Haroon Shahid - Finding Innerpeace Through Music

Photos: Shahbaz Shazi
  • 25 Nov - 01 Dec, 2017
  • Mariam Khan
  • Interview

If a profession were to be mentioned on Haroon Shahid’s passport, it would be of a ‘marketer’. But to him “Haroon is who you see performing live on stage at a concert.”

The musician was the vocalist of a pop band Symt, and was part of Coke Studio too. Tracks like Baliye (Laung Gawacha), Koi Labda are a few that brought him in the limelight. He also was a part of Pakistan Sangeet Icon, a music reality show that was aired in 2008.

Haroon’s younger self was ‘hyper and spoilt’. But it was as a kid that he attended a concert, which eventually turned out ‘life-changing’ for him. “I remember the first concert that I ever attended as a child. It was Vital Signs playing at the Sunset Club, Karachi,” he fondly recollects that day, and as he speaks his eyes speak a tale – one where he is picturing a stage where the late Aamir Zaki with his fellow band members have the crowd completely absorbed in their melodies. As he is handed a slice of pepperoni pizza, he comes out of his reverie, saying “That concert was life-changing for me I would say; it made me the musician that I am today,” says the songsmith who has not studied music, but when asked if he is Haroon the singer, or Haroon the musician, prompt comes the reply – “Haroon the musician.”

But shades of gloom strike him when asked about the present music scene. “Unfortunately, we do not have a music industry anymore,” he laments. However, ventures such as Coke Studio and the likes are what he thinks have helped in boosting local music. “They have served as the only life support to the dying industry,” his speech hints slight optimism.

It was two years back that he came across a ‘challenge’; and this very trial was when he took up the role to act. “[Acting] has been a challenge that I feel has made me more aware of myself as a person,” he reveals talking about his first stint as an actor. When Haroon went through the script, he was convinced to take up the role. “The script read out loudly – Khuda Ke Liye Bol Verna…” he shares his thoughts. For him, just like his co-star in the film, Mahira Khan, it was the auteur of Verna that made him opt for the film. “Shoaib Mansoor, naam he kaafi hai,” he says, point-blank.

Speaking of the character he plays in the film, Haroon says, “I play the character of a married man named Aami – who lacks confidence and is in a way complexed. Even though he is an exposed individual, he is shown to have a regressive side to him.”

Not only has he played an actor in the film, but has worked with Mansoor on the film’s soundtrack, Power Di Game and another track, Sambhal Sambhal which he composed. Talking about the experience, Haroon expresses, “[Music from the film] is very close to my heart. It was a dream come to true to work in the capacity of a musician with Shoaib Mansoor.”

And apart from holding close to self the many memories he has made with his team members, the fond ones are what he shares, “I will never forget how I kept everyone entertained and distracted at times with my guitar,” says the actor-cum-musician who had to undergo military training as well for a few scenes.

Haroon, apart from having a twin, has a mini version of himself who resembles him a lot. “I surely see a mini-me in Musa,” he gleefully talks about his son, whose trails can be seen on Haroon’s social media. Even though he enjoys what he does, but not so, when work affects his personal routine. “Work definitely does affect my personal routines – especially my work-out regimen and my family time,” he shares, highlighting the past few weeks where he was immersed in the film’s promotions.

As we wrap up, he starts humming a track, which we may get to hear sometime in the future.•


What does music mean to you?

Inner peace.

Future projects of yours include?

Acting and musical ventures.

Formula for happiness is?

Live and let live.

A fun fact about you which nobody knows?

Not many people know I have a twin, and it’s kind of fun to have one.

Signature skill of yours?

Slower ball with a quick arm action.

How do you choose a fragrance?

I let my wife do that for me.

If you want to laugh who do you look up to?

My son, he always makes me laugh.

What do you like to do on Sundays?

Relaxing and watching TV.

Your earliest memory of acting?

November 2016.

A word you use the most?


What’s the meaning of life?

To create your own unique footprint.

Something you regret?

Giving up on cricket as a career choice.

A go-to dinner party anecdote?

Being tear-gassed.

An advice you want to give to your younger self?

Hard work pays off.