Interviews

A Melodic Journey With Zeb Bangash: Redefining Music Across Boundaries

By Ojasvi Kapoor
August 17, 2023
A Melodic Journey With Zeb Bangash: Redefining Music Across Boundaries

Zeb Bangash, a name synonymous with ethereal melodies and enthralling compositions, stands as a global icon celebrated for her exceptional prowess as a singer and composer. From her modest beginnings to her current stature as a luminary in the music world, Zeb's journey serves as a testament to the transformative power of artistic expression and the universal language of music. In this exclusive interview, we dive into the world of this remarkable artist, exploring her unique journey and the enchanting magic that has cemented her as an icon.Here are edited excerpts:

Q1.When it comes to women and music and also independent music,Tell us about your journey?

Reflecting on my journey, I've had a somewhat asymmetrical relationship with music, as it seamlessly became an integral part of my life without much conscious intent. Music was always present, permeating my upbringing with a blend of diverse influences. Growing up, I had the opportunity to listen to a variety of music that might have been uncommon in South Asia. This exposure cultivated an innate fondness for different sounds.

During my college days abroad, a cousin and I, simply for fun and nostalgia, embarked on creating songs. Little did I know that this venture would lead us into the music industry. This transition felt like a fairy tale, as the industry warmly embraced us. I never truly experienced the struggles one often hears about in the initial phase of entering the industry. However, this perception evolved as I became aware of the challenges faced by women artists, especially in the endeavor to sustain their journey based solely on their music. The real struggle, I found, is not entering the industry but rather maintaining your presence while staying true to your musical identity.

Q2.You grew up listening to pop and western music and yet you redefine the folk and classical music,What would you attribute this too?

My musical journey has been shaped by the amalgamation of various traditions I grew up with. Being from the northern region, I was exposed to Persian music due to our ethnic background, as well as Turkish music because my parents lived in Turkey. Alongside this, Western pop music and Hindi film music filled our home, creating a delightful mishmash of sounds. Rather than intentionally striving for inventiveness, my compositions are a result of embracing and reimagining these diverse influences.
While I may not have formal classical training, my exposure to classical music, ghazals, and various genres has significantly contributed to my musical understanding and evolution over the years.

Q3. So when we talk about South Asia Indian music especially Bollywood is inescapable,What was your formative impression of Indian Music especially Bollywood and then you became part of films like Madras cafe,Fitoor,Highway and others.But what was your impression for Bollywood?

My journey with music has been intertwined with Bollywood since my early days. I don't differentiate between Bollywood music and other genres—it's all part of my musical tapestry. One of my earliest memories is my grandmother singing a Lata Mangeshkar song to me. Old Bollywood songs were a constant in our household, and I grew up immersed in the melodies of the '50s, '60s, and '70s. Bollywood's rich and diverse offerings have left an indelible mark on my musical landscape.

Q4. Your music caters to a wide range of audience from cutting across Urdu Hindi and other languages in South Asia and yet it clicks,what is the pulse of audience understand,how do you decide on music?

The litmus test for my music is whether it resonates with me. There's an intuitive connection that forms with certain compositions, and I've learned to trust that connection. However, success is not guaranteed; sometimes the connection with the audience is established, and at other times, it's not. But this process remains deeply personal—when I believe in a piece, I am confident it holds the potential to captivate others.

Q5.Do you think independent music will come back as strong genre,And revive in the industry?Are there forces are on play according to you?

The dynamics of the music industry are constantly shifting, leading to ebbs and flows in the prominence of independent music. Bollywood's dominance, driven by its versatility and incorporation of various genres, presents both opportunities and challenges for independent musicians. While Bollywood's existence can make it harder for individual artists to gain prominence, it also opens doors for unique expressions. Independent musicians now have platforms like YouTube and Instagram to build their presence and following, allowing them to cultivate their distinctive musical identity.

Q6. How are you using digital platforms to engage your audience is it an enabler how are you leveraging that?

Engaging with digital platforms has been an evolving journey for me—one that I continue to navigate. While I have my music available on streaming platforms, I must admit that the digital realm can be somewhat intimidating. As someone who didn't grow up with it, I am learning to harness.

Q7.How was your experience working in Bollywood?What was like working on some big projects?

It was a dream, you have been listening to people all your life and now the dreams coming true while working here.It was really dream come true,It was amazing.And I got to learn a lot I got to see the process.I was very interested to know how studios were run how it has done.

Q8. You are actively working to re-introduce ‘Khayal’,what was your inspiration how it is panning out for you?

So this project Khayala is very close to my heart and inspiration has come from its own learning.

Q9.Your message to your fans?What is coming up next?

I have so much stuff coming up this year hopefully,I am actually working on my debut solo album which is done,working on some videos and stuff.I hope you all will really like.And another regional project that I am gonna do which I am really excited about.My message would be thank you so much for all the love and please watch it the new music that is coming up.

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