‘Dance Kerain Saari Raat’ is my version of a love song UMAIR JASWAL

  • 04 Mar - 10 Mar, 2023
  • Wajiha Jawaid
  • Interview

It was a hot day in Rawalpindi when a young boy came home riding his newly bought 125CG motorbike. His eyes were filled with tears of joy as he fulfilled his first dream of owning a motorbike. However, his journey didn’t stop there. He kept on dreaming and one day became the proud brand ambassador of BMW Bikes in Pakistan. He is none other than our popular Gagar boy Umair Jaswal. I got the chance to meet him during the promotion of his latest album, Dance Kerain Saari Raat. Sitting in the sleek boardroom of ph Solutions, we discussed a lot of things in an hour-long interview, from Umair's physical transformation, his take on spirituality and music, to his love for bikes and his travel show Raahi that ultimately changed him as a person. This meeting further strengthens my belief that dreams do come true - one just needs to be focused and consistent in achieving them. Read on….

Before coming to your interview, I scrolled your Instagram handle and I got awe-struck by your amazing physical transformation. Can you tell us about it?

I have been really into fitness for the last 15 years. I always get back into shape, but then I get a little lazy. It has been very hard for me to be consistent with my fitness regimen. Another issue that creative people have is that we work at odd hours, so to remain consistent on my fitness journey I need a personal space where I can work out even at night.

I'm lucky to have had a lot of guidance from knowledgeable people with international certifications in setting up my state-of-the-art gym. So it's not just me in the picture you see online--it's the result of a team effort. I have people taking care of my nutrition, conditioning, strength, and physical training. I especially want to thank Faiz Gulzar and Ahmed Malik, who have helped me get into shape.

Apart from physical transformation, you have also gone through a personal transformation. Can you tell us about it too?

Personal transformation is something that we all go through as we mature and grow older. We all face different challenges and phases in our lives, and we need to realize how we can improve ourselves as individuals. I have been fortunate enough to find fame and love from people at an early stage in my career. However, I realize that fame comes with great responsibility. It gives me the power to spread positivity and bring attention to something good. I have always tried to improve myself, and I learned that from my father. He taught me to never do a half-baked job. At the end of the day, when you lay your head down on the pillow, you should be content that you gave 100% to the job and leave the rest up to God. I strongly believe that today was interesting, but tomorrow is a new battle. We wake up and fight again. Life throws so many challenges at us, but it is very important to learn from them. They are only a loss if we don't take anything away from them.

Coming to your newly released album, Dance Kerain Sari Raat, what was the inspiration behind it?

Before starting working on this album, I worked on another album that I shelved because I had moved on emotionally from that music. Honestly speaking, for the past few years, I have been suffering a lot creatively. When I returned after completing my travel show, Raahi, I had a new perspective on life. Soon after, Covid happened, and it forced everyone to sit down and relax for a bit. It made us appreciate the life that God has given to us. At the same time, it also made us look inward and think about what we wanted to change about ourselves.

During that time, I realized that the boundaries I had created around myself were not permanent and I could break them to discover something new. So I started looking at things differently. It was a very funny and scary experience for me. I am never scared of studio and a mic but this time when I went to the studio with a changed mindset I was scared that what would happen if I didn’t end up producing some great music.

I overcame my fear by jamming with Ahsan Pervaiz. I went into it with an open mind and no predefined goals, and we ended up producing 36 songs in six months. We were so involved in the process that we didn't realize how much music we had created.

I have never written so fast and relaxed before. And I realize it is going to be a lot of fun if I let go of everything I have learned and try something new.

It all sounds interesting but what was the process of creating that magic?

In my early years of music composition, I always had a clear image in mind of how my song would come out. However, this time we decided to work without setting any boundaries and let the creative process flow. I have worked with Ahsan Pervaiz in Coke Studio, so we had a great equation. He has been producing music for the last 20 years and I have been associated with this field for over 10 years, so all that experience helped us in structuring the song. We wanted to keep it simple, and I think we succeeded.

How many songs are there in your album?

We have narrowed down the 13 best songs for Dance Kerain Saari Raat. Seven of these songs are from our first volume, and the remaining six will be released in the second volume.

What is the one song in the album that you like the most?

It's hard to choose just one, but if I had to pick one song that I resonated with the most, it would be the title track. It's a fun, catchy song with relatable lyrics. It's my version of a love song. The boy in the song is waiting for his beloved on a road. He asks her to go on a ride with him and party on the way. I'm a rock musician, but while making this song, I broke all genre barriers. Technically, it doesn't fall into any one proper music category, but I enjoyed making it.

Do you have plans to release a video of the songs too? If yes, can you give a little peek into it?

Our first song's video, Kha Ta with Kubra Khan is coming out soon. My brother Yasir directed it. I can't tell you much yet, but it's something different than what you've seen in the Pakistani music industry.

Would you mind if I ask you why you left Shoaib Akhatar’s biopic Rawalpindi Express?

The disagreements between the makers and the person whose biopic has been made intensified to the point where I could see the project suffering, so I decided to exit the project. It was not an easy decision because I was fully committed to the project and had given it my all. I had been undergoing intensive training for months, getting trained by PCB coaches and other fitness experts, and I had to leave the project because I cannot work in an unhealthy environment.

Will you return to acting any time soon?

It depends on the project. If it is interesting enough to challenge my thinking and capabilities, then, of course, I would love to do it.

Any message for fans?

Make sure to dream big, because everything is achievable if you are focused and are consistent in your approach. Dreams do come true, so never give up on yours.