In conversation with Pakistan Idol winner Zamad Baig

Do you remember the soulful rendition of ‘Yeh Jo Halka Halka Suroor Hai’ or the mind-blowing performance on ‘Kali Kali Zulfon’ by Zamad Baig in Pakistan Idol?

The Pakistan Idol winner is back and all set to mesmerize the audience with his soundtrack of Geo’s upcoming ‘Dil Ishq’.

Hailing from a completely non-music background, Baig didn’t know that his decision to participate in Pakistan Idol would change his life completely and turn him into a star overnight. He does however prefer to stay away from the limelight and concentrate on his work instead.

The singer is currently working on his upcoming music album which will be released soon. Recently we had a chance to interview him and find out about what his plans are in music industry.

How did it feel to become the first ever winner of Pakistan Idol? What kind of motivation do you think that gives to other amateur singers in this country?

It feels amazing, it is honestly an unreal situation and sometimes I think to myself and go, “wow, I really achieved something great here”. When I went for the audition in Lahore, I really did not think that I would be able to pass the audition, let alone win the whole competition and be where I am today.

As an amateur singer, I think the first and foremost thing you should be working towards is creating a strong backing of your talent for yourself. Just because you know how to sing, or play an instrument does not mean you will get your big break in two seconds. It takes months, and years to become someone a music label would want to sing. Individuals who love the craft and want to stay and go forward in the industry, those are the people who will succeed eventually. It takes time, you will go through many hardships and struggles, but it is worth it.

I think my story is motivating because I know my fans saw the work I put in and the struggles I went through, the self-doubt involved as well but in the end there was an achievement which made it all worth it. I hope every artist in Pakistan who is trying to make a name for themselves gets to where they wish to be.

What is the inspiration behind your new album that’s coming out?

I have been singing covers of songs for as long as I can remember, and I always try to put my heart and soul into the song as if maybe I’ve written it myself. I try to make the song my own in one way or another; that’s the only way I think I can do justice to it.

So when I began the album, I thought to myself, “This should be something which shows who Zamad Baig is” and from there on all my feelings, my dil ki khuwahisain, things which I hadn’t been able to say out loud they poured out onto paper. So I would say the inspiration behind the album isn’t just one thing, it involves many things.

What is the title of the album and when is it releasing?

The album doesn’t have a name yet; three or four songs are on ishq (Dil Ishq Ishq andIshqa Waay are two among them), there’s a song called Josh as well. The album should release in a few months, it all really depends on GEO.

Tell us more about the song, what are the sentiments behind it?

Every person who hears a song hears it differently; they interpret it in their own way. For some it may be positive, for others it may not be that, it all depends on perspective. For me, it is about the positivity of your soul. Whatever hand you are dealt in life, take it in a stride and move forward; “dil ishq ishq kar ke nikaltey jao”.

How long did it take you to write it?

It didn’t take long, there was a lot of procrastination involved, yes, but once the idea came and the first sentence was down, all the other parts of the song just flowed right out.

Do you plan on writing and performing more soundtracks for the television industry?

I hadn’t thought about writing for the television industry before, I wanted to write an album like all musicians do. This was not because I wanted to be like all other musicians, of course who doesn’t, but because we’ve seen that once an OST does come out it does not have a long life.

However, let’s see what happens. There are so many things involved when writing for a drama serial, and first and foremost the drama script needs to speak to me, needs to give me inspiration as well.

What is your next move going forward?

This is just the beginning for me, this album with GEO should release some time soon, and from there I will start working on another album. Wherever and whenever inspiration strikes I will create another piece.

Who are you favorite singers? And the genre that gives you most inspiration?

Sufi music gives me the most inspiration and one of my favorite singers is Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. Of course there is also Abida Parveen and my western favorites include Queen, and Led Zeppelin.

What about your favorite song?

That would have to be ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ by Queen, and ‘When the Levee Breaks’ by Led Zeppelin.

What is your music philosophy?

Write because you want to write, write because you feel like putting words to paper and then to music. Music should overwhelm the listener with emotions and give them something to think about.

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