“I’m not doing that much production right now.
I’m tired of it. I want to concentrate on my albums.”
— Mekaal Hasan shifts gears from producing music to making music
Mekaal Hasan is one of the most sought-after music producers in Pakistan. In between gigs, recording, mixing and mastering countless records, Mekaal Hasan has also been busy for the last few years, working on his own band’s highly-anticipated second record, Saptak. With the release of the their spanking new video ‘Chal Bulleya’ with a fully-loaded star cast and an equally gripping song, Mekaal Hasan Band are back. If Sampooran was the first step for MHB, Saptak will further increase their success and strength as a band. Instep Today catches up with Mekaal to find out more…
Instep Today: ‘Chal Bulleya’ has an all-star cast. How did it come about?
Mekaal Hasan: Everyone was so cooperative. Ammar Belal (who did the wardrobe) has been a friend for years. I’ve known Aaminah Haq since we were kids. Ahmed Ali Butt and Fawad Afzal Khan (of EP) are friends. Except for Moammar Rana and Meera, I knew every from before.
Instep Today: Tell us about Meera and Moammar Rana. A taste of Lollywood…
MH: Meera was very generous. There were two rooms in which we were shooting and the sequencing had to be right. We shot the bath tub sequence in Meera’s bathroom! And she was a complete sport.
Moammar Rana is a really nice guy. We shot for four days straight – right from 11 am till 4 am in the morning. There were many versions of this video. It took us six months for editing and now it is on air.
Instep Today: ‘Chal Bulleya’ is an arresting video. Do you fear that the all-star cast will take away from the song?
MH: Not at all. If anyone understands the song, then no. I see the video as a black comedy.
Instep Today: The seven sins – it’s an interesting idea…
MH: Bilal Lashari came up with this idea. In the song, we’ve used Bulley Shah’s poetry alongside another poet called Bhagat Kabir. If you listen to the song carefully, it is about the sprituality of Bulley Shah and how his faith is under question. It is about being selfless and being less critical. Envy is the gateway to sins that are indulgent to the senses. It is all about you. But this song is not about you. It is about everyone else. I won’t call it religious but it is theological in a sense. We emptied our brains on it.
Instep Today: ‘Jhok Ranjhan’, ‘Huns Dhun’ and ‘Andholan’ were released as singles. You were releasing Andholan (the album) as a follow-up to Sampooran. Is Saptak the same record?
MH: No. We signed up with EMI Virgin in India for Andholan. They couldn’t digest that record. So we are doing two albums with them. One is Saptak, after which Andholan will follow. We wrote some new material and now we have a two-album deal with EMI. As for the other three singles released in the last two years, which were intended to be on the next MHB record are on Saptak. That means proper mixed versions of ‘Huns Dhun’, ‘Andholan’ and ‘Jhok Ranjhan’. After these two records, we are done with EMI Virgin.
Instep Today: Has Saptak released?
MH: Yes, it released on October 10 via CDbaby.com from where the CD can be purchased. Meanwhile we’re also releasing Saptak on iTunes, Amazon, Napster, MySpace – the full works. Internationally we will earn revenue through this.
Instep Today: But what about making the album available in the market? How will it be distributed?
MH: The same distributor that is used by record labels will distribute our CDs. But it isn’t available just yet due to the obvious security situation. With a record out, you want to do shows.
Instep Today: Did you tie up with a record label locally?
MH: Why should I? I create my own content; I make my own videos and produce my own records. Before this album came out, I played the record out on almost every channel before its release. We road tested before making any decisions.
Instep Today: Saptak supposedly refers to “series of seven notes”. Will that be the theme off this upcoming record?
MH: No, that was Sampooran. Sampooran focused on Shah Hussain’s poetry. Saptak is focused on Bulley Shah. Saptak is musical octave.
Instep Today: You were also doing a video with Zeeshan Parwez?
MH: Yes, the video is of ‘Waris Shah’ and it will be animated.
Instep Today: Besides working on the two MHB records, are you working on anything else right now?
MH: I’m not doing that much production right now. I’m tired of it and I want to concentrate on my own albums for the moment.
Source : Instep Today (26 Oct 09)