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Meet the rock gods of Pakistan

 | June 15, 2012

They were in KL at the VIMA awards recently to pick up their clean sweep of the Indiego music awards for the categories they were nominated for.

FEATURE

Qayaas literally translated as “deliberation” is not only the name of this award multi-award winning band but the essence that encapsulates the entire philosophy behind their music.

The idea or feeling taking birth in one band member’s mind is developed and brought to fruition by collective deliberation or Qayaas by the whole band.

Five different people, their different moods, outlooks and music philosophies harmoniously blend to form compositions that reflect the true spirit and creative energy of our band; unadulterated in this wondrous journey by commercial concerns or other shortcuts.

Qayaas recently took home all the major awards at the Indiego Music Awards, the first South Asian Music Awards, where they won Best Rock Group, Best Rock Song and also Best Rock Vocalist.

They were also voted Best Act among their peers. Over the years, Qayaas has accumulated a growing number of accolades and achievements including winning Best Rock Band from Pakistan at the JD Aawards (organized by Jaxk Daniels and Rolling Stones Magazine India) and the first band from Pakistan to perform at one of the biggest and most prestigious Music Festivals in USA called SXSW (South By Southwest) which takes place every year in Austin, Texas.

They are currently nominated for Album of the Year for USS PAAR at the Prestigious Lux Style Awards 2012.

We caught up with Umair Jaswal, the band’s front man:

How would you best describe your music?

Our music is what we all feel, see, believe and live no complicated philosophy

If you had a chance to perform any where in the world, where would that be and why?

Well there is a huge list of places I’d love to play (festivals and arenas included) but personally for me there is one place in particular that is the Ritz in NYC, reason being when I was 15 I saw this live concert VHS, there was this band on stage that went ballistic with their performance on stage, to me it is up till now the most amazing rock n roll performance from anyone out there. And it was this performance that made me realize that “dude! I need to make some music” it was GnR live at the Ritz in NYC Feb 2, 1988.

If you were a superhero, what sort of super powers would you have and what would you champion or fight for?

As a kid I always wanted to be Batman and even now I do. I don’t know why! But I’d love to fly and have super strength and an amazing voice and id fight for musician rights! Yup that means me kicking a lot of corporate and record label butt!

If you had a chance to collaborate with any musician on the planet, who would it be and why?

Ahhhhhhhhhhhh tough one! There are so many amazing musicians out there but I guess I can name two people, it would Slash and Chriss Cornell. Slash is a Guitar God to me and as for Cornell well I’ve never had any formal training in vocals everything and everything I know today is what I’ve heard from him and a couple of other amazing musicians out there

What would you like to be remembered for?

Someone who believed in his dreams who swam against the tide and got there

You win a chance to open for your favourite act – what song would you perform and what would you do on stage?

I’ve dreamt about opening for Aerosmith one of my all time favorite band with the original line up till now! I’d cover Dream On by them and ask Steven to join me on stage! God !!!! that would be some crazy dream coming true !

You’ve been asked to pose nude for a magazine and this is your best chance to gain publicity. Would you do it?

I don’t know about nude! Lol, but I would never mind doing a topless shoot. I work really hard in the gym so I won’t be worried. In fact it can be a great thing. Nudity has always been a part of Rock n Roll so you never know I’m a very spontaneous person. Even I don’t know if a solid offer pops up how would I respond to it lol !

You look into the crystal ball and see your future? What does it say?

Say I see 20 years in the future! I see myself still rocking it out with the same people I am right now, we’re like a band of brothers and I pray that even death thinks twice before setting us apart

Share with us two of your favourite quotes

The future is uncertain but the end is always near. ― Jim Morrison
When everyone starts to hate you, that’s when your almost there. -  Umair Jaswal

Money or fame? Why?

Money, cause money can buy you fame!

What are your songs about?

Lyrically all my songs are about me and what I’m going through but I believe that every human being goes through the same emotions as his fellow being that’s why you can relate to anyone’s lyrics in one way or the other.

What is your biggest achievement to date?

Dr. Allama Iqbal says;

Sitaron se aage jahan aur bhi hain
Abhi ishq ke imtehan aur bhi hain

Translation:
Beyond the stars there are worlds more
Our quest yet has more tests to pass

So for us even the biggest achievement to date is only the tip of the iceberg and unmentionable. It is yet to come.

What is your advice to up and coming musicians ?

Be honest to yourself; don’t think about what your father, brother, lover, friend has to say! Know that you love yourself and won’t lie to yourself, be a dreamer soon you’ll see dreams coming true.

What was the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you while performing?

The crowd pulled me in and when I got out I didn’t have my shoes and my in ear monitor.

What are your thoughts on music piracy? Would you give your music away for FREE?

Seems like you can’t fight piracy these days then I guess your music should be out there rather than keeping it in the studios, I believe more focus should be on touring cause that makes money!

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