Artist Muhammad Waqar Remembers His Parodies From ‘Hum Sab Umeed Se Hain’
Muhammad Ali interviews the man behind countless hilarious parodies made for the show ‘Hum Sab Umeed Se Hain’, Muhammad Waqar and recollects his journey through the music industry of Pakistan.
We all spent a major portion of our lives enjoying the parody songs of the political comedy, ‘Hum Sab Umeed Se Hain’, but never realized that it was a young man who was single-handedly producing the music for all those parodies. A composer of almost a thousand comic songs for Geo TV’s most popular infotainment show, Muhammad Waqar is a recipient of Honours in Music from Government College Lahore and a former lecturer of Film and Television at Punjab University. I caught up with the musician and asked him a few questions, which are as follows.
When and how did you enter the music industry?
I was 19 years old when a friend, seeing my interest in music, took me to an advertisement agency titled Midas Entertainment. I composed the music for some commercials produced by that agency. Later on, the same agency made some drama serials to which I also gave my services as a music composer.
Which was your first big music project?
It was a drama series titled “Sirf Tumhare Liye” directed by Anjum Shehzad. I also composed eight songs for a serial, “Sunehre Mausam” written by Muneer Qureshi (Munnu Bhai). I also made Abid Ali, Firdous Jamal and Sikandar Shaheen do a rap song for that serial. Then I also gave music to a project supervised by Abid Ali, “Saibaan Sheeshe Ka”. Later on, I worked with Ahsan Talish and Ahmad Aqueel Rubi, one of the series being “Aik aur Kahani” for ARY Digital. Khawaja Pervez, Samina Ahmad, Dr. Tariq Aziz, Leyla Zuberi and Savera Nadeem are also among those people for whose serials I have composed music. When ATV was newly launched, I made all of its channel IDs.
How did you receive the offer of “Hum Sab Umeed Se Hain” and for how many years did you work for Geo TV?
Rauf Afaq, who initially was Anjum Shehzad’s assistant producer and later on became the producer of “Hum Sab Umeed Se Hain” contacted me one day and told me that the production of “Hum Sab Umeed Se Hain” has shifted to Lahore from Karachi and a music director is needed. He also told me that I will have to prove myself as a good composer before Dr. Younis Butt because he is very selective about his content. So, the first parody song I did for that series was a qawwali, which was quite a challenging task. Younis Butt loved it and accepted me for its proceeding episodes. I then gave music to “Hum Sab Umeed Se Hain” for ten years; from 2007 to 2017. In this duration, I composed almost 800 parody songs for the series.
“Hum Sab Umeed Se Hain” ran for a lot of years. Did you feel sad when it came to an end?
Yes, of course. I remained associated with it for quite a long time and gained an identity from that show. My days and nights were spent in making parodies for it, but I accepted the fact that every rise has a fall and didn’t let it get over my nerves.
You have made countless songs for others, but what is your own favourite genre in music?
I am into both pop and semi-classical. You can say that I like every kind of music except heavy metal. I am least attracted to noise.
For which channels did you work after Geo TV?
I worked for Express News. Its infotainment show “Syaasi Theatre” hosted by Wasi Shah had my songs. For the past two years, I have been working with GNN and have composed countless songs for its shows. In my two years with this channel, I have done as much work as I did with Geo TV in ten years.
Tell us something about your latest projects.
My Sufi song with Saaieen Zahoor, produced, composed and mastered by me in my own studio has been recently released. It’s an amalgamation of three languages; Urdu, Punjabi and English. Two of the singers are from Australia and one from Pakistan, each one taking up a different language. I have also planned to sing some songs myself for an album since many people have asked me to produce songs in my own voice as well.
With Pakistani drama OSTs increasing in their demand, do you plan to revert to OSTs?
I will accept them if they are offered to me, but it’s not like OSTs are something new for me and I am overly excited to go for them. I have spent a major part of my career composing OSTs and would now like to do something more creative instead. But I won’t back off if asked to work on them.