coke Studio…

Life caries on, show must go on... I'm already working on several projects day in day out and continue making music. However for the sake of younger artist, we in Pakistan definitely need more platforms like Coke Studio.