26-11 is still afresh in everyone’s memory and there are artists from both sides of the border who are aiming at a new beginning with their work. One such artist is Shahvar Ali Khan, an advertising professional turned musician, who has come up with his peace anthem- ‘No Saazish, No Jung’.
Shahvar (Lahore born graduate of Trinity College, US) talks about his endeavor to reach out to youth, across Pakistan and India to,’re-imagine’ the world that could lead to the path of peace.
Can you elaborate upon the peace messaging through song?
As I said, ‘No Saazish, No Jung’ is set as a ‘Peace Anthem’ with allusions to religious bigotry-extremism and terrorism, neo-western imperialism– impending problems that plague all South Asia– with ‘regionalism’ as a proposed solution to this turmoil. In other words, ‘People desire Peace’. (Vis-à-vis the ‘establishment’ that has ulterior motives)
You stated that target audience for ‘No Saazish, No Jung’ is youth!
Exactly, if it reaches out well to its target audience, the song has the potential to become an anthem of sorts in South Asia. Of course, I say that in my own humble opinion! My prime aspiration is to be a “peoples’ entertainer-songwriter-singer”. I have attempted to produce work, perhaps also due to my advertising background that has purpose and depth, yet is not esoteric for the general audience. Since I feel that it is our youth that have the ability to, ‘re-imagine’ the world, it is extremely critical that we talk to them in ‘their’ language that resonates in ‘their’ hearts and minds. ‘Education’ cushioned in funky entertainment and ‘intelligent commercialism.’
Have you been able to reach out to your target audience?
In a small way, yes! Since its exclusive viral internet launch on March 31, “No Saazish, No Jung” has garnered a heartening response from a diverse audience. The song has also been especially well received by Pakistani, Indian, Bangladeshi and Nepali students from colleges like Harvard, Trinity, NYU and many other institutions abroad, in addition to listeners in Pakistan and India. Courtesy my Ustad Ji- Ustad Basharat Hussain and my recordist, programmer and arranger Shumair, “No Saazish, No Jung” has indeed come out quite well. It wouldn’t have been half a song it has turned out to be without the two of them.