‘Music is everywhere’

Sitting on the rooftop of TDF Ghar located in the hustling and bustling locality alongside MA Jinnah Road, Karachi, I came across a simple boy with magic in his fingers. Ashir Wilson, a 23-year-old pianist, with his friend, Amoon Daas, a guitarist, was rehearsing Richard Marks’ ‘I will be right here waiting for you’. With Karachi’s cool evening breeze enthralling the senses, Ashir’s tunes did send me to yesteryear. Visually impaired but naturally equipped with the determination and the resolve to live his life to the fullest, Ashir believes that music is everywhere. “The sound of the wind blowing around us; the sound created when the wind touches the leaves is also music,” said Ashir, who is currently working as co-head management and director PR at National Model OIC. It is an international project designed and overviewed by OIC’s official youth forum (ICYF-DC). He is also part of the music band, Aroha, and performs across Karachi with Amoon Daas and Aneel Tahir Azad, who was out of Karachi when this interview was taken. Speaking about his education, Wilson shared that he had completed his Masters in International Relations from the University of Karachi. When asked about what inspired him to create music he says: “The sound of the world inspires me. I take inspiration from whatever I hear. However, it is the appreciation from my listeners that really make me happy and successful. When people appreciate my work, I feel motivated. I like to create music and entertain people.”

Musicians need to evolve and at the same time maintain their command over their instruments and must know each of the tunes of the song they play. When asked how he practices his music, Wilson says : “If you want to make a profession out of music, you need to spend time regularly practicing your music. You need to refresh your pieces and must know all your notes. At times you are asked to perform on a short notice and do not have time for preparations. Keeping yourself in practice lets you play your songs at its best. We go to TDF Ghar or to any place where there is peace and quiet so we can practice our notes.”

Adding to this, Daas said: “We continuously do rehearsals and keep practicing our songs so to keep ourselves attuned to our instruments and our music. We have to refresh our pieces even if we are not booked to perform anywhere.” Das, a full-time musician, gives music classes and also spends time in the music studio composing and recording songs.

While commenting on the harsh life of an artist in Pakistan, Wilson said, “Artists and musicians, no matter how creative they are, need to put in an extra bit of sweat and effort to make a living out of their profession. They need to work extra hours to perfect their art before they could make a name for themselves.”

“Your expenses do not see how creative you are. They only ask if you can bear them. The life of a musician or an artist revolves around being creative. It’s a constant struggle to follow your passion and then be able to pay the expenses at the end of the day,” he added.

When asked about the talent of Pakistan, Wilson said: “There is immense talent around us. Even at the University of Karachi, there is so much talent that we must unearth.” During the interview, Ashir and Amoon played two songs. First was Richard Markx’s ‘I will be right here waiting for you’ and then Junoon’s ‘Junoon Se Aur Ishq Se Milti Hai Azadi’.

They were spot on with their notes and played the songs with absolute synchronisation.

What was clearly seen and honestly felt by seeing the duo perform was their immense talent and modesty. Artists do face troubles in our society for they need to stand up for themselves, ignite in their listeners the same thirst for music they have in their hearts and to continuously believe in their own abilities. Wilson, therefore, is nothing short of a miracle. He uses the power of his music to let us see the beauty of the world from his perspective. When asked by Wislon and Daas their message for aspiring musicians of Pakistan, they said: “Love music and give musicians the respect their deserve.”

The writer is a columnist and author of You Rise Today

Published in Daily Times, September 1st 2018.