Jimmy Khan is gearing up to release a new EP called Shukar with the first song ‘Ghar’ dropped earlier this year. We spoke to the singer, songwriter and composer about living in lockdown, his new music and what the year holds.
n just the second month in the new year (2023), we’re hearing some beautiful, brutal, vulnerable, individualistic, ferocious, personal music from many artists within the present sonic ecosystem.
Among them is Jimmy Khan, who plans to drop a three-song EP called Shukar, produced by Haniya Aslam, in 2023.
When this article was being written, the first song from Shukar called ‘Ghar’ had been released. Unquestionably, one of Jimmy Khan’s best songs like an expression of yin yang, hurt and hope, home and displacement, the metaphors within the verses and the simplicity will instantly leave a mark. We’re not kidding.
Part of it has to do with how the song was born.
We know that the quarantine period - due to coronavirus surfacing in the country forced artists to work in isolation or in an intimate grouping and not immerse themselves in major public shows or meeting people. It also created a period for reflection. But the silver lining, if one is looking for one, is how this social isolation and its aftermath did lead to some very personal music. A similar case is the story of ‘Ghar’.
Said Jimmy Khan about the songs on Shukar, “These songs, amongst others, were written and composed during my travels to the North of Pakistan after the pandemic lockdown. They poured out of me as an expression of the difficult time spent imprisoned, personally and socially, in grief and sickness.”
The first single, ‘Ghar’, means a great deal to Jimmy Khan who said about the song: “‘Ghar’ is a feeling. One that speaks of belonging. No matter where one physically may be on the planet, there are sometimes simple words and conversations, relationships with people, nature or our surroundings, that represents home. At other times, home can be embodied in particular trees, streets, or landscapes; anything really that reflects a sense of feeling heard or being seen and which make us feel like we belong, wherever we may be. It is a song about that very comforting feeling of being home.”
Showcasing his self-expression during an unfathomable moment in history, Jimmy took on the daunting challenge and doesn’t disappoint. ‘Ghar’ feels original, refreshing and echoes admitting the very real question of what it means to be home, have a home and a sense of gratitude for it.
It is posed also as a subjective question when you remove surface value. What does it mean to each of us, a question woven within a song that is not full of despair but carries waves of optimism.
‘Ghar’ shows a different side of the singer, songwriter and composer, perhaps his most relatable one yet. A part of a three-song EP called Shukar, it is the result of the singer, songwriter and composer’s travels to Northern Pakistan after the lockdown. We can hardly wait for the rest of the songs from Shukar but in the meantime, an excerpt from our conversation with Jimmy Khan…
“Ghar is a feeling. One that speaks of
belonging. No matter where one physically may be on the planet, there are sometimes simple words and conversations, relationships with people, nature or our surroundings, that represent home. At other times, home canbe embodied in particular trees, streets,
Instep: What does Shukar mean to you on a personal level? Apart from the craft, musicians and so on?
Jimmy Khan: Shukar, or gratitude for me personally comes from a place of acceptance. Acceptance of self, of circumstances, of the reality that we actually have very limited control of. Gratitude for life, for our relationship with our selves and others, and for the challenges and blessings that come with it. Shukar the EP should leave the listeners hopeful, I hope.
Instep: How was it working with Haniya Aslam as producer?
Jimmy Khan: By far it was the most gentle experience working with a producer. Haniya is super organized, very inclusive and generous as a collaborator/producer/human. She produced the songs and ideas I brought to her with utmost sincerity to the songs. I think she believed in them more than I did. A fave star collaborator for me.
Instep: When do the next two songs release?
Jimmy Khan: The second track titled ‘Jeenay Kay Mazay’ will be released on February 17, 2023. And the third song, ‘Shukar Hai’ will be out in March. I don’t have a definite date for it yet.
Instep: How did quarantine (and these last few years during which the world lived through and still is living in a pandemic), affect you as an artist and as a person?
Jimmy Khan: It’s been a loaded time these past few years, to say the least. At the same time it’s been very rewarding. As for my art or my songwriting, I was able to spend more time with my instruments without agendas, resulting in a range of ideas and songs that now I’ve taken to the studio. The music you’ll be listening to this year is all the writing I’ve done during this pandemic.
Personally, there’s been a lot of acceptance. Of myself, my choices and circumstances. I think I may have gotten closer to myself in the process. There is still a lot of uncertainty around us. Processing that seems to be a real energy sucker but it is what it is! Ultimately I am grateful to be alive and for the love around me.
In 2023, I plan to spend more time in the studio and delving into the world of production myself. A new EP in the second half of the year and more releases for my channels is agenda 2023. Stay tuned to my channels, there’s lots more cooking.
Instep: Have you released all the songs from the EP Tich Button?
Jimmy Khan: Yes, all tracks from the EP were released in 2021.
Instep: You also acted in a film. Future plans to pursue acting?
Jimmy Khan: Apart from my music videos there are no plans to act.
Instep: What happened to the Jordan collaboration, also featuring Shahab Hussain?
Jimmy Khan: That too was released in 2021. It is currently doing rounds on Spotify’s South Asia playlist.
Instep: What should we expect from Jimmy in 2023. Gigs, more music, collaborations?
Jimmy Khan: Definitely gigs around the country through the seasons. I have written a brand-new body of work, which is in production at the moment. More productions in 2023.