Exclusive Interview with The Spellz & Daniel Weber
The Spellz is a talented musical duo based in Canada. The duo comprises of frontman Nas Anis and guitarist Hassan Bokhari. Their inspirational music is a fusion of Eastern and Western melodies. They have been in the news for a while now for representing Pakistan in Global Rockstar (world’s biggest online music competition) and their collaboration with international musician Daniel Weber. We at PMR got a chance to catch up with The Spellz and Daniel Weber exclusively and discuss the experience of working together, what music they enjoy and what lies ahead for them:
- From what we have come to know about The Spellz so far, you are a rock duo based in Canada. How has the journey as musicians been so far?
It has been a fun ride with lots to learn about music, our audience, the overall industry and most of all our own selves. We love the process of making music and the most enjoyable moment is at the start and the end of any song. The moment when you get an idea or a composition in it’s purest form is a very fulfilling feeling and so is when you actually hear the song completely done. Between the start and the end is a lot of hard work and hours of effort in fine tuning it to ensure an enjoyable journey for the listeners. At the end of the day, we know that we are growing as humans by doing/saying the right things and music is our source of purification.
- Congratulations on the success of Sayonee/Turn The Page. Has the response been as per your expectations?
No doubt that the response has been phenomenal but I think that we (Daniel and us) expected it. After all we were blending the best rock songs of East and West. Both originals are so beautiful and complete that you cannot do much wrong with these classic songs. We also knew that the melodies and lyrics of both songs complimented each other nicely and it will be a first of it’s kind with lots more to come
- A lot of big names like Sunny Leone, Jami and Salman Ahmed have appreciated and shared the song on their social media pages. Were you expecting such acclaim when you were making the song?
It is very kind of all the big celebrities to lend their support to our effort. I think they saw the honesty and hard work in the effort and appreciated. When we started the project, we wanted to put our hearts and souls in it and I think it was heart felt by these big celebrities. For The Spellz being new in the music industry, getting a stamp of approval is definitely a big honor and gives us the drive to do even better on next projects.
- We have seen that you have been very fearless when it comes to your music, experimenting with different genres and languages, which make it quite difficult to categorize The Spellz’s into a genre of music. Is it a conscious decision or do you just enjoy doing whatever you feel like?
Our ability to experiment is our strength. So far people have heard us do American Blues Rock, Sufi and Romantic. Our next projects are very different and unique from any of our released materials. Melodies are reflection of a particular mood and the best/most honest way is to make music without any boundaries and limitations. If we feel that a particular melody is good, we go with it fearlessly and that’s our uniqueness. We do not like to follow the trends. We want to make trend setting songs with every new song.
- Being Pakistanis based abroad, do you think this opens up more opportunities for you or does it limit you in any way?
A bit of both. It limits us because we cannot be in front of local media as much as we want to. At the end of the day, I want Pakistani people to know that they have one of them trying to make a difference on international scale. The good thing working here is that you get to meet a lot of very talented musicians and artists from different cultures that definitely leaves a good mark on us while making songs.
- You were recently titled the Artist of The Month by Global Rockstar, the world’s biggest online music competition. How does it feel?
It feels really good. The Spellz was created with only one goal in mind i.e. we are going to put Pakistani artists and music in front of globe. We want to show that we are just as good as anyone else in the world and dismiss all the bad publicity in our own little way possible. We want to make a stand and make a difference regardless of how big/small it will be. Every little bit counts eventually. So, winning a title was our first confirmation that we are on the right track and if we keep our heads down and keep working with honesty, we will make a difference.
- Over time you have managed to build a dedicated fan base for yourself abroad and in Pakistan. What according to you has been the reason behind your success?
We are loved because of the originality, soulful messages and the fearlessness in achieving our goals. They know that they can trust us with our efforts and the quality of work. They know that The Spellz doesn’t take or believe in any shortcuts to fame or success. They know that we will not release any substandard songs.
- Will The Spellz be collaborating with more artists in the future?
Absolutely yes! Our next song is with a middle eastern artist and it is already sounding extremely unique.
- How was 2014 for you and what are your plans for the upcoming year?
2014 was all learning. We started our journey in April 2014 with our very first release. So slowly we have built a brand name and a foundation where we can launch from. For us 2014 was the warm up year where we tested our identities as musicians. In 2015 we hope to make a big impact on the world stage.
- What is your message for PMR readers?
Learn to be fearless about your dreams. You have the strength of the entire universe inside of you waiting to be unlocked.
- Please tell us something about your journey as a musician so far. When did you decide that you wanted to pursue music and what obstacles did you face?
Music for me has been a crazy ride from Touring, writing, recording and meeting other great musicians over many years. Like anything else entertainment has its obstacles. You always question if what your writing will appeal to the masses but in the end you need to love what you write and perform and just hope for the best. At some point you just need to be happy you are evolving as a writer and artist and not stuck in the mud.
- What was it about The Spellz and their music that convinced you to collaborate with them?
The Spellz was a unique experience for me. I was attracted to the energy they have and love and passion for the music the produce. When they contacted me, and explained the Rock undertone of the collaboration I was stoked to get working on it with The Spellz. Bob Segar’s “Turn the Page” for me is an all time favorite so that was a bonus for me. Sayonee is just a masterpiece in its own right, so together I knew it would be amazing.
- What was the experience like of working on this track? Did you end up discovering Pakistani music during this collaboration? 🙂
As I have been living in India and South East Asia for 4 years now, I have been very familiar with Pakistani Music. This was the first time I have been apart of a Western Rock and Pakistan collaboration.
- Since you are traveling most of the time, how do you manage to give sufficient time to music?
I travel for Music and film so all my time is only dedicated to that. I have been blessed in that way !!!!!!!!
- What kind of music do you enjoy listening to personally? Who are some of your all-time favorite musicians?
I am rock and roll person all the way. I listen to all so many different bands from Avenged Sevenfold to the Grateful Dead and everything in between.
- Would you like to visit Pakistan someday?
Yes of course and I am sure we will tour through there soon.
- What would your message be for PMR readers and your fans in Pakistan?
Keep an open mind and enjoy music that you normally might not. Life is full of surprises.