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Monday, March 25, 2013

Qayaas is back with new tracks

Islamabad-based band Qayaas, which gained popularity after sharing the Coke Studio stage with Atif Aslam for Charkha Nolakha, is back with a strategy and two new tracks — Cut My Wings and Doobtay.
Elaborating on the band’s strategy, producer and lead guitarist Khurram Waqar said the band plans to release two songs every month — one in English and one in Urdu — and then, by the end of the year, compile it into an album.
Waqar said the new tracks were ‘relatable’ to people, adding that Cut My Wings is for the common man. Previously, Qayaas released songs such as Marijuana, based on drone attacks and Inqilaab, which was about people who want to bring about a change.
The band’s frontman Umair Jaswal, who is also the lyricist, said that while writing the songs, he focuses on what is happening around and the situation that surrounds the “common man”. “When people are done taking the right path and nothing is working out for them, they give in to malevolence and accept defeat, that’s what the song [Cut My Wings] is all about,” he said. Waqar added that “the main riff is very unique” and said that the rock music in the song is very ‘in your face’.
While Cut My Wings is an extremely loud and aggressive track, Doobtay is mellow and heartfelt. “Doobtay is a sad song which starts off with a question and the whole song is a conversation between two people,” said Jaswal. Waqar said the song adapts the Lydian mode of music, with three different scales, well-knitted together. “The track is more eastern-classical with a melancholic feel to it — lots of darkness has been mixed in, not just vocal, but even musical, which brings out emotions naturally,” he said.
Speaking about the success of Charkha Nolakha, Waqar said that the song was a result of two to three compositions, but the experience of mixing two genres of music — rock with folk — was successful.
Charkha Nolakha was the biggest hit of season five of Coke Studio and now we are working on those lines to produce more tracks by merging genres,” said Waqar. He said that some big names in folk music in Pakistan were interested in collaborating with the rock band to produce more of such tracks that attract listeners of both rock and folk.
Backing Waqar’s statement, Jaswal said, “Mixing genres is an exciting idea, which can be challenging at the same time. It’s about mixing totally different genres, but at the same time it produces music which is appealing to a wider audience,” said Jaswal.
Boasting a fan following of 65,000 fans on Facebook, Waqar said that following the success of Charkha Nolakha, many “uncles and aunties started appreciating their music”. “We thought we were a band for the young generation and the lovers of rock music, but we now have fans from all age groups,” said Waqar.
Waqar revealed that Qayaas is planning to collaborate with national and international artists and also has a few tours lined up. The band had earlier performed at New Delhi’s Hard Rock Café in 2010 for the Rolling Stone Jack Daniels Rock Awards tour.
Apart from Jaswal and Waqar, the band consists of Shahzad Hameed (bassist) and Kamran Farooque (drummer). The lead guitarist is happy with all the band members and says “it’s like brining the best in one group.” Qayaas has also won several awards including Rolling Stone Jack Daniels Rock Award for The Best Rock Band from Pakistan in 2010.

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