Zeb and Haniya: Live music is a problem in Pakistan

MTV India‘s new music show called “MTV Roots” is a weekly show featuring artists/bands of South Asian origin from around the world. The launch episode of MTV Roots featured music videos of various South Asian artists including Mekaal Hasan Band. The main idea behind the show is to promote the bands of South Asia that are not so popular in India.

Zeb and Haniya who is soon going to be seen on MTV Roots, on the World Music Day, had a chat with their fans on MTV India’s twitter.

For all those who missed this fun-filled interaction, here are the excerpts:

Q: Which Indian artist do you listen to?

Haniya: “I’ve listen to a lot of Indian music. R.D. Burman, S.D. Burman, Madan Mohan right upto Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy!”

Zeb: “A.R. Rahman, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy and Sunidhi Chauhan are some of my favourite Indian artistes!”

Q: What do you think has helped spread your music?

Haniya: “The internet has helped music spread though its harder to perform live out of the country due to political conditions.”

Q: Do you plan on future collaboration with any Indian artist?

Haniya: “We would love to collaborate with Indian artists. We are very interested in classical and folk music of India.”

Q; Any plans to work with any Bollywood music director in the future?

Haniya: “We are in talks to make music for Bollywood. Though nothing is concrete yet.”

Zeb: “We met a lot of Indian Music Directors and we plan to see if something can happen.”

Q: What can you say about MTV Roots?

Haniya: “MTV Roots is a really exciting platform since the roots of our music are very similar.”

Q: Any plans to come to India?

Zeb: “Not sure about a tour, but might be doing a small project in India later this summer. Not sure yet, but we’re on it! We will be in India by August. We’re really excited to performing here.”

Q: Well in case you got chance to collaborate with A.R Rahman or Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy. Who will you choose?

Haniya: “Both! :)”

Q: What’s your genre?

Haniya: “We want to write as many different types of songs as we possibly can, and not be contained within just 1 or 2 genres.”

Q: Wonder if you’ll come on the Indian Coke Studio?

Zeb: “Not a part of the Indian Coke Studio, and thank you for appreciating our work! :)”

Q: What new are you doing apart from Coke Studio?

Zeb: “This year we’re recording our new album.”

Q: When does you new album come out?

Zeb: “Hoping to complete it by this summer. Touchwood.”

Q: When did you decide to take up music?

Zeb: “Right since we were kids as music was in our family.”

Q: Any problems in Pakistan related to Music?

Zeb: “Political conditions haven’t dented the music and Pakistani musicians are still respected. But live music is a problem in Pakistan.”

Q: Is it tough being women musicians in Pakistan?

Zeb: “It wasn’t that way for us. Its in fact been the opposite!”

Q: What’s the inspiration behind your songs especially Paimona?

Haniya: “All songs come from different spaces and experiences. Paimona is an Afghan track from the 70s which we covered. It is composed by Shahwali Taranasaz and first performed by 2 Pakistani singers Khan & Shafi Mohammad.”

Q: Shouldn’t an author’s work be royalty free after his death for creating new music?

Haniya: “Anyone can cover any song at any point, but the ownership of the actual work always stays with the creator, or their heirs.”

Q: Do you believe in Destiny?

Zeb: “I think songs have their own destinies. Bibi Sanam was already a known song but we never thought it would get so BIG!”

Q: Which is your favorite song of your own?

Zeb: “Personally between our two most famous songs, I like Bibi Sanam more than Nazar Aile!”

Q: You have sung in many languages. Can you speak these languages too?

Haniya: “We speak Urdu and Pashto, a very small amount of Darri (Afghani persian) and Zeb speaks a bit of Turkish.”

Q: How do u feel with Indian audiences?

Zeb: “Indian audiences are awesome, very engaged and responsive.”

In the end, Zeb and Haniya thanked their fans for their love, constant and unflinching support.

Haniya: Chup was a great debut album all thanks to our audiences.

Zeb: A big thank you to everyone! Its great to connect with our fans from India! Happy World Music Day!