Written and interviewed by Krishna Saproo, a grade 12 student. This is part of a series called Kehwa with Krishna. Here is episode 4– an interview with
“Music is the great uniter. An incredible force. Something that people who differ on everything and anything else can have in common.” ― Sarah Dessen
Music’s connective power manifests most clearly in the live setting. We all know the feeling – a shared, unspoken awareness that everyone sitting in the room with us is focused on the same artists, on the same stage, while absorbing the same vibrations, at the same time.
Music plays an important role in the world as it helps us in easily expressing ourselves. It has different impacts on the daily lives of the people. There are different emotions attached to every kind of music as we can easily relate music with everything or everyone around us. Music has the power to bring people together in different ways on several occasions. It can also be termed as a good source of communication. In our daily life, there are certain feelings which we fail to express but through music, all the missing words find its way and we can easily communicate our message to the people. We find the words to express either by writing songs or just listening to it.
Music can be defined as a form of art that requires creative skills and great imagination power similar to other forms of art. Music can bring a sense of relief and reduce the struggle of our daily life. It can be a good escape to calm your mind. A calm mind can increase our self-confidence and make us a kind and positive person.
Introducing, our guest for today – Mr. Sherry Khattak
Shehreyar Khattak, better known as Sherry Khattak in music circles and beyond, is the front-man, songwriter and lead guitarist for neo-progressive music group Karakoram that also features Bilawal Lahooti (drums), Zain Peerzada (guitars) and Umair Farooq (bass). This four-man show dropped its first single, ‘Toofan’ in 2018 and had pure neo-prog-rock fans delighted that a new band that knew what it’s doing has come along. But it took two years before Karakoram dropped its second single, ‘Raasta’ with a performance-based music video. It’s a melancholic, neo-prog track that shows the versatility Karakoram possess.
Sherry has composed along with Meesha Shafi the song “Mein”, featured in the show “Pepsi, Battle of the Bands” season 3 (2018).
Not only this currently he’s associated with Coke Studio 14. Soon his song will release on Coke Studio.
Sherry is really famous among Indian Youth, and they want to see him performing live here in India.
His fans even call him “Electrifier” because they believe that once he performs on stage, he radiates positive energy everywhere.
Here’s a conversation with him
KS: What first got you into music?
SK: An acoustic guitar hanging in a shop.
KS: What made you decide to pursue a career in entertainment?
SK: I never decided or planned it in a way, it happened very unknowingly, to be honest I thought of it being a career when I moved to Lahore from Karachi, that was the point when I realized that this is it.
KS: What skills have you learned that will help you in your singing career?
SK: I always tend to push myself and be very hard at times, that’s my learning process I always look for things that I did wrong in a recording or maybe in a concert and try to focus on it, I watch a lot of videos on how to perfect my techniques and it’s an ongoing process I still think I have a long way to go.
KS: How did your family respond to your identity as Karakoram Band’s lead singer?
SK: They have accepted it they love what we do, my family has been supportive throughout my career, and I know they will always be there for me.
KS: Who is your favourite singer?
SK: Chester Bennington
KS: What’s the best piece of advice another musician ever gave you?
SK: There was this show when we were about to go on stage, and a friend said to, me I’ll rephrase it in a better way “Own the stage, perform like it’s your last concert” that stuck with me, and every time we go on stage that’s a mutual feeling, we all have.
KS: What’s your process for dealing with performance anxiety?
SK: Performing like there is no tomorrow
KS: Let’s talk about your brand new EP, “Ailaan-e-Jung,” that released last year. What was it like creating this collection? Did anything surprise you about the overall process? Any unexpected challenges?
SK: Doing a full-length album was a milestone for all of us, I mean in these times pulling an album off is challenging, but the experience was amazing, especially the recording bit was very enlightening, enjoyed every bit of it.
KS: What would you do if your audience looked tired or bored during your performance?
SK: Honestly our performance hype is always the same even if we play for a few hundred people or thousands, we keep our energy intact, because we love what we do.
KS: What is the story behind your band name?
SK: Honestly there isn’t much, we were looking for a name as we didn’t wanted to go by the old name, so there was this flight in which we all were travelling and I looked upon an interesting alphabet written in Russian with two Ks on the food tray , and by the time we landed we came up with Karakoram.
KS: You also work as a producer; could you tell us more about that experience?
SK: I love producing and making music, that’s my second job and I have been blessed to work with so many talented artists. Even in Karakoram I enjoy my time arranging and producing interesting sounds.
KS: What would you do or say to improve peoples’ perception of music?
SK: I would say enjoy music, always stay positive, music is an experience and artists put a lot of heart soul into it.
KS: How has been life after appearing on Coke Studio?
SK: Coke Studio is like our country’s biggest music export, and it puts our music out on the map, so being a part of it this year has been unbelievable.
KS: How, when and where was your very first live performance?
SK: The last show we did was in Karachi on the 22nd of Jan, we were over the moon with the response and love that we got from there.
KS: Along with Kashmir and Neon, your band Karakoram broke Karachi’s no concert streak. How was the experience of rocking out on stage after such a long time?
SK:It was amazing, we couldn’t be happier with that show; it was very emotional and electrifying to say the least.
KS: Do you have any plans to collaborate with any Indian artist?
SK: We would love to, in fact our plan for this year is all about collaborations, so you never know.
KS: When is the last time you performed in front of a huge audience?
SK: It’s been a few weeks now. It was awesome to the ‘josh’ among the audience and this motivates us a lot.
KS: What was you first reaction about this interview?
SK: I was all game for it.
KS: Many fans would be surprised to know that you and your Karakoram bandmates were previously part of the Karachi-based rock band Overdose. Would you tell us about your Overdose years?
SK:Yes! Back in the day we used to be Overdose, I joined in later, but Bilawal and Omair were the ones who started it. Those years pretty much carved us and were our building blocks, also one of the most amazing times we’ve had together.
KS: What is the dynamic like in your band Karakoram?
SK: We all are very grounded, we like to discuss and plan our way ahead, so yeah, we’re more like a team that’s always up and ready for battle.
KS: Do you have any advice to give for the kids starting out and for those who are trying to make it in this industry?
SK: Keep at it, stay patient and be consistent.
KS: Any message for your Indian Fans?
SK: Thank you so much for all your love and support we love our fans there! Would love to do a show for you guys, hopefully soon.
Thank you for your time. It was nice talking to you. Adios! Drink Kehwa and Stay Safe!