Instep Today

Naveed Nashad is the king of OSTs

By Omair Alavi
Tue, 12, 19

The man behind the soundtracks of hit television serials like Mere Paas Tum Ho, Aangan, Suno Chanda, Do Bol, Ishq Zah-e-Naseeb and Yeh Dil Mera talks to Instep about directing music for the small screen and what it takes.

With 2019 closing, if there is one trend that has not gone unnoticed, it is the rise of television soundtracks and their ubiquitous public demand. Though there are a string of artists working in that department, one name that keeps popping up is of Naveed Nashad.

Just for an introduction, his original soundtrack credits include mammoth hit Mera Paas Tum Ho as well as Aangan, Suno Chanda, Do Bol, Ishq Zah-e-Naseeb and Yeh Dil Mera to name a few. The music director has not just composed the tracks; he has actually sung a few of them, surprising many listeners with his hidden talent.

Son of late music director Wajid Ali Nashad, and the grandson of music maestro Nashad, Naveed was destined to take up music as a profession. However in this conversation with Instep, he explains the pressure of being a third-generation music composer, his love for OSTs and why he thinks the future of music is bright in Pakistan. Excerpts from the conversation:

Instep: Let’s talk about some of the OSTs you composed in 2019 – the year began with the Aangan OST followed by a few others and ended with Mere Paas Tum Ho. How do you manage to compose so many hits and that too when you are doing the background score of all these drama serials?

Naveed Nashad (NN): Honestly, it depends on my mood (laughs). Sometimes an OST takes three days to compose, sometimes a week and on a few occasions a month but I am glad that none of my compositions have been rejected, ever. I composed Aangan for MD Productions and began the year with it; Do Bol, Suno Chanda, Ishq Zahe Naseeb, Yeh Dil Mera and Mere Paas Tum Ho followed because the creators trusted me completely. The lyrics were according to the situation and I got to use the singers I wanted.

Instep: Some of these OSTs are in your own voice. Was that something you planned or something that just happened?

NN: When a composer sends a demo version of the OST to the production house, he usually sings it himself so that the potential singer knows what kind of expressions he or she is expected to emote. In my case, most of the production houses asked me to send the final version in my own voice as they found my expressions to be exactly what they wanted. I never wanted to be a singer but because of the encouragement I received, I tried to go with the flow.

Instep: Your grandfather and father were both well-known music composers, both of whom carved an identity in the industry. Did you follow them by choice or was it always an expected given your family legacy?

NN: I always knew that I wanted to take my grandfather’s legacy forward and that’s why I took my early ‘musical’ education from my uncle Akbar Ali Nashad, who not only was a noted violin player but also taught me the basics. My dad was well-versed in classical music along with my maternal grandfather Mukhtar Hussain; he taught me that branch of music and I tried my best to be a good disciple.

Instep: You recently composed three songs for Kaaf Kangana that were loved by listeners. What is the major difference between film songs and OSTs in your opinion?

NN: In today’s terminology, an OST (Original Sound Track) can be anything from a drama’s theme song to a commercial jingle and even a hit film number. However, the main difference between a film song and one for TV is that of sound; cinematic sound is different while jingles and drama theme songs fall on a different level.

In films, you have the margin to compose a song for five to seven situations while on TV you have to come up with an OST that has to air for the drama’s entire run. That way, a film song is easier to compose than an OST but if you are passionate like me, you will have your research completed by the time you sit to compose both these tracks. Since I also compose the background score as well, a little research helps me immensely.

Instep: If you were asked to pick three OSTs from your own collection, which ones would you choose?

NN: Although all my OSTs are dear to me, I would go for ‘Ja Tujhe Maaf Kia’, ‘Gughi’, ‘Alif Allah Aur Insaan’.

Instep: And what about the best song each from the Nashad library, which ones would they be?

NN: From my grandfather’s library I would go for Mehdi Hassan Khan sahib and Madam Noor Jehan’s duet ‘Aap Ko Bhool Jayen Hum’ from Tum Mile Pyar Mila whereas I would opt for ‘Dil Main Basa Le’ from Miss Istanbul, both versions.

Instep: Is the future of music in Pakistan bright or dark, in your opinion?

NN: I would say very bright because most of the music composers today are young; with more films and OSTs they will gain more experience and that will help the industry in the long run.

– Omair Alavi is a freelance broadcast journalist who can be contacted at