Taking Flighthttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/pune/taking-flight/

Taking Flight

Urdu rock band Parvaaz will bring songs from Kashmir to their debut performance in the city

Urdu rock band Parvaaz will bring songs from Kashmir to their debut performance in the city

What are the chances of a rock band singing Urdu and Kashmiri songs getting an audience anywhere outside the Valley? “Pretty good,” say Khalid Ahamed and Kashif Iqbal. Taking along the music of their home city,Srinagar,to Bangalore where they moved for higher education,the duo put together an Urdu band,Parvaaz. On Friday,the band will present its first performance in Pune.

The band,consisting of founder-members Ahamed and Iqbal on vocals and guitar,Fidel D’Souza on bass and Sachin Banandur on drums and percussion,does not just sing about rivers and trees. They sing about life in all its shades of grey and about being far from home.

“Iqbal and I are childhood friends. When we started playing together and thought of forming a band,we needed a bassist and a drummer. Things fell into place like a jigsaw puzzle and we got D’Souza and Banandur on board. They don’t understand Kashmiri at all and can grasp only a bit of Urdu,but at the risk of sounding cliched,I think music brings us together,” says 26-year-old Ahamed.

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It is also the only way Ahamed can explain their growing audience. “It is a mystery how our audience understands us even when they don’t know the language. When we sing in Urdu,the audience catches a few words here and there and understands the song,but when we sing in Kashmiri,there are very few who can actually understand the words. We think it is the music that speaks to the others,” he says.

The band’s beginning was all but encouraging after their first gig got cancelled due to technical problems. “We had faith that we will not let this get us down. To make sure that our spirits are always lifted,we decided to call ourselves Parvaaz,which means ‘flight’ in Urdu,” says Ahamed.

He shares that they launched their debut EP Behosh in August 2012,featuring five original compositions. While the title track,Behosh,is about waking up from a dream and realising the presence of a materialistic and perishable world,Itne arse ke baad is about missing home. The EP also includes Lolmatlai,a Kashmiri song,which reflects the band’s affection for the Valley.

Parvaaz will perform at High Spirits on Friday from 8.30 pm