Up Close and Personal with Faakhir Mehmood
Passionate and sincere, energetic and melodious, Faakhir Mehmood, after paying his musical dues for 15 years, has now earned his position as one Pakistan’s top musicians. He really is the total package as he composes, produces and sings. Back in the early 90’s Faakhir started his career over a chance encounter with guitarist Asad Ahmed and musician Haroon. The surprise meeting with the musicians triggered a chain of events, which resulted in the birth of the band “AWAZ”. Faakhir was the band’s keyboardist and supporting vocalist for 7 years and all together they produced hits like “Ae Jawan”.
As happy as he was being a part of Awaz, Faakhir felt the winds calling and took off to carve his own path. Ready to impress the world with his talent, Faakhir was filled with enthusiasm and soon debuted his solo album “Aatish”. From it came the super hit “Dil Na Lagay” and he followed it with other successful tracks like “Kabhi Kabhi Pyar Main” and “Dilruba”, and Faakhir was on a roll. He performed for massive crowds in New York, Washington, Dubai, Europe and almost all cities of his native country, Pakistan with his natural ability to rock the stage and leave his fans with everlasting memories. Faakhir today is a national star and is still topping the charts with up beat songs like “Allah Kare”. Even after 15 years in the industry, the musician has the same passion and intensity as a young novice. With three major albums under his belt, Aatish, Sub Tu Soniye and Mantra, we’re excited to see what he has in store and are eager to find out during our interview with an HTV Correspondent.
Mirza (HTV): What was the first tune(s) you learned in your life?
Faakhir: Happy birthday tune was the first that I learnt to play on my Casio keyboard in my childhood and even before that the first tune I learnt to play on my harmonica was famous Pakistani film song ‘Mujhay Dil Se Na Bhulana.’
M: What was the first instrument you learned to play?
F: During school days, I bought a mouth organ for 35 Rs. from a shop at a super market, Islamabad. I learned playing it in a day. I remember, as a child, I used to take it to school and play there [laughs]. Though, I intended to impress my class fellows a lot. So it was fun at that time
M: What apart from Music does Faakhir do in his spare time, any particular hobbies? Passion?
F: I do a fair bit of reading, listen to music, watch movies and try to do charity work.
M: Which famous musicians do you admire? Why? Any influences?
F: My favorites were The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Air supply, Chicago, Queen, REO? Speed Wagon to name a few. I admire Coldplay and Bono for their music and charity work.
M: What advice would you give to beginners who are nervous on stage or during recording?
F: Be yourself and perform fearless, no one will eat you up. (Laughs)
M: Do you think to be a professional musician or singer, formal music education is? required?
F: I am a self-taught musician but proper training has its own importance that you can never undermine.
M: You have many contributions to the Pakistani Music Industry but do you now feel the industry no longer supports its own national singers? In your opinion should our industry start focusing on underground bands more as compared to Indian content?
F: Our local talent/artists are not getting the kind of exposure they deserve. Our local TV channels are more into airing the international content, which is unfair, and against the PEMRA regulations. Someone needs to take a note of it and take necessary action.
M: What kind of a diet is necessary for singers? Do you feel there are any food items you need to stay away from?
F: I eat anything & everything I feel like eating. (Laughs)
M: How do you feel performing national patriotic songs? Your own personal favorite song of your own making?
F: I feel very touched when I listen to patriotic songs. They evoke a good feeling? of attachment to one’s country. I feel moved with realizations of so many precious sacrifices of life to bring my country to a state of freedom. Sometimes they bring me to tears too! ‘Dil Na Lage’ is my personal favorite.
M: How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
F: Sounds more like a job interview question (Laughs). Intuitive, sagacious, anxious.
M: What do you expect from young musicians and what you don’t want to see in? the next music generation of Pakistan?
F: I expect them to be the trendsetters rather than trend followers.
M: What message does your music spread in the world?
F: I am a very fun-loving and jubilant kind of a person. I mostly do ballads and my compositions are quite romantic. I feel joyful to make people happy and believe in it. I believe in providing good entertainment to people with my music. I would never do a melancholic or highly depressing song that makes me distressed too. Instead, I would cherish making a lively, full-of-life and soulful composition, which is highly relished by everyone.
M: Any upcoming project you would want your fans to know about?
F: I’m working on two cricket related songs at present. Fortunately, I have been blessed to have produced several successful songs that have passed the test of time and are still fresh in people’s minds and with? that kind of track record fans’ expectations from an artist grow and there’s always a certain pressure that I feel before releasing any record- I have never? taken my fans for granted and feel that every single record needs the same? dedication and heart & soul as if it’s my last song.
I have done four music videos from the new album ‘Jee Chaahay’ and currently working on a couple more along with a few new songs. I always try to? deliver my best and that exactly what I tried again and so far the feedback is very positive from the public/fans.
M: Your message to young musicians, fans, followers, listeners?
F: My fourth music album ‘Jee Chaahay’ is a reflective album, every song has a? distinct point of view carried lyrically. I hope listeners can relate to them. There? is no shortcut for hard work and I really believe one of the famous old sayings that overnight success takes 15 years of hard work.