Speaking with Sheraz Siddiq, producer and founding member of Overload, he explained: “Jeet is our 10th anniversary celebration song and naturally carries a positive and lively feel in general. The song is not just about the first decade of Overload but it actually sums up almost 20 years of our struggle. The sound of music has evolved significantly since Farhad and I started off as ‘Mind Riot’ in the early 90s to the present day Overload. But for Jeet, we made an exception and decided to go back in time and produce it to revive the sound of 80s and 90s that we envied when we were growing up. A very special thanks to Mr. Faisal Baig for providing us with the necessary tools and technical insights and Mr. Farhan Ali (Symt) for lending his massive bass lines featuring not just on Jeet, but on almost all our studio recordings since 2008. I would also like to thank Mr. Tahir Shahir for noone else could have translated our decades long journey into words better than him.”
Apart from recording their own music, Farhad and Sheraz have worked with a new, up and coming female singer MAHA to produce her song called Nazar, which will officially be released in August 2013. MAHA gained recognition through her work in Season 2 of the Cornetto Music Icons.
MAHA’s Nazar is a song about broken love and life being an unpredictable game of chess, which makes it very relevant to people’s lives in today’s world. With regard to her experience of working with Overload, MAHA comments:
“Working with Farhad and Sheraz was one of the most creatively fulfilling experiences of my, should I call it, incipient career in the Music industry. There is a perception, not entirely unfounded, that lack of discipline, regardless of the industry, is ubiquitous in Pakistan. I was completely sold on that too. I had a few brief encounters which had confirmed my suspicions. Suffice it to say, working with them restored my trust. I was initially anxious, working with industry heavy weights for the first time, yet Farhad and Sheraz’s calm demeanor and professionalism, helped me overcome that. Recording sessions were abuzz with creativity and energy, and everything proceeded as planned, and on time. During the whole recording process and the video-shoot they were both highly encouraging and supportive. Musically, they executed exactly what I had in my mind, without my even as much as giving them a hint. That’s probably because we connected as musicians and they understood my inspirations and executed them with artistic brilliance. Over all, it was a gratifying experience artistically and creatively.”
The lyrics for Nazar have been written by Haroon Shahid of Symt while the video has been directed by Farhad Humayun. The video was shot by Sabeeh Khan, Director of Photography, at Riot Studios. As Nazar is a song about heartache and parting, aptly the video exhibits a stereotypical representation of what is expected from a girl in a relationship. She looks her best and brings him tea but it’s not enough. The fruits in the tray based on the way they’re cut and their colors represent her wounds. She opens herself up and places all her feelings on a tray and serves him, but he’s not there.
Sheraz, commented in regards to his work with MAHA, saying: “I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the studio producing MAHA’s song. It was quite different to our usual Overload related work. Interestingly, I was working on three songs simultaneously during those days. Two of our own, guitar and percussion heavy, Overload songs, and then there was MAHA’s, which, in complete contrast had to have a very soft feel to it. She’s got a great voice and we feel that she’s got tremendous opportunities in the future. Her voice texture is warm and suits her genre. We are thankful to Mr. Haroon Shahid (Symt’s vocalist) for his expertise in composing the song and writing the lyrics and wish MAHA all the best in her professional pursuits.”
Overload’s Farhad Humayun, who has always wanted to do his part in encouraging growth for local musicians and the music industry itself, shall also be launching Riot Records. It is currently in the process of being organized. Under this first Pakistani record label of its kind, Farhad will be introducing brand new talent produced by various people from all over Pakistan and internationally. A few current artists and projects signed under Riot Records are Symt, Overload, Pepsi Smash and Alterego. As to why Farhad is initiating Riot Records, he states:
“Every day I receive hundreds of demos from people, some of whom have immense potential. I want these people to hone their skills and create songs for them so they can make a career in music. There’s a dire need to do this because there’s some awesome talent and passion out there which needs attention and investment. I will get the investment of money and through Riot Studios we will produce audio and videos and run them on TV, the web and radio and monetize these songs and videos; so that a system of royalties can begin. The artist and the entire family can benefit from it for years to come. Through a PR company, we will promote all this music so I’m presently talking to various brands who want to be associated by music and expression in general. The music ‘scene’ will become an industry.”