'Band' it like Mustafa

Mustafa Zahid of ‘Toh Phir Aao’ and ‘Tera Mera Rishta’ from Awarapan fame is back again with his new track ‘Hum Jee Lenge’. The singer who wrote this song long ago, was nursing a heartbreak then. Mustafa talks to CS about the song, his comfort genre, and popularity of Pakistani artistes in India:

Promotional  Feature/Editor: Janhavi Samant 

Moving on
‘Hum Jee Lenge’ initially was a break-up song called ‘Kaise Jiye’. I wrote this song two years ago, when I was going through a heart break. Also, it was an incomplete song at that time. On my trip to India, I was once strumming this song to my close group of friends, when filmmaker Vishesh Bhatt happened to hear the song and liked it instantly.

He expressed his wish to use it for his upcoming film. I was hesitant because he wanted to change it from ‘Kaise Jiye’ to ‘Hum Jee Lenge’. Since the song was so close to my heart, I didn’t want to change it. That is when he explained to me that the changed version was about moving on. This not only made me complete the song, but also helped me out of my misery and guilt.

Joined by genre
The kind of films that the Bhatts make is the genre I like lending my voice to. A lot of people ask me why I don’t try and sing in other genres as well. But I am a firm believer of comfort zone. If I am not comfortable in a certain genre, I won’t do it at all. For instance, I can never sing a hardcore Punjabi number, as I am not comfortable with that kind of music. Also, I will never do something that will negate my or my band’s identity.

‘Band’ with the best
Another reason why I don’t do too many Bollywood songs is because for me, my band is of utmost importance. And I spend the maximum time working with and on my band. If I start singing for films, I am going to spend more time here. Then I would end up neglecting my band. I am what I am because of my band and I will not do anything that will disintegrate it.

Lost in fame
In Pakistan, we don’t have any film industry. Whatever music we make is independent music and that is the only thing we concentrate on. In India, Bollywood has become such a big industry that it has eaten up the talent of independent musicians, because of which every musician here sounds the way his director and producer want him to sound like. Eventually, the artist loses his identity and hence fades away. I don’t say Bollywood is bad, but at the same time, retaining your self-identity is also crucial. Therefore, even if Bollywood produces a new musician everyday, they get lost in the crowd.

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