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I want to release songs and not have expectations: Zoe Viccaji

April 29, 2015

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Zoe Viccaji. — Photo courtesy: Zoe Viccaji's Facebook page
Zoe Viccaji. — Photo courtesy: Zoe Viccaji's Facebook page

Zoe Viccaji is perhaps one of the few female singers in the country who are actually working hard to pull the right chords and hit the right notes. However, the young singer recently announced on her Twitter account that she would be bidding adieu to the Pakistani music industry for a while and would be posting up her "non-commercial music".

Sharing the reasons for taking a break, Zoe who released her first album Dareeche last year, told Dawn.com over an email interview that she wanted to make music that comes solely from her heart.

With her tweet using the word "non-commercial", Zoe explained what she actually meant: “I’d describe non-commercial music as the kind of music that probably doesn't fit in with what we think of as pop music or the kind of music that appeals to a wider audience within the industry.”

Zoe’s single ‘Phir Milli Tanhai’ was well-received by music lovers but the artist feels that the song went through a transition to reach its final version: “’Phir Mili Tanhai’ actually started out as an English song and with a very different feel, and once we took it into the studio it underwent a complete transformation.”

“Firstly it was converted from English to Urdu and secondly there were changes in its musical production and arrangement. I enjoyed the process, but at the end of the day it was a one off and not entirely the kind of sound that represents my genre of music,” she added.

Nonetheless it was something she learnt from: “But the first album was a learning process for me, and I had wanted to explore various genres and styles, just like the music I wrote for it came over a span of several years.”

Zoe recently shared her song ‘Ohm’ which hints at mysticism and said that the song was indeed ‘introspective’ and ‘personal’: “The song Ohm that I recently shared on Soundcloud is something I recorded four years ago. That was at the start of my musical career when I was only writing English songs and music that was very introspective and personal.”

The singer who is comfortable under her skin with English songs had thought that her music would not appeal to many of her listeners: “I was very self-conscious of that kind of music because I never thought it would appeal to a mass audience, especially the songs being English; and perhaps I also felt more self-conscious of the more personal pieces I wrote.”

“Today I think that my judgment was somewhat flawed and that it was that kind of stuff that really came from my heart and without any over-production or treatment. So I've decided to put all those initial songs down in the studio and release them without any kind of expectations of what will come from it,” she said.

Although not as widely popular as 'Phir Mili Tanhai', Zoe recently appeared in a video-song called ‘Pyar Se Samjahyen’, in collaboration with UNICEF against child abuse, especially corporal punishment. But does she want to do such projects in the future?

“Pyar Se Samjhayen was a collaborative effort with Sarmad Ghafoor and tailored especially for a campaign against child abuse. It's not necessarily my kind of sound, but I enjoy being part of social initiatives and feel happy about being able to put my skills to a good cause.”

Zoe Viccaji. — Courtesy photo
Zoe Viccaji. — Courtesy photo

With that being said, Zoe's fans are now anticipating what the future holds for her music: “My plans for the future are to get back into production and discover my sound with a little more focus on production elements. The process has already begun, and though it’s somewhat daunting, I am enjoying getting outside my comfort zone again and experimenting with new musicians.”