One look at the Pakistani band Call’s frontman Junaid Khan — It’s pretty obvious that the man was born a performer. With his recent song release “So Close So Distant”, an English rock ballad featuring American singer Jennifer Jandis, Khan has demonstrated vocal versatility. Recently he’s been seen foraying into acting as well.
Speaking about the newly released single, Khan explained that the concept was based on the powerful emotions felt by couples in long-distant relationships. The idea of a duet clicked in his mind in October 2011 when he was going to New York to shoot Mehreen Jabbar’s upcoming drama serial “Mata-e-Jaan Hai Tu” on Hum TV.
While in New York, he asked Jandis who happens to be his friend, about doing a duet. Khan composed the music and wrote the lyrics for the song. While the song was arranged in Lahore, the video was shot in Washington DC. The sound was inspired by 1980s rock ballads which have come to define that generation.
“I always wanted to write something in English,” says Khan who has previously recorded two English covers for Stage Monks. “It’s always interesting to collaborate with other artists, an artist gets to learn so much more. I have always believed that when two artists think alike and complement each other, they create magic and this song is magical for me.”
Various bands like Sajid and Zeeshan or even Junoon have tried creating English songs. Whether such songs are viable in the Pakistani or international market is still undecided. “People in the West really appreciate Pakistani classical music even if they don’t understand a word as it touches the soul. I believe music is about expression and not language,” explains Khan who plans on releasing more music in English but has not thought about doing an entire English album yet.
Meanwhile, Khan says he will continue to balance both his band and his solo career. He explains that the band has always given space for each member to pursue solo projects. For instance, Call bandmember Xulfi has also been launching his solo tracks for Indian films. Khan also has a solo album in the works, which is still “under construction”. On his musical inclinations and influences, he says vocalist Bryan Adams, Linkin Park, Incubus, Creed and Pearl Jam have influenced him.
The other place where Khan is starting to get noticed is on the small screen with aspirations of someday featuring in film. The latest drama in which he has made an appearance is “Mujhay Roothnay Na Dena” on Hum TV. His soon to be released project “Mata e Jaan” is being directed by Mehreen Jabbar and will premiere in March while another project “Madiha aur Maliha” is expected to be released in April.
“I love acting, it actually gives you a chance to be someone that you are not and that is quite exciting for any individual,” explains Khan. Working with Jabbar has been an exciting experience for him as he plays the challenging role of a negative character. “Acting is a serious thing and I have learnt a lot from it. I plan to keep acting as long as I have and challenging roles to perform.”