Jimmy Khan

MUSICAL talent Jimmy Khan has an impressive body of work ranging from scoring films to superb solo singles that have captured the imagination.

The Pakistani singer/ songwriter has delivered commercially successful music and continued that with his recently released first live Punjabi folk album Tich Button. Eastern Eye caught up with Jimmy to discuss music, his latest release and more.

What first connected you to music?
It was my parents’ cassettes, my father’s guitar playing and singing.

How do you look back on your musical journey?
It’s been with a lot of ups and downs, successes and failures. The learning curve has been slow with many distractions, but gaining momentum slowly but surely. Importantly, I feel fortunate to live my time here on the planet with the music I create.

What led towards your new album Tich Button?
Tich Button is a live album I had been meaning to record for a while. It’s an amalgamation of folk tunes that have played an integral part in shaping the music I perform (with my band). It was important for me to archive it in audio form as part of my musical evolution.

Tell us about the album?
It is more of an EP than an album. It comprises of five songs, out of which four are renditions of folk tunes and one original number. All Punjabi. It’s a live-sounding album multi-tracked and recorded by a seven-member band line-up. The recording was divided into two processes. First, the rhythm and bass parts were recorded followed by the leads and vocals. Tracked in a studio in Karachi and mixed in Lahore.

Who are you hoping connects with the songs?
It’s a Punjabi album and the world loves Punjabi. Even people who aren’t well versed in the language. They connect with it through its overpowering expression and the warmth it has in its sonic frequency. I hope it connects with all Punjabis of the world before anyone else.

What can we expect next from you?
I shouldn’t speak before the process begins, but next year needs to be more acoustic guitar and voice.

What is your greatest unfulfilled musical ambition?
(Laughs). Quincy Jones has not called me yet for an album deal.

hat inspires you as a musician?
Right now the magic of voice. Recognising a new dimension every few years keeps the magic flowing.

What songs and music dominate your own playlist?
Currently the band Jungle. And otherwise Mehdi Hassan, Nayyara Noor, Hemant Kumar, Mohd Rafi, Mukesh, Kishore Kumar, Attaullah Esakhelvi, Simon and Garfunkel, the Beatles, Michael Jackson, et al.

Is there any one artist you look up to more than others?
Attaullah Esakhelvi. His story, passion, pain and earthiness. That timbre has layers of emotion I can’t get enough of.

Finally, why do you love music?
Music has the capacity to seize a moment in time. It allows me to dig deeper inside. Not every day but the days when those frequencies are in sync. I live and love music for
those days.