Cheapmunks got talent!


5 Minutes
Cheapmunks got talent!
Two zany chicas form a band with a fun edge for the heck of it

Hafsah Sarfraz

Suhana Baloch of CheapmunksVery rarely does it happen that girls in Pakistan come up on the music front and carve a niche for themselves! Last I remember it was Zeb and Haniya who had the confidence to do that. This time it’s Mehak and Suhana, two contemporary girls who have formed a band with an interesting name; Cheapmunks. The unique thing about the music they make is that they pick up the hottest tracks from western charts and experiment with it to create their own “East meets West” musical fusion. Initially, their work was featured on Youtube but it wasn’t restricted to that only. Mehak and Suhana received such great feedback from there that they ended up having a live event at the Base Rock Cafe in Karachi recently. And according to the girls this is just the beginning, there’s a long way to go. Here’s a chit chat Instep today had with the Cheapmunks.

Instep Today: Tell us about yourselves.

Cheapmunks: We are absolutely crazy, completely insane, obnoxiously loud and ridiculously hyper. We laugh at the most stupid things and we laugh A LOT. Other than that we’re pretty laid back, easy going, full of life, a tad bit cheap and a whole lot entertaining.

We are just your regular girls really.

Instep Today: How did you girls decide to sing professionally?

Cheapmunks: Well honestly it wasn’t much of our decision. Initially we didn’t even think of taking up singing as a profession or even taking it this far for that matter. The entire journey till now has been so random and completely uncalled for. We uploaded our first video [‘Omg/Babia’] just for the fun of it. We thought it would be something good for our friends to have a laugh at. So coming this far from that one video was slightly nerve wrecking. We do have a mad passion for this art though but right now we are in the middle of our studies and that is our main priority. However, once that is out of the way and if something singing orientated comes up, then we’ll surely give it a go.

Instep Today: You guys are mixing old tracks and creating fusions. Aren’t you afraid the audience will accuse you for not having originality?

Cheapmunks: Hahaha we have already been getting that a lot! We have been told to stay at home and never sing again! Much of the criticism we get says we lack originality and that we try to impose a certain extent of fakeness in the way we sing. But what people fail to understand is the fact that it’s been only a little more than two months since we’ve entered this field, that too without any form of guidance or preparation. People work for years and years to get this far. This opportunity was literally shoved on us within a matter of 2-3 day, so for us to come up with originals when we didn’t even plan on pursuing this profession is a little difficult. However now that we have and although we love covering songs, we’ve started working on our originals. So yeah all I can say is – people hold em horses!

Instep Today: What’s the story behind the name “Cheapmunks”?

Cheapmunks: That’s a completely random story but here it goes. So who hasn’t heard of Alvin and the chipmunks? We all have! And we all love them – three singing squirrels are not something you get to see very often. So they’ve always been an inspiration but it was originally Mehak’s idea. She slightly changed it up a bit and named our first video “Cheapmunks” – NOT the band. But once the video was set lose everyone started referring to us as THE CHEAPMUNKS and so we decided to stick to it! Plus I find it really cute now and it totally describes us.

Instep Today: Within a very short time your fan page has around 4000 fans. How does that feel?

Cheapmunks: It’s overwhelming in a way, slightly scary in another and completely nerve wrecking too. The fact that so many people from all over the world know you by your name and appreciate what you do is freakishly amazing! It has its own rush. And then of course you have that slight load in the back of your head – fans expectations! How you really really don’t want to let them down.

Instep Today: After your first successful gig in Karachi, your fans in Lahore and Islamabad can’t wait to see you sing live. Any plans of surprising them?

Cheapmunks: Soon enough!

Instep Today: How do you go about picking which songs to experiment with?

Cheapmunks: At times it’s just the spur of the moment – for example ‘Omg/Babia’ was  completely unrehearsed and unplanned fusion. Then at times it’s all about fusing the guitar chords of two songs or maybe just the lyrical meaning.

Instep Today: Clearly, you girls are young and must have school and other responsibilities, does that make it difficult for you to sing and perform at gigs?

Cheapmunks: Yes, it does! Also, since one of us [Mehak] is studying abroad the major issue here is long distance. Though Mehak has always been great at multi tasking, which makes things easy for us but still long distance can be such a pain. We had to let go of so many opportunities just because she was leaving for college.

Instep Today: How do you manage it then?

Cheapmunks: There’s no doubt that it’s difficult but since one of us [Suhana] is taking a gap year she can manage lots of things and Mehak keeps visiting every once in two months. That’s the time we try getting everything done!

Instep Today: Do you plan on writing your own songs or sticking to what you are doing currently?

Cheapmunks: We’re not going to let go off creating fusions or doing covers because that’s something we both love doing and enjoy the most. However, we are working on our originals too.

Instep Today: What does the future hold for the Cheapmunks?

Cheapmunks: Who knows? All we know is that the Cheapmunks are here to stay!

Source : Instep News

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