An exclusive interview with Tahir Naeem “The emerging singer of Gilgit Baltistan”

THEOEC: Tell us something about yourself?

Tahir Naeem: I am Tahir Naeem from Gilgit. I started my school life from public school and college Jutial Gilgit. I still remember when i sung for the first time in class 4th, there after I started participating in differentcompetitionsand won number of awards. Many of my friends at school used to call me the “night angle”.

THE OEC: Have you ever dreamed to be a singer in your life?

Tahir Naeem: I dreamed day and night to be a singer in my life because I really felt it and never stoppedmyself while doing that. During my school life I used to sing one of the poems by Allama Muhammad Iqbal in school assembly every day. Things changed slowly and gradually. When I moved to Peshawar University for my under Graduation, I was waiting for the moment to buy a guitar and for me it was very big movement in life to start it…Initially I started practicing and then started writing songs myself. During university life I started singing cover songs and performed  at many occasions in university and  was really appreciated .I wrote few of my own songs at university time when I started a band called “BERO” with two other friends of mine, they were  good at playing guitars and were passionate too. The journey of doing rock n roll started here when I started listening to diverse genre  of music specially rock alternative pop, and many other diverse types inside it .we played at many concerts in Peshawar back in 2005 and 2006  like in Iqra University ,Fast Peshawar and few private sponsored battle of bands .

THE OEC: You made your way to Pakistan Sangeet Icon and performed really well .Would you like to share your experience at Pakistan Sangeet Icon?

Tahir Naeem:It was my decision to go solo after 3 years when I participated in a competition by MTV Pakistan Sangeet Icon, I was feeling nervous to go for it but finally got selected from Peshawar to represent the province at main stream competition with othercompetitors from other cities .it was one of my great time when i met with few renowned singers and musicians in Karachi. Ilearned a lot and stood “4th” in competition. For me It was not just a competition rather I got a lot of exposure and appreciation from the people of Gilgit Baltistan and Peshawar in particular and from all over the Pakistan in general. .I was once criticized too for speaking Pashto and for vote appeal, but for me no matters  from where I am doing music and even representing  two places at the same time was itself a great experience .

THE OEC: what efforts you have made for your musical career?

Tahir Naeem: I forced myself a lot to make a band and with the grace of God I succeeded finally. “Slate the band” is our band including myself as lead singer, and the two members are Saad Loodhe as a drummer and Nabeel Hashmi as a lead guitarist. The idea behind the slate is “Every soul is like a slate. A canvas on which music paints wondrous pictures. Every note is like a unique hue, embodying the vivacity and volatility of human desires, memories and emotions. Our music aims to color these cadences of life, the euphoric crescendos and the melancholic low notes, empowering us to leave a mark on every slate-like heart”.

Our first single song “laut kaya ayay ga” is in video making scene. We are done with audio with Sarmad Ghafoor studios which is one of the best in Pakistan. And, we are looking forward for a great entry in musical scene in near future.

THE OEC: How is your professional career going?

Tahir Naeem:I completed my MS in environmental sciences from
Bahria Islamabad and started my job in WWF Islamabad. I am working for environmental awareness at many schools, colleges and on various occasions to promote the organizational goals and objectives. I am also writing songs for this cause and in my opinion music is one of the best communication tool to attract people towards such cause.

THE OEC: what is your message to the people of your land “GILGIT BALTISTAN”?

Tahir Naeem:I am proud to be the first guy from GB who is into rock alternative music which is so famous in Pakistan .I really love my land Gilgit-Baltistan and its people who are honest, respectable, hospitable and brave .I have been grown up watching these beautiful mountains of KKH, these beautiful forts of Hunza, Shiger, the eye catching lakes and green fields.  In fact we all are blessed with this heaven on earth.

The one and only message I want to convey through the platform of OEC is“PEACE AND HARMONY” and develop good understanding among each other.

THE OEC: Thanks a lot for your time and we wish you all the best for your rocking future.