Instep Today

“We cannot survive and sustain by playing covers.”

Instep Today
By Buraq Shabbir
Thu, 05, 18

Gearing up for the release of his first solo album, singer-songwriter Umair Jaswal emphasizes that we need more original music and TV channels that promote local musicians.

Umair Jaswal's self-titled solo album is on its way with the first single scheduled to release next month.

After over a decade of his musical career, Umair Jaswal has decided to take a solo ride and is soon to bring out his debut album, titled Umair Jaswal. With the first song scheduled to release next month, the album features music that is very close to his heart, he shared in a recent interview with Instep.

Having been a part of music groups when he started off initially, followed by multiple appearances on corporate shows, Umair is of the view that such platforms give artists the required push before they head on to a journey of their own.

“At a time when it was very difficult for musicians to sustain themselves, I kept fighting on, with Qayaas, with my own music and then some commercial platforms that really helped me out,” Umair noted in the interview. “I am very thankful to all those platforms; they gave Pakistan’s music industry the required push at that time which we really needed to survive.”

However, Umair believes that it’s time we start focusing on original music, the way some leading artists such as Strings are doing because the industry needs more of that.

“Now when things are slightly better, I think it’s our responsibility to go back and start writing original music because at the end of the day, you are not a cover artist, you are not a cover band. I see that a lot of young, aspiring musicians, who are starting off, are making their names with covers. That’s the first step. But I really hope that they find the inspiration to write their own music because they will be known for their original stuff, nobody remembers you for your covers.”

He added that the industry needs ‘our’ sound, the sound that we were known for worldwide some years back.

“Our music that was known to be great will be forgotten if we keep on relying on covers. Having certain elements of our own roots into our music would make us go further and I think that is still missing,” he continued. “We need a next chapter in the music evolution of this country and I think original music is going to do that. However, the only problem is that, right now our current generation is so obsessed with cover songs, Bollywood, western musicians that they really don’t want to know what music bands exist in Pakistan and what’s happening here. I think we all need to promote our music a little bit more than we are right now.”