We caught one of the best Pakistani artists under the PMR spotlight, once again. Standing limelight, is the very down-to-earth, brilliantly skilled, and talent-filled Sheraz Uppal. With huge hits like tera te mera, man ja way, and roya re, Uppal plans to grow more of his work with the extension of the same taste of music but attention catchy tracks. We had a bit of chit chat with the music maestro and he reveals the news about his upcoming album, his time with the great A R Rehman, his projects, and his life. Well this is what he took out of his magic box and talked to us about… and if you want to know more, we’ll let you skim through the interview. Happy reading! 🙂
PMR: Let’s start from your beginning; how do you see your journey from an underground artist to a high profile main stream celebrity?
Uppal. Oh yeah, definitely initial stages are always difficult and they welcome me the same, I had to suffer alot as well.
PMR: Do you think Sheraz Uppal is better when it comes to be a music producer or a singer?
Uppal. I definitely see myself as a better music producer.
PMR: But we see you as the best when it comes to both. Tell us about the start of your professional singing career?
Uppal. I started my professional career in 1999. In 2001, my first album was launched. That was Tu Hai Meri. The album received an average response. Then in the year 2003, I launched Tera Te Mera and that, as you know, was a total hit. And basically that helped me a lot in my music career as a major lot of people know me because of it.
PMR: Do you plan your events & media work before hand or things just come your way?
Uppal. I think my events and work just come my way. I don’t really plan them!
PMR: How was your experience working with A R Rehman?
Uppal. AR Rehman. He is my teacher and an inspiration. I remember in the year 2000, we met in New York where I gave him my demos. It was a dream come true when he called me up later on in London and gave me lessons. My first project was for the film Nayak, I sang the song Shakalaka Baby in it. I had a great time working with my teacher as well as my inspiration. I lived in Chenai as well for some two months and that was an awesome experience as well.
PMR: What’s your upcoming project with AR Rehman?
Uppal. I have recently worked on a song called Secret of Success for the movie, Boys.
PMR: Who influences you when it comes to music?
Uppal. It’s obvious. A R Rehman.
PMR: How Pakistani media has changed over-time or improved in your view?
Uppal. Well in my opinion there is no improvement in Pakistani music scene. Albums are coming and going without any substantial notice by the audience. The artists are unaware how their work is perceived or liked. And I think the factor responsible for such a demise is PEMRA. It’s because here in Pakistan PEMRA allows only 10% of foriegn content to be on-aired on any channel, but unfortunately about 90% of the foreign content is being on-aired and remaining part is allocated to the local artists. Just how can we survive?
PMR: Well that statement goes under the weird-but-true category. But we wouldn’t stick to the darker part for long. Let us know how you think videos are an important music promotion source?
Uppal. I think in Pakistani context, it is very important that your video must support your music as well. If we talk about music scenario other than Pakistan, then if you have strong composition and all, a low-budget video is also acceptable. But here in Pakistan people have more focus on your video and looks. So to promote yourself good, it’s important that you must have a good video as well.
PMR: You are signed with fire records; how do you find their terms and policies?
Uppal. Well I think they have taken good steps for promoting artists. And I agree with their terms and policies. They come good.
PMR: What disturbs you the most when you are doing music?
Uppal. (When Uppal heard the question, he retorted with the answer that made us all smile.) It’s Load Shedding.
PMR: The Sheraz Uppal we see on our screens, is he an outcome of a hard worked grooming?
Uppal. Oh yes, I am very conscious about it now.
PMR: If you had one chance to go back in past and change any one thing from your career, what change you will want to make?
Uppal. Well I think in past I did not put a lot of attention on my personal grooming, so I think I should have spent a little more time on it!
PMR: Your biggest professional achievement?
Uppal. Singing and working with A R Rehman.
PMR: And we hope you go a long way, even ahead of him. Who supports you in your music?
Uppal. Initially, my parent were not very supportive and they wanted me to study but when they saw the talent in me, the first one’s to support me were them and then my family friends. But the most important support has always been by my wife who is with me in every step I take and this makes me proud.
PMR: Now you have a major fan following and we hope and wish that the support goes on. Who ranks the top in your favourites in directors?
Uppal. Sohail Javaid.
PMR: Tell us about your upcoming album?
Uppal. I’m making this announcement exclusively for PMR and it’s team, my 4th album is in finishing stages. I’ve named it Ankahi. The album comprises of 10 songs and are composed all by myself. And there is one song in collaboration with Fariha Pervaiz as well and it will inshAllah be launched this Eid.
PMR: We’d love to have a word from you for PMR and it’s team.
Uppal. Yeah, PMR is doing good work, and I wish them best of luck.
That was Sheraz Uppal with his words. PMR wishes him all the success and luck for his future and music.
Keep reading us and keep enjoying.
Interview by: Sohaib Shah, Rj Muhshin. Zohaib Ahmed