Farhad Humayun Biography

Farhad Humayun is a Pakistani singer, drummer, record producer and video artist. He is most popularly associated with the Pakistani drum jam band Overload which he founded in 2003.
Farhad was involved in developing the Lahore Rcok scene in the early 90s with the underground movement by band such as Co-Ven and Mindriot in both of which he played drums. He has identified, produced and launched some of South Asia's top acts such as Atif Aslam, Symt, Meesha Shafi. Humayun has won numerous awards and accolades for both his audio & video work and owns Riot Studios, the famous recording studio and gig venue in Lahore.

Farhad Humayun is a Pakistani singer, songwriter, drummer, and record producer.

Early Life

Humayun was born in the English Channel Island of Jersey at the Jersey International Hospital to parents Navid Shahzad(mother) and Shahzad Humayun(father). His mother is a legendary tv, theatre and film actress and the foremost Pakistani scholar and academic who has won the Pride of Performance Award(the highest civil award) from the Government of Pakistan. His father was an automobile businessman and Pakistan's award winning English Cricket commentator throughout the 70s till the early 2000s. Farhad's maternal grandfather S.A Rahman was the Cheif Justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan in the 1970s while his paternal side traces back to the Qazi (Royal) family of Jilandhar(now Indian Punjab).
Farhad grew up in the Gulberg area of Lahore and studied at Aitchison College till secondary school. He went to the National College of Arts in Lahore where he did his Bachelors in Fine Arts in Painting from 1997 - 2000. He also studied audio engineering in London at the Recording Workshop in Ladbroke Grove, London


Farhad Humayun started playing drums at age 14 and quickly built a name for himself in the underground movement in Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad in the early 90s. He recalls his influences at the time were mostly metal bands like Judas Priest, Dio, Black Sabbath, AC/DC.

He was the drummer in the alternative rock band Co-Ven (93 -94) playing some originals but mostly covers by Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Nirvana as was the norm at the time when satellite TV was catching on in Pakistan. Humayun formed his own metal band in 1994 called Mindriot (the name borrowed from a Soundgarden song). Both bands attained success by organizing their own shows by collecting sponsorships from local and multi-national brands which were supporting youth driven campaigns since there were no outlets like clubs or regular concert venues in the Islamic Republic     
Humayun has recorded drums and toured with major Pakistani rock acts such as Noori and Fuzon and has served at the house band drummer for Coke Studio in Season 5 in 2012. He has written with and recorded Atif Aslam, arguably the most famous singer in the history of Asia, on his first three albums as well as on Coke Studio. Farhad produced Meri Kahani by Atif in 2006

While at the National College of Arts, Farhad started casually jamming with friends at the college Western Music Society events, which he was president of. That laid the foundation of one of Pakistan's most iconic and original acts Overload which came about in 2003. Tha band's mix of the modern (trap) drums set with traditional, mystical Dhol (drum), alternating between Indian Classical beats and Rock became a rage in Pakistan where young people had limited outlets to be free, let loose and have uninhibited fun. Overload because the number choice at celebrations such as cricket matches opening and closing ceremonies, fundraisers and occasions where people just wanted to dance. Overload is known as 'The Loudest Band' in Pakistan and has won numerous awards incuding the Lux Style Award for Best Live Act in 2006.

Farhad remains the artist with the most number of  nominations for a musician at the Lux Style Awards with 13 nominations and two wins.

Farhad has successfully crafted a solo career alongside Overload. Both artists, together and independently continue to grow in popularity

Farhad is also a successful businessman and owns and runs entertainment and arts company Riot Productions (subsidiaries Riot Films, Riot Studios). He has stakes in real estate company Sol Enterprises which he inherited from his father. He owns and runs a posh apartment complex in Lahore called Site 78.


Throughout his career, Farhad Humayun has collaborated with artists from genres and disciplines other than his own which has earned him much respect from street musicians and marginalised communities whose musicians he has worked with and honed like Ustad Jaffar and the Punjab Brass Band, Nasir sain, Pappu Sain, Tanveer Sain.

His latest project is an English album/singles produced by Richard Hilton, keyboardist of the band Chic. The songs feature iconic musicians like Tony Levin on Bass, David Torn on guitars and Richy Stano also on guitars. recorded at Clubhouse Studios in Rhinebeck New York, the songs are set to be released later in 2018.


Owed to his popularity with the masses, Farhad became a regular face for big brands like Porsche, Dell computers, Samsung, Chester Bernard clothing, telecom companies like Mobilink, Warid and PTCL all of which he has been a brand ambassador for.

He was approached to produce Pepsi Smash, a pilot project that aimed to re-launch Pepsi into the music arena after a long absence and eversince the Coca Cola company launched 'Coke Studio' their biggest and most successful music campaign in history

Farhad is now the producer for Levi's Live, a project of the Levi Strauss company which is working on the revival of live music in Pakistan since the live playing scene in the country diminished due to growing security and terrorism concerns.