It is a two-member band that aims to re-introduce the richness of Sindhi ethnicity through their soulful and melodious music. It is a story of two young, highly talented and aspiring musicians from historic city of Jamshoro, who desire to embark old and indigenous melodies of Sind. While talking to The News Tribe, they spoke out about their entire music journey.
The News Tribe (TNT): What does this name “The Sketches” reflect? How did you come up with this band name?
The Sketches: As we all understand that the term “Sketch” means to draw the outline or chief features of anything. In other words to create something, we sketch it first. So sketching presents the image of origin and basic. It was my (Saif) and Naeem’s mutual decision to name our band THE SKETCHES, because the word itself reflects beginning, originality and opening.
TNT: Tell about how your music journey started?
The Sketches: The story of band formation would take us back to year 2003 when Saif Samejo, an English Literature student, and Naeem Shah, a Fine Arts student met at Jamshoro University. Their similarity in taste of music increased the bonding of two individualists who through their music desired to spread peace and harmony having abiding love and respect for their cultural heritage. Their interests range from Sufi poetry and folk legends to the revival of traditional instruments and the indigenous music of the shrines.
After working hard for a long period of almost nine years, we released our debut album in February 2010 by the name of “Dastkari” meaning ‘one’s own creation’. This album contains songs in Sindhi, Saraiki and Urdu, and bursts with ballads, alternative rock, Sufi and folk.
TNT: What message does your music mainly reflect?
The Sketches: Our listeners are not bound to a particular age, language, cast, or religion and so is our message. Every piece of work that we produce is a variance of messages. For example, we convey peace and oneness of God through “Moujood” and “Awal Allah”, we promote folk and traditions through “Raat”, we contribute and extend freedom of expression through “Kantoon Ki Deewarein”, we flow with love and separation through “Justjoo” and “Kabhie” and our recent release “Nind Nashe Vich” is an effort to promote tourism and a message for all to promote the beauty of Pakistan. Moreover all these attempts are driven from the poetry of Sufi saints like Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai, Sachal Sarmast, Hazrat Baba Bullehy Shah, Sheikh Ayaz and many more, who themselves are chief examples of wisdom and benevolence.
TNT: Tell about your music influences and inspiration.
The Sketches: We are considerably inspired by the treasure that our land has gifted us in the light of Sufi saints. Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai, Sachal Sarmast, Sheikh Ayaz, Meeral Fakir, Hazrat Baba Bulla Shah, Allan Fakir, Sufi Sohrab Fakir, Abida Parveen are few of those names that encourage us. In addition to this we are also influenced by taste of music like that of Vital Signs, Led Zeppelin and some others too. It’s a huge list.
TNT: Share your experience with Coke studio. What was the response from your fans?
The Sketches: CS4 has been the most amazing experience for us. It wasn’t less than a dream that came true. After all this was the largest of all the platforms we ever performed at. Rohail Hayat is phenomenal; he has been an incredible guide throughout. It was his assistance under which we learned and explored a lot, and of course performing “Maandh Waai” among the senior and well known artists of Pakistan was an exceptional feeling itself.
Response by audience was remarkable; many music/CS4 listeners became great fans of us. We were pleased and appreciated enormously through emails, messages, posts and even on our official Face book page. We were featured and interviewed by many magazines nationally as well as internationally too.
TNT: If given a chance you would to perform with whom and why?
The Sketches: It could be a huge list. We like Zeb & Haniya, Arieb Azhar, Faraz Anwer and there are so many other artists too. Again internationally there is a huge list.
TNT: What is power of good lyrics for making good music?
The Sketches: Lyrics of a song are an integral part of its creation for many reasons. Most of the people while listening to a song relate its lyrics with their own feelings, sentiments and experiences. On a broader prospective, the wiser your choice is with lyrics, better will be the sound produced. Especially musicians like us are very much conscious about what we sing and perform because every single word means a lot to us and the way we feel words/lyrics, we produce it that way.
TNT: In such a heavy competition in music industry these days, what acts as your niche in music?
The Sketches: We are not scared of the competition. We in fact don’t focus on competition. We are purposeful and we stick to that. We entered in music industry to bring our own sound which is now accepted and followed too. That has always been our only area of concentration. Instead of following what’s in trend, we set our own behavior and continue with it.
TNT: What is good music according to you?
The Sketches: I think none of the music is bad. It depends on what makes you happy. I would definitely respond to the sound that would nourish my soul.
TNT: What is your message to fans?
The Sketches: Be Original, where ever you are, and what you are. Don’t forget your culture and values: love them, practice them and spread them. Don’t let the world forget you.