• 10 Mar - 16 Mar, 2018
  • Shahzeb Shaikh
  • Interview

In a recent interview with MAG, Jal’s frontman, Goher Mumtaz, spilled the beans on the band’s upcoming music and talks at length about his acting stints, and the current Pakistani music and drama scene. Read on to grab more details…

You recently shot a new video. What is it called and if you could please tell us more about it?

The music video of my new song Bhanwre is set to release anytime this month. It’s a love song but with a lot of layers of life when it comes to the lyrics. Jal has a very unique style of music which is based on simple music, catchy lyrics and melodies, and I hope fans would love the new video as we try to maintain the standard of interesting great videos. It’s a high budget video in a way that the concept was so interesting that we had to work it out over a week to obtain the required results.

Tell us about your newly released track Parinda and the response you have received for it.

Well, following the amazing response Parinda received, I have realised that no matter how music dynamics changed and no record label operating in Pakistan, releasing original music can still get you back in the front row, thanks to the social media. Parinda, directed by Sohaib Rabbani, has crossed one million views on Facebook. The song reminds listeners of the band’s original, nostalgic feel. I penned the lyrics, composed the music in my studio with Shiraz Uppal’s brilliant production skills.

Why did Jal never release a full-fledged album in last four years? Are singles more productive in today’s time?

It’s not only Jal. There is hardly any singer interested in releasing albums as there has been no record label companies post 2011-12. The dynamics and module of music industry has totally changed, now YouTube and Facebook are the main platforms for any artiste everywhere in the world. I do believe the importance of record labels but in this situation, it has become very difficult for singers to make a video on their own and release it, but we still managed to release singles like Tere Baajon, Parinda, and Laiyan Lain. The band’s last album Tanhai was released in 2013 (globally by Universal Music) and the title track was also the OST from drama serial Tanhai.

How is soundtrack music different from pop-rock music? Which one is more technical?

To me, there is no difference. It’s a different approach to produce songs, for example, when I wrote Aadat, Sajni, Dil Haray, Teri Yaad and the other 25 songs, it was the melody which came first and then I wrote lyrics on it or it was just a spontaneous way of making a song with initial words. But with soundtracks like Faisla, Tanhai and Qurban, I produced OSTs according to the flow of the story. Singing Faisla’s OST and producing it with a new approach was a great experience for me and I am glad that audiences loved it.

How has been your acting stint? Tell us your experience drama wise with the roles you have performed.

To be honest, I didn’t want to do acting. In early 2011, Rashid Khwaja sahib and Nina approached me for a couple of projects for different channels. I wanted to run from it but they told me that I should give it a chance. I gave it a try and sort of liked it; now after five years, I think it was a good decision and career move because plays like Tanhai, Ghazal, Uff Yeh Mohabbat and Faisla proved that people likes my acting skills.

When do you plan to hit the silver screen? Any offers?

I have been offered quite a few roles but they are not up to the mark. It was a good decision as I wanted to gain experience as a TV actor which I did and said ‘No’ to four films. Interestingly, those films went unnoticed, so the decision worked in my favour. I am still looking forward to do a film, but with an interesting story line.

Who is your favourite co star?

I had a great experience working with Sonia Mishal and Sohai.

What type of roles do you prefer?

I would like to appear in a comedy role now. I have a feeling that I can do it really well.

What do you enjoy the most? Singing or acting?

Tough one! You don’t enjoy acting when you are shooting for more than three months, but when it gets on air you do enjoy watching and noticing people's response. Singing is different, as you get on stage and receive instant response.

What is your stance on Pakistani music, drama and movie scene?

It’s going great especially Coke Studio is doing a great job and Battle of the Bands is also contributing to Pakistan’s music scene, so I am hopeful that Pakistani music will be revived one day.

As for Pakistani dramas, the situation is far more better as there are total 265 production houses working in Pakistan lending drama industry stability. I am glad I got into acting as Pakistani dramas are watched worldwide and have great recognition globally.

Pakistani film industry, however, is passing through a revival phase, and I am sure it will be better in the next few years. Let’s hope we get hits after hits every month.

How was the feeling of winning a Viewers’ Choice Award for Ghayal?

I think it’s because of the prayers of my parents and fans that the serial just clicked with the masses as I had been nominated alongside big names of acting like Faisal Qureshi and others. I couldn't ask more from the Almighty. The credit goes to whole team and the cast for making the serial a success.

Are you up for any collaborations in the future?

Yeah, why not! I remember once Sonu Nigam approached Jal to make an album together. We had couple of meetings but somehow it didn’t materialise with the record label. Sonu is a great fan of our melodies and I wish in the future we could do something together.

Tell us about your future plans?

I am currently working on a couple of new ventures. We are releasing new music videos and there are a few scripts under discussion. •