An unforgettable conversation with an extraordinary singer who always amazes the audiences
The young and dynamic Sanwal Esakhelvi has not only impressed millions with his soulful voice but has also proved his extraordinary genius by creating powerful music. Despite being already famous and successful Sanwal still continues to strive for vocal excellence. Recently team YOLO had the opportunity of having a candid conversation with the brilliant Sanwal Esakhelvi and this is what he has to say to our readers.
Tell us about your education?
As per education I am an electric engineer, sound engineer and at the moment becoming an IT engineer so I got my education mostly from London UK. My basic education was from Pakistan Lahore Beacon House till the ninth grade before moving to London.
Where did you spend your early life?
I spent my early life in Pakistan Mianwali, Lahore travelling all over the place and then I moved to England when was I was pretty young I was about 13 years of age.
How it felt being the son of the legendary Atta ulah Esakhelvi?
It was good and bad at the same time as I got to see a lot of things in my life pretty young. I experienced music in a way that many people would not do even if they are musicians. I saw my father working with legendary writers, musicians, music producers and sound engineers. Then at the same time it is hard because there is this name that I am expected to live up to. Frankly I don’t think about this name that I carry I have to keep into consideration.
Have you become a singer following your own passion or was it your father’s desire for you?
My father always wanted me to study which I did and which I am continuing to do. However, music was more of my personal happiness and my own passion that I wanted to do. Slowly as I did more and more it took over me as time passed by so it was my thing than anyone telling me.
How was your experience singing with the legendary Attaullah Esakhelvi since you both have a different voice texture?
It was hard because then again people expect this level of quality from me that I have to deliver. Once he has finished his lines and has sung his part I have to do my part. The challenge is to maintain that feel and to maintain that level of quality whenever it is passed on to me. So it is not an easy thing to do.
As a singer how easy is it for you being compared with your father?
As I said that being compared to my father is never easy it’s my own thing that I do. I try to do my own stuff and try not to think about it. At the end of the day whatever I do is very different from what he does. My vocal texture is different, my music style is different, my background is different it is not an easy thing to live up to but I yet face it and yet try to conquer it.
You have successfully launched music albums internationally how was that experience?
My experience was good the way we made it was quite incredible because we walked into studios without any idea of working together. I am talking about me and that music producer that I worked with we didn’t have anything planned. The moment we walked in there were things that grabbed us together. There was this feel that grabbed us together and made us do that music. We ended up making new tracks and new music and that has happened to me couples of times now actually more than that. We just walk in and have this feel and we just end up doing new stuff. So the album that I was referring to is called Inner sanctum the music producer was Spanish and he loved the feel and the composition that I made right there and then and he just ended up putting it in his new tracks.
How was your experience working with the late Michael Jackson’s personal vocal trainer?
It was good it was interesting I only had one day with him. The sort of things that he was coming up with was very inspirational because it was referring to Michael Jackson. His professionalism and the way they work on the voice by taking control of the muscle that we have in our throats suggests that singing requires hard work. When you go to the international level the passion you have it never ends up you can just keep on going higher and higher. It keeps on getting harder and harder. Yes it was amazing.
Following in the footsteps of most of the south Asian singers do you begin your day with early morning riaz?
Yes, I do. I have this session that I do it is not long it is only 30 minutes specifically designed for me because of this thing that I am working on in my voice. So I do that specific riaz with the name of Allah and that really helps me in a lot of things. I do sing and practice riaz every morning.
Do you practice along with your father?
I hardly practice with him I hardly sit down with him with harmonium I hardly do anything with him. There are rare projects like Coke Studio that I sat down with him once every 8 to 10 months or a year we would just find time and place to do music. So it is rare.
Other than your father which singer has been your greatest inspiration?
There are so many that I forgot about them now as well. I am into electronic music production these days so Binago is one artist that I really listen to. Then Kavinsgi in electronic music production then there are other singers that I listen to. However, there is no soul in music these days it lacks as there is so much commercialism that I started to have less of inspiration in this day and age. Most of the times I go back in the past and try to search for inspirations now. So it’s really had to find singers who are singing from heart and singing for music. In this day and age it is harder to find soulful singers who are really singing from the heart. So I have to look at broader perspective to find singers.
If you are given the opportunity to perform with any international singer which one name would you put forward?
I would do weekend I really admire his way of singing and I really like the sort of dark music that he does.
Do you take instructions from your father?
Yes, I do take instructions from my father because he has a lot of experience and a lot of work done not just in Pakistan but also abroad. Yes his instructions are really important.
What is your favorite form of music classical, semi classical, pop or rock?
Anything that is soulful and that just hangs on to me whether there is orchestra music, there is rock, there is pop and there is punk rock.
Which one song would you like to listen if you were driving on a rainy day?
Again it depends on my mood what mood I am in so it is a really hard question to answer. I think I will listen to something from the electronic music section. Binago is the artist that I listen to most of the time so I would hear him.
What is that one piece of advice that you would like to give to young people who aspire to be singers?
Hard work and persistence I mean I myself although I have recently done some big projects I have been singing for past 20 years now. So you have to work hard you have to be persistent you have to work on your skills set. You have to understand the business, you have to be strong about things and love what you do. You can’t just go on doing something that you won’t love to do. So persistence, love, mental strength and knowing your art and knowing yourself is very important.
What is your message for Yolo e-mag and our global readers?
I would just like to thank all Yolo e-magazine readers and especially the Yolo e-magazine itself for they gave me this opportunity to speak up and to connect with my fans. So thank you so much and stay blessed. Work hard, think about the society around you think about people, and think about your country. Work hard and stay happy as being happy is an extremely important thing guys so be happy.
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