Every now and again, a new musical star shoots into the sky and captures the attention of anyone lucky enough to see it. One talent who has shone brightly in 2009 is Pakistani singing sensation Omer Nadeem. Already being compared to Atif Aslam, the gravelly voiced newcomer hit top gear on British-Asian music producer Khiza’s brand new album Turning Point.
In his first major interview in the UK, Omer spoke to Eastern Eye about working with Khiza, the monster song Aey Khuda and why he is no rock’n’ roll rebel.


Who first discovered you could sing?
I have been singing for as long as I can remember. It has been a passion for me ever since I can remember. Though my family noticed my talent, the discovery was made by me, as I knew how comfortable I was singing. At the age of 13, I really got into it and started learning how to play the guitar.

Who were your biggest musical influences when you were growing up?
I have never been influenced by any particular artist or person. It is the surroundings and nature that have their effect on me and it is these influences that are converted into songs. I believe it’s my imagination that is present in my songs. For me, it is the representation of every emotion, feeling and expression. I merely translate these things around me into a composition.

How did you hook up with Khiza?
Through my friend Talha in Karachi. Khiza listened to Dil Ka Diya over the internet, which he liked very much and decided to work with me.

What was it like working with him?
It has been a really great experience. There has always been a good understanding between us. The best thing about Khiza is that he is very friendly, a fun-loving guy and is just like my elder brother who is always there for me. I have worked with a lot of people in this profession, but I can easily say that Khiza has been the most cooperative of them all.

When you were singing Aey Khuda, could you sense it was going to be a big song?
No. I really liked the lyrics, but I thought the song was just okay. But after I recorded my vocals and Khiza engineered the song and sent me the full version, I got the feeling that it was going to be big because it sounded really good. You can’t tell much while you’re recording a song because it is just building up at that point. But even after you have finished, it’s really difficult topredict how the audience is going to react. I have seen some really great talents in Pakistan with brilliant songs and compositions go totally unnoticed.

What it is like for you to be featured on the album Turning Point, which has so many other great singers?
This is something I never thought would happen. It’s an honour to be featured with big names like Abrar-ul-Haq and Hadiqa Kiani. In this industry there is like a whole hierarchy system when it comes to getting popularity among the masses, and a breakthrough is really really hard to come by. But this is a wonderful start for me, Mashallah, and all the credit goes to Khiza.

What else are you working on?
I’m working on my album and a couple of projects for Bollywood. I also have a song that will be featured in a drama soon. There are a couple of offers regarding tours to the UK on the table as well. Inshallah, more of my work will start coming soon for all of you to see.

What are your greatest ambitions?
Every musician wants to reach the top of the music industry. I am willing to work as hard as my passion allows me to have my message reach the masses through my music. I strongly believe in fate. I wish to give 100 per cent and the rest is in the hands of almighty Allah. All I can do is pray and I would like to request all my well-wishers to remember me in their prayers as well.

What is the scene like for new singers like you in Pakistan?
The scene is currently in decline because there are no investors, no good promotors in Pakistan. The situation in the country is bad as well because of terrorism. There is not too much room for promotion for music in Pakistan when the situation seems so grim. All the new artists can do is invest in their music and albums on their own, which is nearly impossible for young artists like me. That is why I am thankful to Khiza to be featured in his album because he appreciated my music and believed in my talent.

Why do you think so many great singers come from Pakistan?
I think this is a blessing. I have observed in the past that there have been many gifted singers around who have not had any training and today they are more successful. I think the reason for this is that they are not bound by the technical terms of music, they compose using their instincts, experiment freely and end up making music because of their raw natural talent and skills. This is what clicks with the audience. There has also been this great tradition of music in the subcontinent, and generation after generation, there have been some really great performers. I really do hope that we continue to produce more great performers for the country.

Do you have any plans to go over to India?
Yes, why not? It’s always a good opportunity to go to India. Since there has always been tension and the ties between us have been fragile, going over and performing there gives us a sense of unity and increases hope for peace, no matter what the magnitude. I would always contribute to acts of this nature and if I get more offers from Bollywood after the ones I am doing, I would certainly take them.

Which is your favourite song of all time?
I never stick to one song, there are many. But I really enjoy listening to Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, AR Rahman and Kishore Kumar. They really have set a benchmark for all musicians across the world.

Which do you think has been your most memorable live performance?
It was back in 2004 when I used to perform with Atif Aslam. The show was held in Alhamra, Lahore. The crowd was going totally crazy. We thought we were somewhere out of this world. The audience was all around us and giving
us a great response.
But if I talk about my solo performance, then it has to be in Kinnaird College, Lahore. I was up there on the stage with just one guitar and no other musicians. (Smiles) But when I started to sing, I was amazed to see the response from the crowd.

Why would you tell people to pick up Khiza’s album Turning Point?
You will find every kind of music on the 20-track album. The variation is amazing. It covers every music market and the best part is that Khiza sang a song himself in this album. I think the versatility of the album will be really attractive and all sorts of listeners would tune in.

Finally, are you a rock ’n’ roll rebel or a good boy next door?
My music has always reflected my personality, that is why it fits in the genre of soft rock. I am not seen as a rebel in any way – people see me as someone with a sweet personality and a good heart. (Laughs) Which is why I would say I am simply the good boy next door.

Omer Nadeem is featured on Khiza’s new album Turning Point, which is out now.

Related Links

Omer Nadeem : Download DIL KA DIYA, HADH, BISAAT & LAUT AANA (Unplugged)
Downlod AYE KHUDA : Khiza featuring Omer Nadeem
Download SAAGAR - Omer Nadeem ( Unplugged Demo )
OMER NADEEM Covering AADAT ( Video )
Download KIN RAASTON PE - Omer Nadeem
Download SAZA KI JAZA : Omer Nadeem
OMER NADEEM Signed As The Brand Ambassador of DEXPEL
AYE KHUDA (Video Teaser) : OMER NADEEM featuring KHIJA
Omer Nadeem's Exclusive Interview on The Musik
OMER NADEEM Revealing Truth About Roxen & Bujh Hai Gaya Song



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