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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Music at its best in 'Ishq Khuda': Shazia Manzoor

Pakistani veteran singer Shazia Manzoor talks to Daily Times about her current projects, her music experience with upcoming movie 'Ishq Khuda', and how Pakistani artists should actively work in their home country more.

Q. Tell us a little about the music of 'Ishq Khuda'.
A. As the title suggests, most tracks have a Sufi element to them. Most importantly, the songs are not just classical and commercial but situational as well. You see, a good script makes room for good situational songs. That's what the film's music is about. The songs are composed by Wajahat Attre and the lyrics are penned by Riazur Rehman Saghar.

Q. Why did you take a 12-year gap from music?
A. It was just the circumstances. Hardly any good movies were being released, plus I was busy with my own music albums, 'Ishq Sona', 'Tu Badal Gaya' and 'Balle Balle', all which were released internationally. That took up most of my time. But, nevertheless, I'm happy now with my current music projects, especially lending my voice for 'Ishq Khuda' music.

Q. What genre of music are you most comfortable in?
A. Playback singing is something in which you can't be picky and choosy about genres. Had that been the case, for romantic songs we would have had other singers, for fast tracks, there would have been others. You have just got to be versatile and seasoned in your attitude towards music.

Q. Tell us about your inspirations and musicians you look up to.
A. Oh many! From Whitney Houston to Lata Mangeshkar. From Mariah Carey to Mehdi Hassan. From Noor Jehan to Mehnaz Begum. I'm just crazy about music. Mehnaz had the most beautiful voice I had ever heard. There has never been anyone like her.

Q. Would you collaborate with foreign artists if given a choice?
A. Why not? I have, in fact, worked with Kailash Kher, Sukhshinder Shinda and Balli Jabpal in the recent past. It's always a joy working with foreign artists. A true artist loves experimenting. I'm also working with an American singer 'Doll' on an album.

Q. Did you compose any songs for 'Ishq Khuda' other than singing for it?
A. Actually no. The songs themselves were so well-written and amazingly composed, I was more than honoured to just lend my voice. You see I've worked with Shehzad Rafique in his last projects as well, so I know how beautifully composed music his films offer.

Q. In that case, which is your favourite song of 'Ishq Khuda'?
A. I have two favourites. 'Din Langda Nahin' and 'Pul Pul Janda'. People would just fall in love with these songs. The background score of 'Ishq Khuda' itself is just mind-blowing. You can say music is at its best in 'Ishq Khuda', with stupendous picturisation.

Q. What's next for you?
A. As I mentioned earlier, I'm collaborating with an American singer on an album. I'm really looking forward to that as it's going to be something exclusive, I just know. Also, I'm working on the music of a new drama serial 'Annie Ki Aaegi Baraat'. It's music album would be launched by the name of 'Baraati Song'. Next up is my world tour starting from June this year. I'm really excited for all this.

Q. We wish you all the best for that. Please tell us what's music for you?
A. Thank you. Well, for me, music is something that I cherish and hold dear more than life itself. I can't live without it.

Q. Comment a little on the current music scenario of Pakistan.
A. Pakistani artists are making some tremendous and beautiful music. However, the sad thing is that most of them are working anywhere but here. No doubt they are international artists now; Ali Zafar, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Annie to name a few. But why not work actively in Pakistan? There seems to be hardly any music situation here.

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