‘Every musician has dreamed to play with a band like Strings and I’m blessed to be a part of Strings! Strings has played a major role in my career. The name Aahad Nayani was nothing without them. Hard work, passion, sweat everything is fine but you need someone who can understand your value and presence. Every musician needs a solid support system in the band and I think they were really supportive throughout. I’m truly blessed to be a part of the band.’ AAHAD NAYANI
Atif Aslam, Sonu Nigam, Anushka Sharma, Mahira Khan, Waqar Younis, Fawad Khan, Farhan Saeed, A.R. Rahman, Sachin Tendulkar and many more such names are ‘up there’ in the world of fame, glamour and celebrity-hood. Star struck fans would give an arm and a leg to click a priceless selfie with the reigning kings and queens of the star world! These celebs are, but household names now. We speak of them on a first name basis; Mahira was looking so pretty, or Fawad sang so well…Tendulkar is a legend. Do we really know them that well? Well, we do know them quite well actually, thanks to the massive media publicity, celeb appearances and interviews as well as social media stalkers who claim to map every career and lifestyle move made by these celebrated human beings that kiss the starlight everyday as they walk out of their homes.
But what about the thousands of performers who are just as talented, if not more, than these well-known faces? Yet, we don’t really know much about them. They’re barely, if ever, under the spotlight! Is it because our big, bold brands always choose to walk the safer route and bet on the sure-shot winners? These people are the ‘not so famous’ stars who often work hard behind the scenes. Infact, they push the story of, create, and play a major part in the ‘making of’ many ‘big names’ that we acknowledge today as superstars. Without the efforts of these ‘silent’ heroes, our stars might never bask in the glory and limelight we shower upon them so generously.
A band comes together, not only with the vocalists, but also the guitarist, drummer, and musicians who work in synergy to allow the vocalist to take centre stage! And what about the makeup artist, without whom the actress might not appear that stunning? The assistant director and producer?… Get the message?
If you’re a cricketer in Pakistan, you are treated to ample media attention and fanfare. But what about the female Mixed Martial Arts gold medalist? Or the three-time ski champion who now sells pakoras to make a living?
‘Our Unsung Heroes’ is a humble effort by FUCHSIA to highlight and honour all the super-talented heroes who make it happen everyday for others, but about whom, we never really get to know enough to grant them superstar status.
We roll out our very first episode of Our Unsung Heroes with the exclusive photo shoot of the hugely talented and charmingly handsome Aahad Nayani-the Coke Studio drummer. Many of you have been mesmerised by his performance at a Strings’ concert. Aahad is one of the youngest drummers on the international scene. He has played at prestigious venues including his dream location – Berklee College Of Music. Greatly influenced and fascinated by his father, who used to play the drums as a hobby, Aahad picked up most of his drumming skills from his father. At the age of 17 Aahad realised that drumming is what he really wanted to pursue. In 2010 he was hand-picked by Strings to play with the band. Later once Strings got on board wth Coke Studio, Aahd joined the house band – the rest is history. He is not only the brand ambassador of Vater Percussions and Sticks, but also the only Pakistani drummer to be endorsed by Mapex Drums and 64 Audio.
Here we tell Aahad’s story in pictures as he stars in a very special photo shoot for us at FUCHSIA.
We are grateful to Deepak Perwani and Clippers for partnering with us in this project.
Wardrobe & Styling by Deepak Perwani
Hair styling by Clippers
Photography by Arqam Khan
Conceptualised by Farah Haq
Strings first heard me at a TV show Azam-e-Alishaan. An amusing incident before the night of the jam with Strings was, I missed Faisal bhai’s call. (The Strings vocalist had made a call to Aahad to make him an offer to join the band!) And to return his call, I had to borrow Rs.100 from mom to add credit to my cellphone. My first jam with Strings? It was incredible to be in the same jam-room as the maestros. I was both nervous and excited, knowing I had to give it my best shot.
I was enrolled in ACCA. I had cleared two papers, when I asked myself-Aahad what are you doing? And that is when I decided drumming is what I really want to pursue. That day, I came home and told my family that I am not going to continue with ACCA but instead, become a drummer…there was chaos. I thought my father would understand, given his background in music, but it was actually my mother and sister who really supported me.
My first drum kit cost Rs.10,000. I didn’t have the money. We were in a financial crisis. I used to work at call centres to earn money-just 12000 bucks. I used to walk 2 km to the jam room, bus lay ker. No money, no space to sit in the bus. Once inside, I used to tell myself: ‘I will make it through’.
Yes, I am a dreamer for sure. I have been dreaming about solo-drumming derived concerts or clinics. Drums are themselves a complete instrument and can be played without any other accompanying instrument.
It was not the resistance from my family actually, I just knew I had to stick to playing drums and the rest will fall into place since my parents were there to support me. Where I stand today, is credit to my parents’ faith in me, a lot of sweat and blood, hard work, passion and the support of a few others who stood by me in hard times.
I think the Pakistani people take a lot of time to appreciate a non-singer artist but so far, so good. Sometimes people give so much respect that I just can’t be thankful enough. People visit me backstage after the concert to tell me that they look up to me, while I stand there speechless. Pakistani people have a lot of love to give for sure!
The future means more hardwork and even better music.
Honestly, I have thought about it and it does scare me…and I tell myself it’s alright to be scared. Overcoming these fears gives me self-fulfillment. I still haven’t achieved my targets in life and there is so much more that I need to do before I can be satisfied with myself. (I know I will never be satisfied).
This article is the collaboration effort of several members of Team FUCHSIA.