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Shehzad Roy
If Junoon revolutionized Sufi-rock with their gutsy lyrics on Indo-Pak mediation, Strings and Jal blended beautifully with Bollywood to offer some soulful tracks. Get set for another young Pakistani musician who is garnering a lot of attention. His striking looks and trendy music has Pakistani women drooling over him and now itís Indiaís turn to get a slice of this pop sensation. While we contemplated the edge that Pakistani pop artists have over their Indian counter-parts, he sauntered in causally for the interview; one look at him and you know he is a complete package ~ the perfect ĎIndian Idolí look. He had a slightly fatigued look ~ ďTravelling and attending to media for two days,Ē he explained. Nevertheless, he perked up to talk about his 11-year career in music, his pal Bryan Adams and of course his album Buri Baat Hai, featuring the hit single Salli.

Shehzad, who debuted with the single Nazrain Jo Milthin Ik Bar Sanam Say in 1994, became popular for his revolutionary approach to music. The pop artist was an instant hit in Pakistan and gradually came to be known across the rest of South Asia. With his newest single getting a lot of airplay, Shehzad is tasting success in India as well. Buri Baat Hai has a wide range of rhythm and lyrics, and his albums have evolved over the years. You will find a huge difference in his style if you compare his first album to this latest one. Following the steps of his predecessors, this 27-year-old singer is determined to leave a mark in India. The Record spoke with Shehzad Roy up, close and personal.

The Record: This is your fifth album, and the first one to be released in India. How has the response been?
Shehzad Roy: In one word, amazing. The album is very guitar oriented and it has great cultural significance. The track Salli was deemed derogatory and a case was filed against me. No one has ever dared to make a song like this, so it obviously created ripples. Eventually we won the case and the album has been a huge hit in the UK and Pakistan. Pakistan has changed a lot in recent times. Though we had freedom of speech earlier it came with a whole lot of conditions and the creative field was worst affected. But now itís opening up to liberal concepts. People in India know our songs and really love our music.

TR: You have been around for 11 years now. What took you so long to launch in India?
SR: Initially, music was a passion and not a profession. My first album was released when I was 16, following which I went to US for further studies. When I returned to Pakistan to continue studying, I discovered that the album was doing very well. After the third album in 1999, I decided to take up music professionally. So although I was in the circuit it took me some time to make a decision.

TR: You have also been modelling and acting. Is that a serious career option?
SR: Not really. For the video also, it took a lot of persuasion to get me to act. I canít do the funny acting. I would rather play the guitar and sing. Initially I used to play only the guitar and never thought I could sing. My friends pushed me to sing and thatís when I realized I was not that bad with vocals.

TR: In India, skin-show works while itís almost non-existent in your videos. What is the edge that Pakistani musicians have to sell without skin-show?
SR: We all start off by learning to play the guitar. My guitar playing skills, for example, are far better than my vocals. We have a lot of raw talent and we relate to the common people a lot. Bollywood rules in India, leaving no space for pop. The local rock bands here which I think are great do English rock catering to a niche audience. As far as videos go I have no comments about the Indian videos, but I would never use sex to sell my music. It doesnít last. The visual part is important only to a certain extent. You have to capture the flavour of your land and most importantly it should connect with the people. The best example would be the film Rang De Basanti. It encapsulates the pulse of the youngsters, and you can actually feel it. Unless the music is good you wonít listen to it in your car.


You can read the rest of our exclusive with Shehzad Roy in the May 2006 issue of The Record Music Magazine available at your local newsagent.














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Sergio Mendes
Simon Webbe
Daddy Yankee
Teddy Geiger
Snow Patrol
Bohemia
Channel V's Gorgeous Girls
Getting Started: The Saxophone
DJ Speak: DJ Skazi
Then And Now: Pet Shop Boys
Agony Aunty
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