A powerhouse rocker, composer/songwriter and newfound acting talent, Junaid Khan is a complete artist. Although, not a part of Call anymore, he continues to compose music. Here, Images on Sunday analyses his career.
When asked how his acting stint has been so far, Junaid says, “Well, it’s been great. I started off last year with the Jawad Bashir sitcom Kabhi Na Kabhi. I also did its soundtrack as a solo artist. Soon after I did another serial directed by Jawad, Dil Ki Lagi for which I was nominated for the Best Actor (Terrestrial) LSA. Then I did three back-to-back plays with Hum TV: Mujhey Roothnay Na Dena, Matae Jaan and Yahan Pyar Nahin Hai. Accepting a negative role was a slight risk but I wanted the challenge. Thank God the viewers’ response was appreciative and the risk paid off.”
So does one require formal training for acting? “Yes. An actor should be aware of the whole process behind the production of a serial/film, etc. There are lots of aspects such as posture, facial expressions, dialogue delivery, body language, etc, that an actor needs to ace. Some actors are self-taught while others are trained from institutions which unfortunately are not frequent in Pakistan.
“Of course, television is an actor’s first step and big screen is the last. I’ve received a few film offers but I believe I have to get enough training first before making my big screen debut, which will be soon, by the way.”
Junaid Khan says that his co-stars and artists are special in their own way. He also believes in versatility. “I have just kicked off as an actor and hence I plan to break boundaries and explore my limits. When I was offered a negative role in Matae Jaan I knew it would start a hate club but still the learning and appreciation that I got while playing Adam was worth it. I have to play different characters to decide which I love doing the most,” he says.
Even as a member of Call the band, he never gave up solo recordings. He went international by collaborating with Jennifer Jandris on So Close So Distant. “If you check out the band’s history, I have been singing English covers since the start, even before I composed Nishaan and Pukaar. Luckily, I was offered Matae Jaan for which I had to be in New York and the idea of doing a duet just clicked in my mind. I knew Jennifer through a dear friend, so I contacted her and she loved the idea. The response So Close So Distant got was simply amazing. I remember Jennifer telling me that when she was presenting the song to an international label there in the US, the production staff was surprised that Pakistan is capable of such work.”
About future collaborations, he says, “There are a few projects in the pipeline. I am trying to experiment into various genres and styles and therefore working with a few artists both locally and internationally. The concept behind any collaboration is trying different genres so that an artist learns more and that is my goal as a musician.”
Junaid Khan considers alternative rock his genre, “When I was composing Jilawatan, it came from my heart, body and soul. Still after all these years I relate to it and will still continue to express myself in that genre.”
Since Junaid has had a taste of both acting and music, what does he find appealing? “Though I am really feeling the hook for acting these days but I would say that music is my sole passion and always will be. The eight-year journey that I have had, the process of going through the experiences of life and putting them down on paper and converting them into melodies, the interesting happenings during tours, performing in front of a crowd of thousands is something that I cherish and always will. The process has groomed me as an individual and will continue to. There is still so much to experience when it comes to music, the journey will go on for me as a musician while I will stretch my boundaries as an actor as well,” he says.
His latest serials include Un-Suni featuring ZQ and Mahwish Hayat, and Qadoorat featuring Sanam Saeed and Moomal Sheikh for Hum TV. There is a telefilm for Hum TV named Ek Mamooli Si Larki starring Moomal Sheikh, Gia Ali and Anam Fayaz. On the music front, there is a solo album in the pipeline and a track, Keh Do, releasing next month.