Interview: Maha Ali Kazmi

“It’s a song from a popular band Sequencers that flourished during the 90’s. Incidentally, it’s a song I loved singing as a child growing up in the 90s,” says Maha Ali Kazmi, Pakistani singer-songwriter who’s recently recorded a cover version of “Bhool Na”.

“It’s a song about cherished memories of romantic love. As luck would have it, years down the road I had the occasion to sing the song myself – which I believe is a great honor.”

How did you start making music? Who were you heroes at that time?

“I would say music is something that happened to me, you know, something that’s destined; it was never something I planned. I can’t pinpoint that precise moment in my life when I could say I became a singer. I guess I always was. I don’t ever remember wanting to be someone other than a singer. My inspirations have been many most famous being John Lennon, Dire Straits, Led Zeppelin, just to name a few.”

Did living in Australia influence your music? Did you think about singing in English after that experience?

“Living in Australia I was exposed to many different musical influences. In fact, I was also part of a church choir in Melbourne. Besides, during my stay there I developed a penchant for jazz. Even before I moved to Australia, I had written and recorded an English song called ‘Face the Music’ with Aamir Zaki. However, the song was not released officially.

Is making music your main occupation?

“Music is my passion and singing the mainstay of my career, however I’m also acting in a drama serial, and concurrently practicing Indian classical dance under the tutelage of one of Pakistan’s finest dancers, Sheema Kermani. In fact, just this past week I performed Indian classical dance on stage at Art’s Council Karachi Pakistan at the Tlism 3 Festival on the occasion of women’s day. It was a Manipuri dance, which is a classical dance form and has its origins in the state of Manipur – hence Manipuri dance.”

When can we expect your debut album?

“It’s in the pipeline. I have several compositions lined up and, barring any mishaps, an album should be out by the end of the year.”

What do you appreciate most about the Pakistani music scene?

“Pakistan has a vibrant has a flourishing music industry. It’s the part of Pakistan that is often overlooked by the international media. Under the most trying circumstances Pakistani artistes have created wonderful works of art that require the attention of the world. Pakistani musicians usually draw influences from both east and the west and thereby creating music that has a very distinct ring to it.”

The best Pakistani song ever?

“My favorite Pakistani song is ‘Gulon mai rang bhare’ by late Mehdi Hasan.”

Maha Ali Kazmi on Soundcloud, Facebook, Twitter.

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