Adil Bhatty talks life, music, Woman & Savages and Joshanda

3 years, 19 releaes, Adil Bhatty, Pedro Scalamandre, Waleed Attique, Hasan Zafar & Ali Awan have come a long way with their band Woman and Savages. The band is called Woman & Savages because it’s a play on words. It is a judgement call on the current social landscape of our country. Women seen as objects by men who claim to be superior but more often than not cannot control their own emotions. Its not to be a misandry outlook but the name also sounds cool so i sort of went with it.

PMR: The name of the band is Woman & Savages and on twitter the band goes by the username ‘ladyandruffians’. Yet there is no sign of a khatoon as a member. So why the name Woman Savages or Lady and Ruffains?

Adil Azhar Bhatty: The name on Twitter is Lady & Ruffians because Woman & Savages was taken (we tried to make a previous account but we couldn’t delete it lol). It was Pedro and Adil Bhatty for the longest time. Adil recalls, often performing all the instruments, writing all the songs, and producing all the music, while Pedro got the band’s music on BBC Music Introducing. Initially tt was more of a business relationship than a band recalls Adil. Pedro helped Woman & Savages get a lot of traction in the UK and with the second EP Pedro got the music more than 100,000 plays on SoundCloud.

Later Adil met Hasan, Waleed, and Ali, all on Nescafé Basement. Waleed and Adil had both auditioned and been selected while Hasan was a veteran and Ali was an intern working at Giraffe who aslo happened to be a great musician. Adil, Hassan, Waleed and Ali, teamed up to work on 3 new songs: “Vicious. Wicked. Wonderful.”, “Devilman”, and “A Cybernetic Deer Caught In Neon Lights” of which the latter two were very well received.

The boys are out and about with their professional lives worlds apart, but it is music that binds them together.
1. Pedro is in Exeter (England) doing his Masters.
2. Ali and Waleed are both in Lahore (Pakistan)
3. Hasan is in Islamabad (Pakistan) working as an animator for a telecommunication
4. Adil is at the moment in Toronto (Canada) pursuing a Master’s in Audio Engineering and Artist Management.

“It has also been a strange journey. It literally began because I came to Pakistan to be with a girl that I was in love with but then she broke up with me a week later, lol. The same excuse “My parents would never accept a musician”. As is the plight of any artist in Pakistan. In my state of depression I need to do something to keep me sane and to re-ignite my love for music. I started working on my first EP “In The Nude” by myself, under the moniker “Woman & Savages”. The EP was full of songs about domestic abuse, discrimination, separation anxiety, and physical insecurities.” Recalled Adil Bhatty.

Woman and Savages made a music video about the lead single “Demonizer” which was very well received on YouTube. Adil Bhatty then went to study a Masters’ in Music Composition at the Iceland Academy of Arts but quickly developed Panic Disorder due to a lot of underlying, and repressed mental trauma. He came out with two songs, namely “Attack” and “Defend”. “Attack” was song of the week on BBC Music Introducing, and “Defend” was a semi-viral hit on both Facebook and SoundCloud. Both were about panic attacks, though only varied in how they were perceived by the ones going through them.

“I had to come back to Pakistan once I started suffering from major panic disorder and spent months in physical pain to the chest pains, and breathing difficulties caused by my ailment. In order to give myself some peace of mind, I started working on a brand new EP for Woman & Savages called “The Love Of”. This EP included songs about relationships like “Love”, “Psychedelicate” and “Tiger” which were all very received by BBC Music Introducing as well as SoundCloud. Our band was played on a weekly basis on the BBC and was hailed as one of the only bands to have had a new track played every two weeks.” Added Adil

All this while Adil shared, he was mentored by family friend and an incredible music producer, Sarmad Ghafoor who is best friends with his uncle. He eventually auditioned to be in Nescafé Basement and was selected.
“ It was one of the best experiences of my life and I got to work with some incredible people. I don’t believe anyone has inspired me the way Xulfi Bhai is. I’ll never forget the things he taught me. I formed countless friendships and started working on a new EP called “Vicious. Wicked. Wonderful.” with my friends Waleed, Hasan, and Ali. We released the title track, “Devilman”, and “A Cybernetic Deer Caught In Neon Lights” about 6 months later due to work commitments and other issues.

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Adil reveals in between Nescafe Basement, his new Ep he became very sick and was the victim of both mental and physical abuse. He lost 10kgs of weight and went to Dubai to live with his mother’s family while continuing to work on the new EP. “A day before Halloween, “Devilman”, was released. It is the best song I’ve ever made up to this point in my own opinion and was well-received” adds Adil

After Devilman we released the band and Adil released “A Cybernetic Deer Caught In Neon Lights” which was about online harassment. Devilman itself was about the harassment women face on a daily basis in our society, and in most societies over the world.

“Before we could continue making music, I gained admission to the Harris Institute in Toronto to study Audio Engineering and Artist Management. I had to put everything on hold and come here, but then COVID-19 became serious and all schools were shutdown. Isolation and loneliness kicked in and I started working on a brand new EP about the global pandemic, called “La Bête Noire”, a French idiom that means “The Bane Of My Existence”. I initially released “Come Feel It” which was about missing human contact, and then I released “Joshanda” with my friend Eahab Akhtar as a featured vocalist.”

Talking about Joshanda he said “Joshanda is literally about how to make the drink, Joshanda, but its also about how our previous generations think simple things like Lemon juice, onions, and ginger, can cure all diseases known to man. It’s more of a parody of how we think things like Tea and herbal medicines can combat serious illnesses. I found that hilarious and I remember how important Joshanda was to me while I was sick. I thought it was only fitting that it gets it’s own song.

Sharing about what he has in the pipeline for his fans, Adil said: “There are two more singles on this EP that I am ready to release soon, namely “Submarine” and the title track, “La Bête Noire”. I cannot wait to release more music as nothing as ever given me more pleasure or personal gratification. Plus, I love it when other people get a chance to listen to it!”

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