Abdullah Siddiqui, 20, has just returned from a photo shoot for promotional materials, press packets and so on.
As we sit in front of the zoom and discuss everything from his upbringing to his beginnings to his current success, it is clear that Abdullah prefers to talk about his work more than his own. ۔ But his story, like that of one of Pakistan’s brightest musicians, a polymath, is a story that is as important to explain as his music.
Although the excuse for this interview is the fact that Abdullah dropped a new album (Dead Beat Poet) in 2021 after releasing Heterotopia in the last quarter of 2020, we are separate on the past and the present.
Abdullah Siddiqui now has three great full-length albums (besides a large number of singles) to his name. Some mainstream musicians can claim this and yet there is a sense of politeness in his voice because he has his own records, race, Pakistan’s music ecosystem and how it works.
“Tonight, we are young / So let’s set the world on fire / We can be brighter than the sun” – Art Foot Journal Mona Cerebral, Addressee, Informed and Deeply Sensitive, Abdullah Siddiqui Started Playing Guitar And when his birth began when he was only 11 years old. The youngest of four siblings, he started with music.
“I have this family. I have several family members who sing. It’s a genetic thing in my family. There are a lot of musicians. But it wasn’t about the environment. Growing up, I was always into music and Focused on musicals. I watched a lot of musicals and memorized melodies.
Reminiscing about his younger days, Abdullah says, “I feel like I’m fascinated by pop songs, especially 3-minute pop songs. It’s only when you like something very much. “You want to be a part of it. I loved pop music. I wanted to express my voice and meaning in that context. And I’m just starting to make music to see what it’s like.”
In the process of trial and error, a young Abdullah began to build a random machine in his home with “some very confusing and little software”.
Over the years, he (himself) learned and improved the process that led to the creation of so many songs. At the age of fifteen, Abdullah was ready to perform his music.
“I just started pushing the buttons until it sounded good.” The first song he released was Jazz Moody, followed by a song called ‘Force Field’ and he has fans, confirming the singer’s songwriter and music producer.
“After that I performed at Lahore Music Met, it was a big break for me because a lot of people saw me at LMM. Shortly after that, my song ‘Telescope Heart’ came out and it got a lot of radio airplay.
The LMM set was mostly acoustic but in the end Abdullah performed an electronic song. Called ‘Black Hole’, the song was first released in 2016 and has been featured on their latest album.
“It’s like a full circle thing because I wrote it a long time ago and it’s about my music sensitivity five years ago. But it just felt right that I went back and read it. Recorded and improved. “
Releasing ‘Afsana’ with Karachi-based label Forever South (FXS), Abdullah kept releasing small things here and there until there was ‘resistance’ and he found Ness Cuff in the basement and things. Jumped out of there
“As long as you bring love it doesn’t mean anything / unless you sing, sing, sing, sing” – ‘Singing’ by Travis Studing, now at the Liberal Arts College in the United States While studying (taking online classes on Corona epidemics after home), Abdullah’s interest in home music began soon after he moved to the United States. With the need to understand the theory of something before jumping, Abdullah took a course in South Asian music. This is evident in heterotopia, where he has used patterns of poetry in other things. They are also reflected in ‘Magenta Cyan’.
He recalled that the move to the United States had an effect on Abdullah. “It simply came to our notice then. “I’m here for you / that’s why you’ll be there for me” – by Rembrandt ‘I’ll be there for you’.
If there are traces of the concept of the same name by the heterotopia philosopher Michelle Foucault, Beat’s dead poets belong to Beat’s poets who arose in the post-war era in the 1940s and 1950s. However, this does not mean that Abdullah’s latest album is obscure, especially unlike his first two albums. She is willing to be weak.
As Abdullah notes, this is an album about his friends.
“It’s just a very small album; it’s an album where I stopped trying to be brainy and became more sensitive. I try to be very smart with my music (with composition, song) along with other records. He was full of value and I had never been more literal about my life before [record]. So, I decided to write something very honest.
“Once the quarantine started, there was a big change in the world mentality. At that time, I was happy to keep composing such a wide range of music in heterotopia. I wanted to make something more domestic. This is an album that sounds like it’s for more room than an arena.
