Music that matters: Meet the man behind some of HUM TV’s best OSTs
What would Pakistani dramas be without Original Soundtracks (OSTs)? Imagine Humsafar without Quratulain Balouch’s ‘Woh Humsafar Tha’ or Diyar-e-Dil sans Zeb Bangash’s ‘Yar-e-Man’!
Music has become an integral part of our dramas. Such is the importance of original scores in our television shows that the almighty soundtrack has become the heart of drama experience. Of course, great OSTs just cannot go unnoticed. They are unforgettable!
For those who are unaware, the driving force behind both of these soundtracks is the prolific composer and singer, Naveed Nashad.
Over the years, Naveed has become a driving force in Pakistan’s music scene, composing and singing some of the most moving title tracks and melodies.
Studying his work which includes the OST of Aangan, Suno Chanda and Alif Allah Aur Insan, we realised that he has a knack of taking risks to create musical wonders and creating intense, jarring scores that relate to the characters on screen.
We sat down with Naveed to learn about his journey into composing songs that have stayed on in our hearts over the years. With titanic struggles in his life and music running through his veins, his story is nothing short of an inspiration.
With the love of music flowing in your blood, briefly tell the readers about your rise in this field over the years and the journey so far?
Naveed Nashad: As people know that I am Nashad Sahab’s grandson and Wajid Ali Nashad’s son, I felt I had a great responsibility carrying that legacy forward.
People in the music industry perceive me differently and with so many big names connected to me, it was very important to me to do justice to it. In 1994-95, there was a role of a child-star in the movie ‘Beta’. I dubbed for the role and for the first time, sang as well. I was 12-13 years old at that time. Hence, I kick-started my career.
It all used to seem like a fantasy world to me. The studio gate, watching celebrities; all used to fascinate me. In 2000, I worked as an assistant with my father. And we worked on various movies as well as dramas.
2005 marked a tough time for my father as he got ill. So he instructed me to undertake his pending tasks and work independently. I started ‘mixing’ and it is basically the background score that is played in drama episodes.
The first-ever drama that I worked on was ‘Landa Bazaar’ by Khalil-Ur-Rehman Qamar. Then in 2007, Faisal Bukhari made a serial for HUM TV ‘Kaali Ghataain’ and I worked on its OST.
In 2008, my father passed away and for two years I just remained a silent musician. There was no work nor did someone invite me to collaborate with them. And I underwent a lot of crises.
But it was in 2010, Ahesun Talish gave me work! I resumed my career from there and worked with great loyalty and passion. I want to take a few names here that always supported me and never left me in my ride to fame. It includes Aehsun Talish, Faisal Bukhari and Sohail Iftikhar Khan. These people remained with me since 2007 and Aehsun Talish joined me in 2009. Since then, I have worked on almost all of his serials.
Thus, my voyage continued from here. I have never lied in my profession, was never dishonest and made sure that I never caused harm to anyone. While everybody works hard, I worked with devotion and passion and will continue to do so.
From Alif Allah Aur Insaan to Suno Chanda, Ishq Zahe Naseeb to Ye Dil Mera, how do you think your style has evolved and changed from project to project?
Naveed Nashad: With time, a musician’s style is bound to change. Those who keep up with the change in trends and keep innovating remain more successful. Director’s briefing also matters immensely. Not to forget, we have to regard what is popular in the industry at that point in time.
I have a style of my own and I am grateful that my fans have admired my tunes. In Alif Allah Aur Insaan, we created a new, contemporary ‘Hamd’ as per its spiritual plot and it attracted the audience a lot.
However with Suno Chanda, despite it being a comic drama, we did something different. Aehsun Talish and I designed it as a melody number. It was a hit and people liked it.
Being a dark subject, Ishq Zahe Naseeb’s OST was a massive challenge to compose as per the twists in its plot. But I even sang it and loved working on it.
How was it working with Sajal Aly for Ye Dil Mera’s OST?
Naveed Nashad: It was a wonderful experience working with her on Ye Dil Mera’s OST. Sajal is a great actress as well as a talented singer. And hats off to Aehsun Bhai for making this happen!
You have worked with some of the most iconic singers of Pakistan, which experience has been the most memorable?
Naveed Nashad: I have worked with almost all of the singers of Pakistan and have developed a great friendship with all of them.
My favorite singers will remain Ahmed Jehanzaib, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Shafqat Amant Ali Khan, Ameer Ali and Imran Nashad.
Amongst female singers, I enjoy working with Aima Baig a great deal.
What do you love more, music composition or singing?
Naveed Nashad: I never wanted to be a singer and nor I want to be. But with the current trend of even composers singing these days, even I sometimes croon a few tunes if the director insists. Otherwise not.
My passion will always remain in music composition. And I wish my tunes have numerous musicians and a large orchestra. I have worked on Aangan’s OST and it is the most expensive OST in Pakistan’s history to date. As many as 60 musicians were involved in it.
How are T.V and Film different?
Naveed Nashad: It’s evidently a difference of sound- a cinematic sound and of music arrangements. However, these days there is no major difference left. Our drama songs and OST are more publicly hit these days.
This doesn’t mean that our movie tunes are not good enough. But they are not marketed like drama OSTs and are different in sounds.e. cinematic sound.
Your father delivered a lecture at Harvard when he was an active musician. Tell us something about it.
Naveed Nashad: I was very small when my father delivered the lecture at Harvard. He was an active musician at that time and had worked for various dramas and movies. So I remember, my father practicing for the lecture and synopsis at Harvard University.
He was amongst the pioneering musicians of the country and was the first music director who introduced songs in drama serials.
Educationally, he was the most well-versed and literate music director of Pakistan with multiple degrees.
With so much, you have achieved and so much more to come, what is your ultimate musical dream?
Naveed Nashad: believe that if an individual achieves his or her goal, then he or she stops striving as their journey is accomplished. I want myself to attain something so great that my name is remembered even after a century after I die. I keep on discovering things musically and I am never satisfied. Every time, there is something missing. I do a lot of hard work and spend immense time on my work. But still, something always feels missing. Nevertheless, it is the love of the audience that they praise my work and love my tunes.
It’s my wish that I create such music for Pakistan and its culture that it is acclaimed worldwide. It should not be just folk, but the music of my family that I want gets recognition by my name. I hope that piece includes all of Pakistan’s musical instruments. I want it to be different and whenever I am able to craft it, I will surely unveil it to the world.