Catching Up with Kashan Admani - The Musical Genius

A man is defined by the moments he decides to push boundaries and inspire a brilliant sense of awe. This can never get truer for the likes of musical geniuses like Kashan Admani. Kashan Admani is more than just a maestro of music who speaks for far more complex challenges of human nature and addresses social issues through his music. Perhaps, his spirituality that lies in the core of his art and life is what enables him to be so detached and unassuming.

Kashan Admani is a Pakistani musician and founder of band Mizmaar.

Made his mark in the mainstream music with Mizmaar in 2003 with album Kash, Kashan Admani's musical journey started by playing keyboards when he was just 5 years old and by the time he reached grade 4, he had composed his first song as well. He has been actively producing music in his production facility "Dream Station Productions" in Karachi. Even with such tight schedule, he was so kind to take out time for an exclusive interview where he talks about his musical journey, shares his insights on the current music scene, future projects and a lot more.

From a 5-year old kid influenced by music to a star that you are today, how would you describe your musical journey? 

As a kid I always knew that I was going to be a musician. Throughout my career, I have met some immensely creative and talented Individuals who have always helped and inspired me to go in the right direction. I have always believed in perfecting one’s art and not going after material success. Material success is a byproduct and should not be the end goal. I learnt a lot of things the hard way as I am not a trained musician and I am entirely self taught. In my developing years we didn’t have the internet or YouTube to learn from. We learnt music by listening and trying to decipher the difficult aspects of a musical performance. I studied magazines, books and watched videos cassettes to train my self as guitar player. It was tough to acquire the skill set I posses today but I would like to thank everyone who believed in me and I see me musical journey as one that couldn’t have been better.

What music were you into as a kid that propelled you into making music a career?

I was listening to whatever was popular in my childhood days artists like The New Kids On The Block,  Michael Jackson, Lionel Ritchie, Stevie Wonder, Pink Floyd etc. In my teens, I got interested in heavy rock music and that’s when I discovered Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Whitesnake, DIO and many other similar acts that really made me want to take up guitar seriously and pursue my music career as a guitar player. I used to play the keyboard as a kid and didn’t switch till I was in grade 8 actually.

What did you feel you needed to learn in order to get yourself ready for the very competitive world of entertainment, where only a very small percentage of individuals actually make it, let alone make it to the level that you have? 

I always knew that the mastering your craft is what it to takes to make it. It was tough to learn in our days. My only teachers were the books and videos I could lay my hands on. We didn’t have the internet so it took us more time to learn stuff people can learn now in two hours of YouTube tutorials. I knew one thing for sure that if I was good I will make it and I also realized that I wasn’t able to do any thing else. I basically burnt all my boats.

What was the biggest obstacle you had to overcome in the initial stages of your career? 

The biggest obstacle was to learn the guitar and play like the players I used to hear. Once I became good enough to sound close to or like my heroes, things became much easier.

Over the years you’ve been working so hard at your craft, how did you find your sound? Was it a conscious search for you, or an unconscious evolution? 

I think it was both a conscious and unconscious search. I had read one thing in a guitar book that the guitar is such an instrument that the same lick played on it by two different players will always sound different and that’s why every player sounds different and has a unique expression. I think after years of playing an instrument you kinda develop your own distinct style.

How did Mizmaar happen?

I always liked the idea of a band. And all the music I liked was by different rock bands. I formed the band Mizmaar and started working on original songs in 1999 if I am not mistaken. I knew we had to record an album to get somewhere. We eventually succeeded. I would like to thank the famous Pakistani Singer Bunny for all his support he extended to us to record the album. His studio was the best studio facility in Karachi and that’s where my career as a studio musician started. He would get me to record and produce his songs and commercial work that came to the studioand would let me record my band’s music on the available shifts. Those were some great times and I learned the art and discipline of studio work there.

Even after several breakups, Mizmaar continued to release new music. What made you stick to the same band? 

I was the founding member of the band and I thought whatever presence and following the band had should not be a waste and it should keep on going. That’s the only reason why I kept it going.

How do you see the amount of musical talent in the country?

I am seeing some amazing young musicians in our  country and honestly I get inspired to practice when I see some of these kids doing some amazing instrument wizardry.  We have a very talented bunch of young musicians and I must say that we have become better with time.

Out of all the songs you have written and composed so far, which is your favourite and why?

There are many songs which haven’t come out as yet that I have produced and written however, I think Taare would be my favourite as of now.  I don’t get stuck in the past and always like to make new music and move on.


Your tribute to Amir Zaki was appreciated by music lovers and critics alike. Why did you not upload it on digital music platforms? 

We didn’t want anyone to monetise Amir’s work and take undue advantage of his repertoire. 

Who do you consider your opponents in the industry?

Anyone who is anti music is my opponent. Music is not like sports, it’s not a competitive art form. I disagree with people who think one musician is better than the other. Why do we like so many artists and not just one? Music is as diverse as the universe. 

Can you name your three musical inspirations from Pakistan? 
We have had our fare share of legends and I can easily say Mehdi Hassan Khan Shahab and Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali are inspirational legends.

Kashan Admani is a Pakistani musician and founder of band Mizmaar.

What is the reason why the current generation of musicians hasn’t been able to connect with the audience like the bands of the 90’s and early 2000’s?

It has more to do with the reach of the music. In those days TV was the main medium and now the TV does not showcase independent Pakistani music. It’s only social media where artists have the opportunity to expose their music. For any music to make an impact and become mainstream it has to reach the audiences. I think the music is not reaching the consumers the way it should. 

Do you think the current music scene in the country is progressive? 

Indeed it is! We are seeing some really talented musicians exploring some very new genres and I am seeing better musicians too.

Who would you want to play with once in your lifetime, and why? 

I have been very lucky in this regard and recently started my solo album with producer / drummer extraordinaire and music legend Simon Phillips from Toto. My record will feature some of the biggest names from the international music scene and I consider myself very fortunate to be working with these international giants.

If you can change one thing about the industry, what would you choose? 

Our approach to live music, I would like to see educated and talented individuals to take up careers in live sound and stage production for putting up better performances.

Dream Station Studios has been producing great quality music lately. What more additions are you currently planning to add to your studio? 

Dream Station is in the process of producing a lot of independent music content with multiple artists and it will come out very soon.

Kashan Admani is a Pakistani musician and owner of music production facility Dream Station Productions.

Your anthem for the cause of education for underprivileged children was appreciated by fans and critics alike. What more issues would you like to highlight in the future through music? 

We would like to highlight all the issues that can bring a change in our society and improve the conditions that we live in. We want to contribute to building a better Pakistan for future generations.

What projects are you currently working on? 

Apart from my solo album, I  am currently working on independent music show that we hope to release soon. It will feature some of the best talent we have with a very unique approach to sound and production. I am very excited about both these projects.

Who’s your favourite vocalist from Pakistan these days? 

There are many amazing singers that I know and they might not necessarily be very famous and it wouldn’t be fair to name one or two. 

Can we expect another single from you like “Mein Hoon”? If yes, when? 

I may have some songs in my upcoming album. Not sure how many at this point as it’s primarily an instrumental album.

Please give a small message for your fans. 

Support local music and appreciate the effort artists make to entertain you all. Contribute in anyway you can to make Pakistan a better place for all of us.

Comments

  1. He's a super sweet person. I met him in Karachi once and he was very kind. Spoke to me for well over 5 minutes and wished me luck too. Lovely knowing more about him.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for sharing! Indeed, he is one of the most humble musicians 😊

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