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"Not every Urdu song is a sufi song"

Kashif Iqbal is the lead guitarist from the Bengaluru-based band Parvaaz which is known for its tasteful blend of Blues, elements of Rock and their inclination towards Kashmiri and Urdu poetry with their songs. The band comprises of Khalid Ahmed (lead vocalist, guitar), Kashif Iqbal (lead guitar, vocals), Fidel D’Souza (bass) and Sachin Banandur (drums, percussion). The band’s first EP Behosh was released in July 2012 and saw a good response online. Excerpts from an interview with Iqbal:


Music band Parvaaz

Contemporary sounds
Vocalist Khalid Ahmed and I were friends right from our college days. We used to perform at college festivals and one day we decided to turn our love for music into a profession. We formed Parvaaz in 2010; in 2011, we met the other members and started performing.

There is this proclivity towards Urdu poetry as both Khalid and I are from Kashmir and it’s easier for us to think in our mother tongue. But whatever we come out with is still contemporary to suit the demands of the outside world.


Kashif Iqbal

Being a set of four diversely thinking minds, we are inspired by a variety of music like old classics and Rock songs. But when it comes to composing, we all think alike for that particular piece of music. Usually, I along with Khalid write the lyrics for our songs and then we compose with the full team.

Long live independent music
Since we had 8-9 songs ready with us we decided to come out with our first EP. But we decided to stick to 5 songs which had some connect with each other. We make lengthier songs usually (8-9 minutes long) and we did not want to put too many things in one EP.

Though the songs we create are not usually meant to spread any social message, they are influenced by our daily life. We would like to create something socially relevant and it will happen eventually.

Internet superstar
The internet has done wonders for independent artists around the world. They are getting their worth and don’t need to struggle to approach the big studios. On the flip side, anybody can form a band.

On being called a Sufi band
We are bored of clarifying that we are not a Sufi band, we make the kind of music we like. A few Urdu words in a song do not make it a Sufi song and people make mistakes understanding that. A lack of knowledge gives rise to such misunderstandings. But we are fine with it as we believe in making good music.

First time in Pune
This is going to be our first performance in the city. Along with a few old covers and songs, we are also presenting a couple of our latest compositions which we composed just last week.

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