aamer shafiq

Khumariyan is the melodious prowess of four musically talented Pashtun boys, who have reclaimed Pehsawar’s live music scene with folk music, and have now joined the big league with Coke Studio Season 11.  We love their music and personas so much that we decided to collaborate with Aamer Shafiq, the lead guitarist, for SiddySays Editorials. We drove down to Peshawar to capture the beauty of the city, its culture, sample some food, and of course, shoot some fashionable looks by Munib Nawaz and share it with you showing our perspective. Here is a heart to heart we had with Aamer after the two day long shoot.

What has your journey as a musician been like?

My journey as a musician so far has been nothing less than a thrilling roller coaster ride and a whirlwind of emotions. And the best part is that the ride ain’t over yet!

What did you study in college and how did you end up with music?

I was a Pre-Engineering student and music had always been a vital part of my life. I literally had a playlist for everything and every emotion I felt. From being happy to feeling gloomy, from falling in love to falling out of love while growing up, no matter where I was, what I was going through, there was a playlist or soundtrack for that specific moment or situation. And wherever I’ve been, I’ve always used music as that ultimate connection to relate to people, places and emotions.

What has been your most rewarding experience as a musician?

My most rewarding experiences are countless. Whatever we’ve achieved and accomplished as a band so far, there isn’t a single day when we aren’t thankful for the blessings we’ve received. However, what I am most proud of is the fact that we’ve been able to  revive folk music and bring it into the limelight. Moreover, through our music, we’ve also managed to highlight our cultural heritage to a global audience and the response that has been tremendous.

How has it been growing up in Peshawar. What is life like?

There is no place like Peshawar, hands down! And I love this place to it’s core. It’s not just another city, the entire geography of this place is home for me as I’ve grown up here amongst family and friends. Otherwise, life is pretty much the same here as  other cities, BUT with the added tarka of tikka’s, kebab’s and a whole lot of Pushto!

What is your favourite thing to do other than music?

Apart from music, I am quiet the outdoor person, so the wilderness and nature often calls me. Just being on my own in the great outdoors is something I love to do when I am not playing or working. And after that, Play Station and F1!

How did Coke Studio happen and what was the experience like?

The kind of music that we’ve been playing is instrumental folk which in itself is unique and yet modern, and interestingly it does not belong to any particular genre. Critics have tried to stereotype our music as hyper folk, but if you look at it from a wider angle, we’re playing world music – that is made for everyone, so it has room for experimentation, instruments and can be put into combinations with other genres as well. And Coke Studio is based around the same lines. I’d say that it was just a matter of time that we would have collaborated with the platform and the entire experience for us has been surreal because we are now a part of a family of musicians who are recognized all around the world. So the feeling is more than just incredible.

One thing you would love to see in Naya Pakistan?

In Naya Pakistan I would like to see our purani izat, which was Jinnah’s Pakistan.

How important is it to showcase and preserve our culture for our future generations?

Our history, traditions, cultural heritage and art are some of the essential ingredients that make the Pakistani culture a whole. Its vibrant, has a story to tell and is innately rich, therefore its important that we preserve it for our future generations so that they can also relate, and feel connected to it, and can further enrich it with dignity and pride.

What is your favourite food?

Ill eat anything if its cooked well.

Who are the other Pakistani musicians you love?

Its impossible to narrow down to one musician because I listen to all genres. But it would be Meekal Hassan and Noori IF i have to choose.

What is your favourite movie?

Silence of The Lambs.

Are you single?

Yes, I am happily single.

Why are you single?

Honestly, between my job and musical ventures, I hardly have time to catch up on my sleep, let alone be in a ship called relationship. I believe that if something’s meant to happen then it will.

Where is your go to place?

My maternal city and village, Quetta and Ziyarat.

What is your fitness mantra?

Eat healthy and stay fit – no compromise on health.

How was working with SiddySays?

Being able to work with SiddySays has been an amazing experience for me, it was almost like teaming up with my best friends. Working with them from a professional point of view, they put their heart and soul in whatever they’re doing which is highly commendable and the results speak for themselves. Also, I would like to thank Munib Nawaz who was kind enough to work with me on this project, Sadaf Zarrar, our brilliant Photographer, Areesh Zubair, Daawar who was making the film, I am truly a fan. Our co-photographers/BTS team who were more like a part of the shoot – Rehan and Irfan. And lastly, Amna Niazi for placing her bets on me, I am thrilled with the results, so thank you to the entire team of SiddySays from the deepest corner of my heart.

One word for Siddysays?

What SiddySays is what Siddy delivers!

Written by Faryal Syed
Asst Editor. Blogger. Enthusiast.