Exclusive Interview with Zeeshan Hayat, Feedback

November 22, 2009

Sadaf Fayyaz speaks to upcoming musician, singer, song writer and producer Zeeshan Hayat of “Feedback”, about his latest song “Aankhon Mein” and explores some interesting facts regarding his music.

Zeeshan HayatQ1. Tell us something about your background and education.

Zeeshan: I have done my B.com from Islamia College and hold a fine arts degree too. Besides music, I am an interior decorator too and have worked on some official projects as well. Basically I am Urdu-speaking. I have my own café in Defence too. Besides this, I have also worked as sound engineer. I have my own studio too.

Q2. When and how did you get interested in music?

Zeeshan: It’s more than eleven years that I have been in music field. Since my childhood, I have been interested in music. When I was a child, my grandmother gifted me a keyboard, with which I did some mischief (laughs). Music has been my inspiration and I have been experimenting with it since I was a child. I used to experiment a lot with my keyboard and learnt many things experimentally. I have also worked with some very talented and skillful people from music industry, I learnt a lot from them too. I believe that practice is the best of all instructors. The more you practice, the more you learn. Jamming is very important for a singer or musician.

Q3. What is your inspiration?

Zeeshan: I am a great fan of Late Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. My inspiration list is huge, but I am inspired by Deep Purple, Nickel Back, Pink Floyd, Iron Maiden, U2, Bryan Adams and Guns n Roses.

Q4. Who writes lyrics for you?

Zeeshan: In fact I write lyrics myself. Besides composing music, I am also involved in production and direction. Digi Pro is my company, and I spend most of the time there working many hours a day. At times things are so hectic that I do not even go home and spend time in my studio. The video of “Aankhon Mein” is even directed by me. Music is my passion, I cannot live without it.

Zeeshan HayatQ5. Tell us something about your band Feedback. How many active members are there in it?

Zeeshan: In fact, after “Da Rubber band”, there was another one formed with the same name. The whole story goes like this, that mine was formed much earlier than Ahmed Ali Butt’s Rubber band, who also happens to be a friend of mine. Fans were quite confused mixing up the two bands and some problems arose regarding the names. A video by Farhan Nadeem was even banned, so confusion led to many problems. I changed the name to “Feedback”. I had formed another band called “Razam” in late 90’s, which gained popularity because of Umair Tareen who used to wear masks. I joined as a lead guitarist and later as a drummer in it. I have also formed a band “American idol” in US where I play the role of a drummer, but its unofficial now. Adeel and I are as permanent members, plus Sherry Khattak is also there.

Q6. What is the basic theme behind Aankhon Mein”?

Zeeshan: The theme or idea just strikes my mind and things come in flow. It’s not something very specific that I keep on thinking about. So it goes like this.

Q7. What music genre your music lie in?

Zeeshan: It depends. Some of the works I have done come under rock ballad, and some under alternative rock. I would say “alternative rock”.

Q8. What are your hobbies /activities besides music?

Zeeshan: In fact my life doesn’t give me much time for any activity. (Laughs) I love painting, interior decoration and playing soccer. I have already mentioned that at times, there are days of overwork when I have to sleep in my studio. I used to play play station games but don’t have much time for these now. My life is quite busy and hectic. At times I keep on running, arranging different things. So, little time is left for any activity. I am directing some videos too; hopefully they will be released on Eid. So, I hardly get any time for any other activity.

Zeeshan HayatQ9. What are your favorite bands/singers/musicians?

Zeeshan: (thinks) Hmm, I like late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan a lot. Abida Perveen is an existing legend. I have done a song “Jazba” with Shafqat Amanat Ali and he is great. I like Ali Azmat; his vocals are balanced and measured. Assad Ahmed has been a friend and I find his bass very inimitable. Whatever song he has played, has a unique touch to it. “Karavan” is my favorite band. I like Amir Zaki as well.

Q10. What initial difficulty, you think; every new singer or musician goes through in Pakistan?

Zeeshan: The biggest problem here, is of much increased competition and poor PR. First of all, you need some money to invest. The second part comes as the promotion, which is difficult. Video making needs money, and gone are the days when musicians used to get sponsorships. Now companies are scared of sponsoring and taking risks with new singers. Yes, promoting music is the most difficult thing here.

Q11. Define music in your own words.

Zeeshan: Anything good to listen, which is soulful and attractive.

Q12. How do you take critics?

Zeeshan: I take criticism positively since it tells me how to improve. For example, people have been telling me about my vocals that they are meager. I think vocals get improved with the passage of time. I like positive criticism but I feel distressed when people who have little knowledge about music say bluntly, “wow its bad”. I do not mind critics but shallow criticism is never cherished.

Q13. What do you think about remixes and tributes?

Zeeshan: I think it’s good that we have started paying tributes to our legends. Strings have really done a wonderful job with “Titliyan”. Abbas Ali Khan has come up with a tribute to the legends too. I think remixes are fine, if they have some different touch of music to them than the original ones. Since the original music cannot be re-created.

Q14. Any message for our readers?

Zeeshan: My message is that try to promote and appreciate good music. May Allah have his blessings on our country and its people.