Up Close and Personal with Junaid Khan
Versatile, humble, motivated, enthusiastic and talented are some words used to describe Junaid Khan. His journey in the entertainment industry has been full circle, starting as a rock star to modeling and finally landing as a successful actor. It all began in 2003 when Junaid became the lead vocalist of “Call the Band”, a group known for its hard core, metal and rock genre. Although every member of the band was a master of their instrument, Junaid stood out with his powerful and unique vocals. Songs like “Sub Bhula Ke”, “Shayad” and “Hojanay De” proved the band’s talents and were nationwide hits, solidifying their premise with several successful nationwide and international concerts. Junaid himself has been nominated for several music awards and has won several for being the best singer, the best band and more. Nowadays Junaid Khan continues to mesmerize the industry with his creative musical sense and humble personality. He is now a successful model, becoming the face for many big brands and TV commercials, and a popular actor in our thriving drama industry. His recent work as an actor in projects like “Mujhey Rootney na Denay”, “Mata e Jaan”, “Nikkah” and “Yahan Piyar Nahin He” has allowd him to conquer the entertainment industry. Luckily for HTV we had the opportunity to interview him and get the inside scoop.
Mirza (HTV): What was the first tune(s) you learned in your life?
Junaid: In terms of vocals and guitars the first tune I learned was ‘Pearl Jam’s ‘Black’
M: Who came up with the idea of Call?
J: Khurram Jabbar Khan, one of the ex-members of ‘Call’ came up with the idea.
M: Why was your band named Call?
J: Call is ‘pukaar’ towards one’s own self. The word means ‘expression’. Songs are an expression of an artist’s experiences. Hence the name call.
M: Is music still a passion for you or have you decided to shift towards the drama industry?
J: Music will always be the ultimate passion for me and I am still making music.
M: Why did you leave music and make a shift to the drama industry? Any particular reason?
J: I haven’t left music but yes drama industry is stronger these days.
M: How is your experience in the drama industry, what are the differences?
J: It is a good experience, but I do not feel much difference in drama and music industry as now singers are acting and actors are singing, so it is more or less a big united industry now.
M: With which female actor did you have the best experience working with?
J: I enjoy working with every actress, it is always a two way learning process when you act with another actor. Personally I like working with Saba Qamar, she has amazing acting skills.
M: What are your hobbies and passions apart from music and acting?
J: These two activities take most of my time but whatever the time I find, I work out.
M: Which famous musicians do you admire? Why? Any influences?
J: Bryan Adams, for the vocal skills and intense melodies.
M: Share one memorable event you can never forget from the industry, may it be from the music side or from the drama side.
J: The most memorable event of my life was when I received the award for Best Band back in 2009.
M: Did you learn acting or is it a natural skill?
J: It’s continuous learning. Every actor or an artist observes the situation around them and works accordingly. That’s how we learn to act or write. Yes of course I was nervous at first. Still at times I do get nervous.
M: As an artist and actor, what advice would you give to beginners who are nervous on stage or during a shoot?
J: Confidence comes with experience. Perform as much in front of different people. Push yourself, you might fail in the beginning but you’ll pick up soon once you gain experience.
M: Do you feel it’s important to have formal musical/acting training to do music or to be an actor?
J: One has to know his own skill set first. Training from the start might make you lose your individuality. Learn yourself first and then polish your skills from any institute.
M: How do you feel about Pakistan’s music industry’s support for local artists? How can our national singers be more supported?
J: The audience has shifted from Pakistani music to Indian. But the audience isn’t to be blamed. They’ll follow what they are shown. Concerts should be frequently organized and more airtime should be given to music on all the entertainment platforms.
M: In your opinion should our industry start focusing on underground bands more as compared to Indian content?
J: Yes, underground bands only rise up to be stars. We need to value our national talents.
M: Which song of yours is your personal favorite?
J: My personal favorite is “Sab Bhula Ke”.
M: As both an actor and a singer, what health advice do you have? What are the strict “no-no’s” and what is your diet like?
J: Soft drinks should be removed without question for sure. Only water, which should be consumed at room temperature. In terms of diet, less carbs and a balanced diet consisting proteins, vitamins, less sugar and fats is the best diet I can suggest.
M: How important is health to you?
J: Life is nothing without health. A healthy life needs a healthy mind and body.
M: To be a star what kind of an attitude is required?
J: Positive and Progressive, always.
M: Are there any problems that artists face in terms of payments or from the end of record labels, production houses?
J: The industry has become stable now so I am sure there aren’t many payment issues. But then again, exceptions are always there.
M: Your message to young musicians and emerging actors?
J: Keep practicing, work hard and leave the result to God.
M: A message for your fans, followers and listeners?
J: Stay positive, don’t judge others. Learn to live and let live.
M: Any upcoming project you would want your fans to know about?
J: Two projects are under production. ‘Neela Mausam’ for GEO entertainment and ‘Mumkin’ for ARY Digital.
M: How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
J: Positive, passionate and calm.
M: Your favorite sports, favorite team and player?
J: Cricket. Though I have been an inter school champion in table tennis and basketbal.My favorite team would be team Pakistan and player Wasim Akram.
M: Your favorite movie from the Pakistani Industry?
J: ‘Waar’, for its exceptional cinematography and storyline.
M: Are you able to balance out time between work and family or does being a media personality hamper family time?
J: It does affect my personal life, but whatever time I get off work I spend it at my home with my family.
M: You being a complete all rounder and a star now, how do you feel about the current state of Pakistan? Are you patriotic about it? Any thing you wish you could do for your country?
J: I wish I could tell everyone to calm down. I don’t support aggression of any sort be it in the name of standing up for one’s right. I am very passionate about Pakistan but I believe progress is achieved with a peaceful and calm mind. We need to be masters of our respective professions to raise this country’s name in the world and not by coming out on streets.
M: Your dream?
J: It is my dream to see the world becoming a peaceful place. And we all should contribute as individuals. Spread peace. Learn to love.