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Interviews |  06 Jan 2023 18:51 |  By Namrata Kale

Zakir Khan’s brother Zeeshan speaks about his new song 'Khoya Hai Dil'

MUMBAI: Zeeshan Khan, an Indian singer- songwriter and composer who is the lead vocalist for Pune’s most beloved band, Malang the Band and brother to the leading standup comic Zakir Khan has sung, composed and written a soulful track ‘Khoya Hai Dil’.

Belonging to Seniya Gharana lineage, Zeeshan comes from a musically rich family and is the grandchild of the Sarangi maestro Ustad Moinudien Khan Sahab. 

"Khoya Hai Dil" is based on my life wherein I use to work in the corporate world and was fighting with the feeling, if that’s what I really want to do or if it was Music. So, while working in the corporate world I started writing my songs and the feeling I had inside me and “Khoya Hai Dil” is one of the track which was part of that emotion,” shares Zeeshan. To know more about his song ‘Khoya Hai Dil’, upcoming music do check out the interview below.

1.Tell us about your composition ‘Khoya Hai Dil’. What was the inspiration behind it?

As the name suggests, the song is about a lost heart. I realised that whenever I would have dreams, it would only be about my childhood. I’d never see flashes of where I live or what I do but all that I remember is that my dreams would take me back to my hometown or my ancestral village in Rajasthan. These places hit me with instant nostalgia about my childhood and I feel like a child all over again. So, “Khoya Hai Dil” came from a place of nostalgia and the song tells the story of this lost heart that’s stuck in a place and point in time. Interestingly, the song also happened when I was at crossroads in life and switching from a corporate career to music. So all those emotions put together were the inspiration behind “Khoya Hai Dil.”

2. How did you get into music? What’s the journey been like?

Music has been a significant part of my childhood and I’ve always been around music. My father is a great Sitar player, my brother Zakir as well used to learn the Sitar and my late grandfather Ustad Moinudien Khan Sahab was an incredible Sarangi player. So simply growing up around them was the major force behind my inclination towards music.

It’s funny that at first as a child, I wasn’t very inclined to music but it was only my family that motivated me to sing and told me that I had a great voice and that I should give it a shot. So I started off with those school competitions and I would sing a few Ghazals as well. I was more into semi-classical as a space more than classical. However, once I grew up, I got into a corporate job for about six to eight years and music took a bit of a back seat. Fortunately, I met a few people who were interested in music and the rest is history. I came back to my first love and that’s what my calling is now.

3. What’s your prep process like as a singer-songwriter?

I truly believe that like any other art form, music is something that cannot be forced upon. You have to consistently practice and constantly try to evolve and keep learning. Basically, it’s both the practice and the magic of the art itself that will bring you to a point where you start creating. You have to stay around and be at it with your music instrument and that’s when the song happens to you. It does not happen by merely trying or by letting the Universe create it for you. It doesn’t work in a way that some day an idea my suddenly strike you and the song will come together. It’s actually a mix of both practice and then the magic unfolds.

4.  What’s your take on the Indian music scene?

I truly believe that the Indian music scene today is very vibrant. To be honest, I think our country has room for all kinds of music and I'm hoping that there will be some more space for my kind of music as well.

5.  Who are your mentors / people you admire in the music industry?

Firstly, purely as an artist I admire and follow my brother, Zakir immensely. With respect to music, there’s ofcourse A.R. Rahman, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Salim Sulaiman, Amit Trivedi, Pritam and the list goes on. There are so many legends out there with their own unique style that they have truly contributed to the Indian music culture standing out and sounding the way it does. I genuinely hope to work on that path as well contribute in my own little way.

6.  You quit your corporate job and turned to music as a career. What was the driving force behind it?

I remember there came a point in time in my corporate career where I felt I was at the crossroads in life and wanted to switch to music as a career. I rang up my brother Zakir who advised me that if I could make enough money to sustain for six months with music then I could go ahead and quit my job. Touchwood back then my band, Malang was doing well and I managed to make the money that I had targeted for myself. So, I rang him up six months later to share the success and he then gave me the push I needed to switch from corporate to music. He told me that the urge of pursuing music would keep me on my toes as an artist and I would work hard and thus make a living for myself. I still remember the amount of time I was spending in my job and then jamming and doing shows. I would hardly get any time to sleep. So overall, I think the journey has been great and the quest for music gave me the push I needed in life.

7.  What’s the response you have received on the track?

As an artist, there are a lot of stories you want to tell about yourself and when those stories resonate with the audience you feel truly gratified. That’s what happened to me with “Khoya Hai Dil.” I received so many messages, comments and DMs from people who told me that they related to the song and it took them back to a similar emotion they felt as well. The best part was that a lot of them related to the same feeling of missing something special about their childhood. The track recently crossed 1M+ streams on Instagram and over 10K plays on Apple Music. So, I truly feel blessed and I have immense the amount of gratitude for the love and support I'm getting.

8.  What’s next in the pipeline for you?

As of now I have completed a bunch of songs and the plan is to release one single every month in 2023. Hopefully in the near future, we would also kickstart working towards an album as well. So, while there’s a lot in the pipeline I’m super excited for what the future holds.