Over the years Pakistan’s music industry has taken some dramatic turns and formulated absolutely mind-blowing compositions. However, there is one unique individual who has greatly contributed to the Pakistani music industry by capturing the hearts of millions: Zulfiqar Jabbar Khan also known as Xulfi.
In daftarkhwan’s recent fireside hosted by upcoming Rockstar Natasha Noorani, Xulfi shared his incredible story of revolutionizing Pakistani music by taking his dream to another level! As Natasha took us through all the questions on the back burner, we learnt a lot about Xulfi’s unique journey filled with passion, innovation and persistence.
During this heartwarming fireside, Xulfi mentioned some very important factors that served as the building blocks of his career. As early as his college years, an interest of becoming the president of the music society became the road to form a band. During this time, Xulfi and Fawad Khan brainstormed several names for their band and concluded that it should be a paradigm. Xulfi expressed the difficulty of managing this alongside his studies but the passion was “in it to win it!” We found it interesting how members of the band were selected at random and taught how to play the instrument as opposed to people who already knew how to.
It was pure curiosity to innovate and create something new and different that simply got the ball rolling.
One of the most interesting insights that Xulfi gave us was the actual story about how two different bands “entity” and “paradigm” eventually became “entity paradigm” through a GIG night. A story of a bond within the music community that brought Xulfi, Ahmad and Fawad together, consequently setting the standard for a new genre within Pakistani music. Success emerged when Rohail Hayatt contacted Xulfi for the Battle of the bands selection after which their band name was known as “entity paradigm” or more commonly known as “EP”.
Xulfi shared more intimate information where he told his parents “I need one year and I want to make my own studio and run my business” after which he composed “Ek din ayega” and several other recordings for Jal. He expressed his final dream came true in the early 2000s when Pepsi supported ‘Battle of the Bands’ and funded it which was a milestone in itself. Whatever the band received was directly shared with their producer to make the first serious wave of music which set a precedent at the time. It was also during this time that a Record label called Lips Music gave them a deal and went on to make great video hits without providing any monetary benefit.
He also mentioned that because they were progressing in that era without a system, the music genre itself just happened to capture the heart of the youth and they simply couldn’t get enough of this dynamic culture development.
After many years they found themselves breaking out of patterns such as artist of the month and experiencing music becoming the main act of that decade. Xulfi also focused on how one of the main cultural issues is the lack of record labels, the idea of how to find talent and bring them on board, the way it’s done in many parts of the world.
Having been invited by India after the release of “laree chootee” in 2007, this single triggered conversation around music and Xulfi himself. The quality of music and its virality further gave him the confidence to make these dreams bigger than they already were. The constant observing and analyzing of the process is what showed him what worked and what didn’t. Among some great work was the jingle for McDonalds Pakistan which allowed Xulfi to pitch ideas that weren’t even being executed internationally.
Within revolutionizing music, he successfully established the idea of Nescafe Basement which was simply pure passion for underground music which connected with everyone’s hearts and just happened to be exactly what everyone wanted!
Among all retrospection, Xulfi gave us some serious life goals to think about! As he said, “Sensitivity is my super power and my emotions are a part of this and I will keep them”.
Pakistan has so many standards to set and music was one of them. You will help you win, most importantly connections are made with emotional investment and this is how we grow with our dreams after all.
To watch the entire session between Natasha & Xulfi, click here.