LAHORE: Singer-songwriter Bilal Khan has been mostly absent from the music scene, save for the occasional song release on Soundcloud. After making it big with Bachana and then his Coke Studio appearances, Bilal vanished, forcing many to label him as a one-hit wonder. After his last mainstream release back in 2014, he took a two-year sabbatical, travelling abroad.
Having returned recently, Bilal is set to release a new album. His family and friends had a lot of reservations about his break but the singer himself has no regrets. “When I was leaving, everyone said that I shouldn’t go because I was getting offers from everywhere. They told me to stay here and not experiment but there was a voice in my head that told me I should leave,” he told The Express Tribune.
When asked about his recent experiences that might have influenced his upcoming record, Bilal said, “The writing is based on my experiences so my songs will be able to tell you about that better than I will. I’m really hoping all of that manifests itself in my album because I stopped all distractions in my life in the past few years and that if nothing else, it should reveal a change in sound.”
Up close with Bilal Khan in the US
However, what he really took away from the travels was leaving behind the fame game. “I was not worried about posting a new selfie on Instagram or posting a new update on Facebook, just out of the fear of losing my fans. It was good to sit down and focus on the things that make me who I am.”
He has quite an unusual career trajectory, with him calling it quits at the peak of his career. “My first song becoming so big was partially luck but also because I had worked so hard before. Leaving for two years has put me in a good creative zone.” For his fans, it remains to be seen when his album, about which he is reluctant to give away too much, hits stores.
“The music will be different from my previous stuff and not what most people will expect,” he maintained, adding, “I will be using my essence as a singer-songwriter and mixing it with elements of electronic music.”
While travelling, Khan also experimented with different kinds of music, releasing them on Soundcloud. “Part of the reason why I was releasing things online was to see how people respond to it.”
The songs include an Urdu cover of a Coldplay hit, a cover of Yaar Na Milay and an original track Bijliyaan, which he said got a particularly positive response. “I have a million people on Facebook and a significant fan base on Twitter so it is easy to get a response on songs,” he added.
In the US, UK and Canada, he played for the Pakistani diaspora who discovered him through Coke Studio. About the show, he said, “Coke Studio was not only good for my confidence but also its distribution meant that people all over the world learnt of my music.”
Courtesy : Express Tribune