When anyone sits with me, the first topic they should discuss is ME!! Hamza Quddusi is no exception! When I met him, of course the first topic we discussed was about me, we won’t get into WHAT about me! When I asked him if I could interview him, his answer? Sure! I was very much excited because he is the lead guitarist of CHEAPMUNKS! It’s a Pakistani band consisting of Mehak Taherani, Suhana Baloch, Hamza Quddusi and Danyal Pervaiz. They have captured the music scene of Pakistan with their one of a kind mash up songs!
I asked Hamza many questions, silly as well, which he answered very patiently, here is just a bit of it!
How does it feel like to be a in a band, be a popular name? Hamza answers: ‘Pretty good actually, when you’re up there on stage playing, you get an adrenaline rush, you get excited, you know billions of people are watching but you’re in your own world. It feels good at the end of the day when people appreciate’.
What do you do in the band, your role, besides being the guitarist? Hamza replies, ‘I do whatever is needed! I do composing which basically defines the theme, the genre of the music, the feel, the environment you are trying to build within the song, so you make a melody or a tune according to that. Staying within these lines and then whatever sounds you like. It’s very different to describe it in words, but it’s to make you feel what I feel, with the help of sounds, that to me is composing’.
Why have you succeeded in a field where so many others have failed? For which I get an interesting reply, ’Music is something that if you are good at it, I guarantee that there is no way that someone would not listen to you. Many people do it for the fame and money that is not what music is about, it’s about the soul in the tune or the melody, or the lyrics, whichever might be your strong point. Obviously fame, money and girls come along with it, its just one of the perks, but at the end of the day that should not matter because real music is something that is very much far beyond this materialistic stuff’.
Do you think the public and the critics expect too much from you? He is more then happy to answer that! He says, ’Public wants good stuff for us. That is what I have seen. Everyone that I have met or people on our page believes in us a lot which I love and couldn’t be more thankful for, so yeah if someone gives you that much love the least you can do is live up to what they expect from you. Critics are always looking for something to talk about, so you also got to GIVE them something to talk about, or else they won’t have anything to do, but sometimes it’s good because they keep you in a reality check’.
When asked is there jealousy or do you think you are too good and stealing the limelight? He got confused! His answer, ‘Limelight from who? Jealousy between who?’ Then I asked him that generally between the band members. To which he gave a very engaging reply!
‘I love all the people in my band, they are like another family to me. None of us have that lime light stealing thing going on and there is no jealousy at all, because we love to be in each other’s company. We miss it a lot when we are not together! Sure there are fights or someone gets upset but that happens when there is a lot of love’.
You have brought innovation to the table that is mash ups, how do you feel about that?
‘We have been doing mash ups for a while now, but the whole east meets west bit was Mehak’s idea, so the credit goes to her. I just tweaked it a bit from here and there’.
What’s the magic formula for success?
‘Hard work and lots of it’.
A message to the people who are truly inspired, want to be like you?
‘Just be yourself, stick to the ground, go for what you believe in and just enjoy every part of life as it comes to you’.
All done, interview is over but wait!! You didn’t hear my silly as well as personal questions!
Have you ever been attacked by a girl? To which he says, ‘Not at all’.
Are you a brand person? To which he replies, ’Nope, I am a perfume person though, mostly Cool Water or random Hugos. My perfume should have a feel that if a woman smells you once, she would want to smell you again!’.
Which shampoo do you use? ‘I don’t use it, soap only’.
Do you have a girlfriend? He gets confused but he does reply,’ I don’t know, kinda, I keep getting together or breaking up at one time or another’.
Personality or looks? ‘Personality. There has to be a mental connection as well’.
Which instruments can you play? ‘All of them, except saxophone’.
It was a pleasure interviewing Mr. Hamza Quddusi, he has seen so much fame, performed in front of so many people, I had assumed something else but what came as a shocker that talking to him was like talking to a normal person, he did not have a bit of attitude. He is very straight thinking and realistic. He talked about practical issues, enlightened me with his views! He is an inspiration to me and everyone, to be better, to be different! I wish him all the best for his next gig which rumor says is going to be in December, wish him and his band CHEAPMUNKS all the success!
Join CHEAPMUNKS’ Facebook page!
Picture courtesy: Maansal Studios