Catching Up with Eman Pirzada

Coke Studio Season 10 marked the debut of an extraordinary Band Irteassh comprising of 4 highly talented girls performing as part of Salman Ahmed's ensemble. The same ensemble that gave one of the most hit songs from Season 10 Ghoom Taana with Momina Mustehsan. Irteassh is an all girl band with 4 exceptionally talented female vocalists with magical voices. One of those rare voices is Eman Pirzada who is ready to shine and all of us can agree to that. 

Eman Pirzada is a singer-songwriter from the all-girl band Irteassh and performs as a backing vocalist in Junoon.

Eman Pirzada's resume includes work with the iconic and probably the most popular South Asian Sufi Rock Band Junoon; however, she is most recognized for her individual cover performances on her Instagram and SoundCloud. Eman has amassed a legion of fans in a very short time that hang on to her every word. Sometimes, it takes hearing an artist like Eman to remind you just how powerful the simple harmony of one voice and an instrument can be. Whilst the world's problems rage on, Eman sits quietly in her room and sings so gracefully that can easily make you forget all about the hassle going on.

We were privileged to talk to this aspiring yet inspiring musician from Karachi (currently living in Canada for her Bachelor's Degree in Film Animation), to talk about her life as a musician, what it means to be an artist, and her future plans. 

Please tell us about your musical journey. 

Music has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. My mother used to sing when she was younger so naturally, she brought music into the house. When I was younger, I used to play the keyboard and sing with my siblings and perform in school concerts. Singing eventually became my primary focus. Under the guidance of my mother, who taught me everything I know, I have made it this far, pursuing music as a career. Now I am self-learning the flute and guitar!

What music were you into that compelled you to make music a full-time career?

Up until recently, I never had a particular ‘taste’ in music. Even today, I can practically enjoy and take inspiration from any genre. However, I have a soft spot in my heart for Eastern Classical and Western jazz- which is undoubtedly where most of my inspiration comes from. 

How did Irteassh happen?

It’s an unusual story, really. Simal, Sajar, Ayesha and I used to participate in an inter-school singing competition ‘Obhartay Sitaray’ every year and that’s where we met. The year Salman Ahmad (we call him Aanji) was a guest judge, he liked the four of us and wanted to work with us on Coke Studio. Somewhere along the way, we realized we had similar goals and loved working together and so, Irteassh happened!

How did your collaboration with Junoon happen? 

Aanji was the reason for it all. Few years ago he guided all four of us into the music industry and worked with us on Coke Studio. We stayed in touch and when Junoon reunited he wanted us to be a part of his journey. Opening for Junoon during their North America tour and providing backup vocals for their set seemed the best way to do it!

Performing in Coke Studio has become a dream for musicians. How was your experience working in CS? 

Scary. Very overwhelming and yet, a dream nonetheless. We were still in school and had very little experience in the studio. Aanji had helped prepare us for months in advance but even then, walking into a room full of experienced and seasoned musicians was intimidating. But everyone was extremely nice and went out of their way to make us comfortable! My favorite part was the actual recording of the song “Ghoom Taana”. Hearing the full-house play in my headphones, raw and unfiltered reminded me why I love music so much in the first place.

Eman Pirzada is a singer-songwriter from the all-girl band Irteassh and performs as a backing vocalist in Junoon.

Fans haven’t listened from Irteassh in a while. Do you intend to release some original work in the future? 

Since I am currently living in Canada pursuing my bachelor’s degree in Film Animation, working on originals has been a slow yet steady process. We definitely do intend on releasing some original work very soon and can’t wait to see how our fans like it! 

Is there any EP or album in the pipeline that you wish to release? 

We are currently working on a collection of singles to release in the near future, yes!

Pursuing music, especially in Pakistan, is quite a challenging task considering the family and social issues you have to face. What kept you going? 

Being in an all girl-band. I think we all come from families that support what we do but we also know it gives them peace of mind knowing the four of us are always together. It is also SO important to tune out any kind negativity you’re bound to come across. People can say terrible things you can hold onto forever, but to let go means you can carry on with your head held high.

Your career is just taking off and you have worked with some of the biggest names in the industry. With whom did you enjoy working with the most?  

It’s hard to choose but I really enjoyed working with Ali Azmat! As a kid, I loved his songs and was intrigued by his vocal technique. I learnt a lot from him during our time with Junoon. 

Eman Pirzada from Irteassh performing Live

It is quite disheartening to see female vocalists not being appreciated in Pakistan the same way as their male counterparts. What can be done to change this mindset? 

I think its important for more female singers and singer-songwriters to come into the music scene to make it less male-oriented but that is hard given the social stigma around women simply doing anything related to music on a public platform. But I think it starts at the root of it all- music education. If music is taught more widely as a part of our school curriculum it would play a part in changing the general mindset that demonizes music as a whole. Perhaps then, it'll make it easier for women to pursue it.

Can you name 3 musical inspirations of yours from Pakistan? 

Noor Jehan, Abida Parveen and Ali Sethi!

What are the best and worst things of being Eman Pirzada? 

I guess the best things are that god has blessed me with a beautiful family and the best of friends and amazing opportunities to pursue what I love!
The worst things would definitely be dealing with being far away from home, the homesickness and perhaps, struggling to get out of my shell in general.

Eman Pirzada is a Pakistani singer-songwriter from the band Irteassh and performs with Junoon band as well.

Where do you see yourself as a musician in the next 5 years? 

I see myself back in Pakistan making music full-time with my band. Hopefully, by then I also would’ve gotten a hang of the guitar and flute and could play live in front of an audience! 

Please give a small message for your fans. 

I think it’s really special for one human being to go out of their way to appreciate another and I love you all for doing that for me. It’s part of what makes all this so fun! 

Comments

  1. There is no doubt about how talented Eman and her band members are! Can’t wait to hear more from them.
    Best wishes,
    Eahab

    ReplyDelete

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