Whenever there will be talks of hard rock band in Pakistan, “Jazba” would be mentioned with preference. Jazba is not only the name of a Pop band as it also expresses the feelings of patriotism with great “jazbat” who took the nation by storm with their very first song “Jago”. It was such a hit that all young & old were found singing this song about Kashmir.
Their songs portray our social values, custom and weaknesses; they don’t sing songs of false dreams that mostly groups are found singing these days. In 1994, the band broke up due to a fraud done by a recording company; it was the time when the band was hitting the pinnacle. Recently the band has been reshaped by Nadeem (Main Vocalist) with new members after a long hiatus. The band consists of Nadeem, Shahrukh, Rakey and Mubashir.
How did you start and what was the initial point at which this band was formed?
We started the band in 1992. I (Nadeem) had recently returned from England from my education. Infact the band was started by one of my friend who is in USA right now. He asked me to join the band.
I had proposed the song “Jago”. At first it was rejected as promoters thought it was a very depressing song and will not be accepted and liked by the people but then through Music Channel Charts it became No. one and remained on the charts for 6 months. This was how the band came into being and we are still here by the Grace of God. Then due to some unavoidable circumstances our band broke up in 1994 that was a sad incident but recently we have reorganized. Masahllah.
When was your first video made and how did you feel when you first faced the camera?
Our first video was made in 1992 and it was not new for me (Nadeem) because I was already acquainted with the video camera at my home. It was nothing new for me to see myself on the camera but the difference was of course of the audience, I had never faced more than 5000 people before, so it was a big and a very enchanting experience and we will always treasure it.
Do you think you will ever be able to attain the position at which today Junoon and Vital Signs are?
Well, speaking the truth, every group has their own fans. The songs that Jazba sings are based on life, death, light, darkness, faithfulness etc that is rare to be found in the other groups. Glamour and lust are the topics, which are covered by other groups. We always have a message in our songs for our fans. Every group has their own position and status in perception.
It’s nothing like we cannot attain the same position. We have a completely different theme in our songs, which these groups don’t have. Our songs are based on feelings that can be enjoyed by people in every mood and of course are versatile. We try to make our songs on a wider spectrum. We are a hard rock band, which I feel is the better expression of our values, weaknesses and strengths.
Since your songs “Jago” and “Jahez” were popular among masses but why didn’t your album pick up as it was being expected?
Sonic had released our Album. It was warmly welcomed in Punjab where more than 35 thousands copies were sold in first week but there was no record of this sale. The secretary of the company (he was my friend) told me and I (Nadeem) was not given the royalty of the sale. The people of Punjab were diehard fan of Jazba Group and I believe they still are but in Sindh the sale was slow because there was no poster pasted or any publicity done by the company.
The company was not interested in launching the album because Jazba was a patriotic band and they didn’t want to market such bands. They told me that if I didn’t bring glamour and false dreams in to my songs, it wouldn’t business much but I refused, I insisted on making songs on Kashmir, Jahez and social values. My songs had made quite a big hit on Music Charts on TV channels and it should have sold like hot cake but since the company was not interested in marketing for the patriotic band so there were differences & ultimately it couldn’t create much market space in Sindh.
Have you ever thought of promoting your band through Internet?
Yes, we are very much aware of the fact that Information Technology has made a significant place in our lives. We would definitely look in to it and will also recommend your Ecommerce based online shopping mall to our Recording Label where an online shop can sell CDs and Music stuff.
Why did your band break up in early days?
There was a fake company who signed Jazba along with Bunny, Najam Sheraz, Shehzad Roy and some other bands of that time. Although it had paid us a little amount but had taken almost 3 Carore rupees loan from a Bank for talent promotion. After a short time they closed down their business and vanished. We kept running here and there but couldn’t find them. To be on a safe side from the contract, Najam Sheeraz left for Lahore while Bunny went to South Africa and Shehzad Roy was supported by his community. This tragedy provided the best chance for the parents of my group members to urge them to step back. My group members went for their own ways and this way my group disintegrated.
How much are you using latest technology in music?
We record all our songs on PC using recording software “Cake Walk”. We also use Mixers and all other musical tools, which are available in the market. We also do editing of our videos in “Adobe Premiere” ourselves. Since we have an IT background, we use it in our music, whereas other bands are far away from using these techniques. It reduces the cost of recording and time as well.
Has anyone of you planned to go solo?
Jazba group has just been reshaped. People go solo after much experience and we feel comfortable being in a band. I (Nadeem) had a chance to go solo, as I was alone for a long time after my band broke up in early days, but I like to be in a band. Being in a band provides a best chance of creativity where all members have various opinions and when these opinions clicks, a finest product come out. The band is like a family and we enjoy being in it.
Your memorable performance.
In 1995 at Alhamra Lahore, was my (Nadeem) memorable performance where people jumped from 17 feet wall to take my autographs and got injured. I signed more than 2000 autographs that day. I sang six songs there, which were appreciated by the audience a lot. When I was singing the song “Jahez”, the ladies sitting in the front row started crying, it was a great reward for me.
What should be the minimum budget to make a good quality video?
A good quality video can be made from 40 to 50 thousands rupees but never ever judge a song by its video. People may have the money but not all have the talents. If you are using the appropriate background in your video and the scenes are portrayed accordingly with talent then we must appreciate the work.
What do you think will Pakistan be able to produce singers like Mehdi Hassan, Noor Jahan and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan again?
In previous times there were a very few singers and in this way they got the extensive chance to experiment & expose their talents to a greater extent. But today everyone is becoming singer and an intense competition is going on. We certainly have great voices that can be comparable to the Legends but the need of the time is to recognize those talents and give them the chance to excel. Every country is recognized by its talents, here the question arises that will we be able to preserve our Art? Nobody has expressed its concern towards this tragedy. We need to preserve our talents and Art.
What would you do if you were made the president of Pakistan?
Well if we were made the president of Pakistan, we would definitely promote music due to the fact that music Industry is neglected. We would focus on the advancement of media and freedom of speech, because literacy rate and freedom of speech should go up & more attention should be given to these, which are not being given at this stage. We would also set goals each year and would make sure that the targets set are achieved. We would emphasize on education promotion and will ensure that deserving people get education at their utmost.
What are the reactions of the people when they see you on the street?
Their reaction is somewhat like “Dekho Jago jaraha hai”, means they recognize us through our song. Our songs are our identification. Once in Islamabad in 1993, Kashmir issue was at its peak and people were very emotional and sensitive about. I decided to make a Kashmir song just for the sake of a new theme with a new Jazba. This doesn’t mean that we want to play with people’s emotions. This song became popular amongst all that gave us recognition and respect among masses. We are proud of it.
What is the ratio of luck and struggle in ones life?
In the world of music struggle plays a pivotal role in ones life and luck plays a minor role. Music is such a field, which is very hard to achieve, and therefore requires a lot of struggle and hard work. Music is an ancient art, which doesn’t require too much education like other professions, but creativity and inborn talent is a must. Without it you are no where. Therefore a lot of struggle is involved as compared to luck as far as the world of music is concerned. In order to stabilize yourself, a lot of struggle is required.
How would you rate yourself on a scale of 1-10 in the following fields Luck, success and fame?
(Laughingly) A very difficult question but still, Hmm well, as far as luck is concerned we would rate our selves between 5-6, for success between 7-8, for fame between 7-8 and for good work 9. Well mainly this is for the audience to decide, but still we have tried to analyze ourselves on an average basis.