- 26 Jun - 02 Jul, 2021
The All Girl Band - Harmonising Together
- 24 Nov - 30 Nov, 2018
Amal, Anna, Mishal and Sumera; the talented musical members of The All Girl [TAG]Band are here to make their mark. After making their debut on NESCAFE Basement, driven by resolute determination, the young women have been making music and are here to stay. Being the members of The All Girl Band, the girls have been living someone else’s dream, bringing it to life with zeal and fervour. At tender ages of finding oneself, they discovered their passion and turned it into a profession in a truly admirable way. Following their first appearance in the music scene in 2016, they have already claimed their space in the music industry, slowly and gradually. Stay with us as we connect with lead vocalist and guitarist, Anna Salman, and violinist, Amal Nadeem.
This is definitely a first in Pakistan. When did you come up with the idea of an all girl band?
Amal: The all girl ensemble idea actually came from Xulfi, the producer of NESCAFE Basement. He had a very clear goal in his mind for he knew which song to perform, the instruments he was looking for and he put us all together.
How did the band come together?
Anna: We all came from different cities and none of us actually knew each other in any capacity at all before (the band). Amal studied at LUMS and there were auditions going on here. She had given her audition and she got in. I got in through online auditions. And then Xulfi put us together in a band and collectively our voices and our instruments just all came together.
When did you know this was your calling?
We both would have different answers to that… (laughs).
Anna: Since, I was a child I knew that I wanted to pursue music.
Amal: I did plan on taking music to a professional level where I would be performing across the country. The interest just developed gradually. As I started getting opportunities, I kept falling in love with the idea of making music and meeting other musicians, performing live and all. So, it kind of came after me first and now I just absolutely love it.
What was your inspiration to keep going after NESCAFE Basement?
Amal: It was when we released our song and started getting messages on our Instagram and Facebook from the girls who we thought can actually step out of the boundaries. And that was coupled with the fact that we were being invited to women empowerment events and we noticed a lot of work being done and music is a good way to help the cause. I think that’s what pushed us.
Have you faced any challenges in terms of acceptance in a male-dominated industry?
Anna: No, people have been pretty cool about it. I think the only thing that really stands out is the fact that it is an all girl band and not just the vocalist. We get a lot of surprising reactions when people know that the drummer is a girl. So the surprise element has really helped us making it acceptable.
If each of your band members were to have nicknames, what would they be?
Amal: Actually we have nicknames! Mishal (Faheem) calls herself Montu. As for me... I don’t know [laughs].
Anna: And everyone calls me Anna Banana.
Where do you dream to see yourself?
Anna: Sold out stadiums and opening up for big artists!
Your band has women behind all instruments and one of them is a hijabi. You are changing narratives and breaking stereotypes, more than one, something that has been long over-due. What would you say about that?
Amal: Sumera (Waris) takes hijab as part of her personality. And the fact that she plays tabla is also a part of who she is. I think it just goes to show that you can do both simultaneously and you can still ascribe to both things fully, in your personal life and your professional life.
How many times did you almost call quits on this idea?
Anna: Quits? Never!
Amal: This wasn’t something that we were going to give up so easily.
Have any of you had formal training in music?
Amal: Sumera took professional training for tabla, she’s also the first female tabla player in the country. Mishal learnt different kinds of drums and she started pretty young. I have been learning how to play violin since I was a kid.
Anna: I learnt how to play the guitar and Amal was the one to teach me.
What is the next for TAG? Is there any original in the works?
Anna: YES! MORE THAN ONE! We are releasing an original at Levis Live. And then we are also doing collaborations with other artists. One interesting collaboration is coming up soon but we will keep that a surprise.
Lead vocalist and guitarist
Finding her passion for music at the age of 10, she started singing and writing her own music. Apart from performing on various platforms with the band, she was called to work with Pepsi, Mocciani, and Khaadi.
Violinist, ukulele player, guitarist, songwriter
Starting formal lessons for the violin at the age of four, Amal is now working independently to release covers and originals, and with the band to produce music.
At the age of nine, Mishal found her love for drums. She continued to learn different types of drums, such as Arabian Duff, Cajon and Roto Toms, and also picked up the violin for a few years. She was selected in Nescafe Basement as drummer and backup vocalist.
The first female tabla player of Pakistan, Sumera started learning at the age of 12. After winning the gold medal in tabla at the All Pakistan Music Conference, she was invited to perform on Nescafe Basement.
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