Musician and producer Misbah Uddin has been a loyal member of the Pakistani music scene for a very long time. From being a member of progressive rock band Keeray Makoray, to developing a successful solo act, to opening up a production studio, Misbah’s journey has been stellar. We recently asked him to answer a few questions so we could get to know him better, and he happily obliged. So here goes, seven questions with Misbah.
Who is your musical inspiration?
My musical inspiration is very fleeting and keeps changing on a monthly basis. These days I’m listening to this South African singer/songwriter called Alice Phoebe Lou, last month I was listening to this English musician called Shura. So, it’s an ever-changing thing. When I write music, I let my feelings and the music that is coming out of me inspire me.
If you had to pick only one song to listen to for the rest of your life, what would you pick?
I would much rather prefer silence but if I really had to choose I might just (I swear I’m not so self-obsessed) go with my song Baadal. I managed to capture a feeling and a moment so nicely in that song that it almost serves like a time capsule for me. If there was an alternative I would go with this live version of Mehdi Hassan’s Muhabbat kernay waalay’ that my mother once made me listen to and which I have been obsessed with since.
Best rising talent in Pakistan?
The list is endless. There are no bests because everyone has their own sound and can’t be compared with others but to name a few I’d say Farheen Raza Jaffri, Maanu, Salor, Luke Azariah, Natasha Noorani, Nadir Shehzad Khan, Janoobi Khargosh, Umer Ahmed, Towers, Takatak the list goes on.
Favorite memory as a musician/producer?
I remember doing my second gig as a solo act where surprisingly a lot of people showed up and when I started playing ‘Darya’ the crowd started singing with me. That felt really nice. It’s amazing how you write words and melodies sitting alone in a room and in time you see others singing those same words and humming that same melody.
Biggest challenge as a musician/producer?
As a musician one of the biggest challenges for me is not being able to constantly perform. Ideally, I would like to play somewhere, even if it’s a small café or restaurant, every week or every other week but we just don’t have those venues. The few that we did have like True Brew Records and Guitar School have disappeared. It’s a struggle to remain in practice when you’re not surrounded by such opportunities.
As a music producer it is quite a challenge to get the right equipment inside Pakistan. Everything needs to be bought from abroad and it is just so much more expensive and difficult to have those things come here.
I wish Nazia Hassan were still alive. I would have loved to make songs with her.
Go-to order from your favorite restaurant?
3 step wok from Chop Chop Wok with soba noodles, Japanese sauce, lots of tofu and a fried egg as an add on.