In an exclusive interview with Fashion Collection, the band Bayaan, winners of the Pepsi Battle of the Bands talks about their inspirations, dreams and experiences.
Fashion Collection: What genre of music do you consider your work to be? Who are your major influences?
Bayaan: We do not like to limit ourselves to any specific genre. But if we were to describe Bayaan’s sound, it would be pop-rock, progressive and dark. Yes, definitely dark, but in a good way. Each band member comes with different musical influences ranging from Hans Zimmer, Dream Theater and Iron Maiden to Mehdi Hassan and Ustad Ghulam Ali.
Fashion Collection: How long have you known each other? How did you meet?
Bayaan: Haider and Muqueet were together in a band back in college. They later met Mansoor at his place for a jam and instantly clicked. Later, Haider met Shahrukh in LUMS and they played a couple of gigs together. Mansoor, Shahrukh, Asfar and Haider were part of the first two season of Nescafe Basement as well.
Fashion Collection: When did you form your band? What inspired you to make music together?
Bayaan: The band was formed back in 2015. Haider, Asfar, Mansoor and Shahrukh were part of a music show which led to their musical chemistry and a strong bond of friendship. Haider heard Asfar’s composition, Nahein Milta, at his apartment and decided to record it in a studio environment. The boys got together to record Nahein Milta, the band’s first original, and that’s how the band was formed.
Fashion Collection: What are your favorite and least favorite songs?
Bayaan: All of our songs are like our children; we cannot dislike our children. Each member has a different favorite song. Paaniaurmitti has to be a collective favorite for the band.
Fashion Collection: Who writes your songs? What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs?
Bayaan: We have a collective and organic song writing process. Someone from the band comes up with a starting idea, which could be a melody or a guitar riff. The rest build up on it, adding their own flavors. The lyrics are usually penned down by Asfar. However, other band members are now venturing into the lyric writing process. PaaniaurMitti was written by Mansoor.
The philosophy of our music is simple – we write about human experiences and emotions in relation to different life situations.
Fashion Collection: What are your rehearsals generally like?
Bayaan: We usually have two type of rehearsal: either we’re preparing for any upcoming show or we’re writing new music. In case of the former, we usually go through our set lists and try to sound as tight as possible. In the latter case, we usually sit down with acoustic guitars and come up with musical parts and try to stitch down an arrangement. Asfar comes up with vocal melodies during that process.
Fashion Collection: How has your music evolved since you first began playing music together?
Bayaan: We feel that our songwriting process has become more natural as we’re progressing into the journey. We’re always looking into exploring new styles of music to keep ourselves and the audience excited. The musical chemistry has improved by several notches and we have become tighter as a unit.
Fashion Collection: What has been the biggest challenge as a band? Have you been able to overcome that challenge?
Bayaan: The biggest challenge till now has been balancing our day jobs with our musical careers. It has been a challenge in a way that it leaves you with little time to rest and be with family. We have been sacrificing sleep mostly to overcome this challenge.
Fashion Collection: What’s the ultimate direction for your band?
Bayaan: We want to inspire people to think, to express themselves in any art form, and to truly appreciate music of all types. We, as musicians, were inspired by some iconic names. Likewise, we want to be an inspiration for generations to come. The ultimate direction for that would be to stay true to ourselves and to our music.
Fashion Collection: What advice do you have for people who want to form their own bands?
Bayaan: One important piece of advice that we would like to give to aspiring musicians and bands, is to remain absolutely sincere to music. Music is an art that truly shows its colors and impact if it’s coming from a place of sincerity and pure intent, so remain true to that.
Moreover, focus on creating original content rather than making covers. An artist’s identity is his creation and original work.
Fashion Collection: How was your journey from the start to winning the Pepsi Battle of the Bands?
Bayaan: Our experience at Pepsi Battle of the Bands has been nothing less than amazing and inspiring. We shared the stage with several talented bands and got to experience friendships with some great individuals. The feedback that we received from the judges made us reconsider our musical thoughts and adapted according to it throughout the journey. We would like to give a special shout out to our mentor during the show, Asad Ahmed, for his invaluable input and positive energies that got us going through some lean times.
We were absolutely ecstatic when we heard about our victory. The journey for us had been a roller coaster in terms physical and emotional stress. Moreover, the second finalist band, Xarb, had been immaculate throughout the show. They are an amazing group of musicians and individuals and we genuinely felt that they would be winnin