Abdullah began making it in March and by June. “I added some songs last month. It’s probably the fastest thing I’ve ever done because this artistic area was so rude to me that it was a very fast process when I entered it.
How does the concept of beat poets and heterotopia by Mashaal Foucault provide context to the album? Abdullah says: “I think it backfires because first I have to see what’s coming out of my head. Writing for me has become a very free process. There was no process before but now Yes and the process is that I will sit down. I will have a feeling and a hurry and I will write everything that I am thinking only in complete prose. Then, I will have only words and sentences and I will choose from them. I will start doing and choosing and try to make it more poetic.I will come to the middle of the album and I will look at some patterns and recurring themes including sound themes and I will see that What is the story I told? It informs the other half of the process. “
As for what connection Abdullah had with the poets of the beat who informed him about the album, he notes, “He didn’t really inform the album. It started only as dead beat poets because I was thinking about the opposite of having an album about my friends and there is some poetic theory about this race at large. It not only goes back to the fact that we are exposed to trophies, we have art. We are constantly exposed to how people express themselves globally and so we are in every way in touch with our sensibilities. At the same time, like this There is uselessness and disrespect and instability.
Abdullah acknowledged that it was a reference to the bat race because “this kind of thematic hedonism and romance among young people is very well reflected in every race.”
He reiterated, “My generation is in extremism because it is the highest level of sensitivity and awareness and at the same time no more fun than our generation. I don’t think any other generation is 17 years old.” Depression and anxiety have been a problem for ages. These are wide emotional boundaries.
Going forward, I ask Abdullah about being twice nominated for ‘Resistance’ at the Lux Style Awards. “I’m surprised they cut the album of the year category,” he admitted.
“When the stars had to have high, high hopes for survival / shooting when I couldn’t kill / didn’t have a penny but I always had a vision” – ‘high hopes’ through panic! At the disco
While Abdullah has been steadfast in releasing full-length albums, the musical trend in Pakistan is growing rapidly in a situation where artists are releasing singles mainly before full-length albums. Although independent artists are still leaving the EP regularly, many big names have been stuck with singles for a long time. The idea is that singles are more likely to make a mark while no one spends time with a full-length album.
However, albums are part of the work. They tell you what an artist’s personal story is. Is it the reliance on the corporate world or the lack of record labels that ran in different fashions years ago? The result is the same; Irregularities in smaller, lesser-known albums continue to release EPs after EPs.
For someone who has used singles to make three full length albums from 2019 three since then to the end, the question seems appropriate.
Expressing his thoughts, Abdullah said, “I am very stubborn and know the value of albums more than singles. I have released singles and music videos because it works commercially but this album With, there will be no singles or music videos – I’m just leaving an album. This is a very deliberate choice because I want the album to be used even if it hurts the numbers. There’s no one here, the album This is the product.
Abdullah’s place in the industry is a bridge between the free and the mainstream, where he has worked with Manu, Fawad Khan, Mesha Shafi, Shimon Ismail, Aina Baig and some other artists.
Aware of this animosity, Abdullah admits that it is a real place where he occupies where he is neither mainstream nor completely indie.
“I’m somewhere in between and the reason is that I think as a singer-songwriter I bring something to the table that is not naturally mainstream, which is to say that I use English. And as a producer I’m bringing something to the table, which is in high demand. I think the industry is starting to notice the fact that they’ve been using sound palettes all these years. Yes, they are old. It’s just that I think a lot of mainstream people are willing to work with me.
Abdullah Siddiqui’s work is far away.
“There are some collaborations in the pipeline,” Abdullah admitted, “one of which will end next month.”
“I’ve already started working on the next album. It’s a very specific sound and I’m really proud of it because I think it never really happened before. It’s a very South Asian album but this But there is a turning point that I am really excited to show people. I have some songs ready and work on it. I hope it will be out by the end of this year.
Abdullah is also working on some standalone collaborations and brands. “I’m also scoring in a TV show. I have never seen such a difference between my brand work and my personal name. This is a very important point in my life where I am working a little bit.
Abdullah has jumped on the record, to cooperate and he wants to do everything. The great news is that not only are they skilled enough to pull it off, their work has not lost its focus.