Today, after having churned out a dozen albums for more than a decade, he has no doubt come of age. This is Saleem Javed, one of the few singers who stepped into pop music in the mid 80s.
With some major hits to his credit since the day he started his career, including Jugni, Laila O Laila, Karaya, Ab Ke Sal, Barish Ki Chand Bondein, Tum Mere Ho, Kabhi Koi Aae Ga and many more, he has grown to par excellence.
With his latest album Kabhi Koi Aae Ga released at the start of this year, Saleem is busy these days giving final touches to his video Mere Harian. Here, Saleem Javed speaks his heart out on his compositions.
Starting his career in mid 80s, he remixed Madam Noor Jehan song Janam Aayi Janam that was a major hit. He is one of the pioneers when it comes to remixing.
Then he remixed another folk song Laila O Laila of Faiz Mohammad Baloch that was too appreciated by the people. He gave the first sports song ever in Pakistan as a tribute to Javed Miandad.
The album was a major hit and Saleem has to say a lot about it, "It was a time when there were no videos and no promotional campaigns like we have today but still the sales those days crossed 5 lacs. They were really good times".
Basically as an original singer he wanted to do something different from other singers and that is why he decided to churn out something different and that is how he came up with Jugni that was among the very first songs whose videos was aired.
The song was a major hit throughout the country and that made ways for Saleem to work more on his own grounds. But it was in 96 when Saleem shot to fame after his mega hit album Karaya.
This gave him courage to experiment and work on original themes. Many songs from the album were a major hit including Ab Ke Saal, Ik Baar, Barish and Kurian.
While talking about his album Barish, a song that is still a major hit among the masses not because of its video but for its music and softness of vocals, Saleem was of the view, "I always wanted to work on such songs.
It is one of my favourite songs and the best one in my career. It is really amazing that people still appreciate that song and want to listen to it again and again."
Saleem is not overawed by the loads of artists and albums in the market. Saleem is not affected by that, he is enjoying his career. "It is not necessary that songs must be high budgeted.
It is the melody of the songs that still attracts people to buy something and that is why I am focusing on that unaware of the very fact what sells in the market. I know the very fact that if you have good melodies in the album people will listen to it no matter what.
I keep doing experimenting and new things keep on coming up with every passing day. Music is an evolving process."
While talking about the way he composes his songs, he tells, "The basic direction that I follow while composing a song is melody. Though I try to keep doing different sorts of experimentation in that, for instance, in my latest album I have done the techno-fusion but with a rock feel and Punjabi touch."
Those who have listened to Saleem Javed's last two albums must have found a visible difference in the two, as he himself points out, "The change was a part of my understanding music." So, how he came up with the idea of changing his style.
"With Tum Mere Ho, I changed myself completely because there was a need of change. If something is noticed then you are successful. It is not necessary to sell 10 lacs album to become a hit.
There is a lot of difference between the two concepts. Similarly, if I talk about Kabhi Koi aaye Ga, I can see a visible difference between the two. I composed 12 songs in two years; I worked very hard on this album in order to give the desired.
It is only because of this hard work that we as a team have been able to produce songs that are not in any other album. There are 6 Punjabi songs and all are different from what is going on in the market. Music is not only artistic and creative but also very much technical.
"When asked about the type of market he is trying to target, the singer says, "I am not reaching out to any particular group. I want my music to be universal. I do not want to restrict it to any particular class.
I am not following any trends either. I believe in doing so you don't create. I am play and sing irrespect of what's in and what's not. That is why people relate to it very easily.
I like to please myself and to please every body and that is why people enjoy my music. They can relate to my music. I make my own trends and set standards for myself. I keep on experimenting with them and that is how bump into some thing new each time."
For Saleem Javed Indian pop is very commercial, "They don't know what to do. They don't have any melody in their songs but they try to glamorize their music in such a way that we like it.
Our pop singers are quite better then Indian pop artistes." While talking about his favourites, Saleem Javed says that he loves the work of Sajjad Ali, Adnan Sami Khan, Kishor Kumar, Sonu Nigham, Uddat Narain, Rafi Sb, Mehdi Hassan and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.
Saleem Javed is just back after a world tour and album promotion. He has recently completed the video of Mere Harian which is directed by him. Besides that he is also working on his next album that we hope will be as good as his present one.