When an eclectic group of people collaborates for a creative project it is likely to create sparks. The case of Bayaan is no different.
The five-member band which believes in producing original content, takes inspiration from different genres of music. From Mehdi Hassan to Dream Theater, Junoon, Iron Maiden, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden — the playlists of the band members are as diverse as they are.
“All band members have their own individual inspirations that culminate into our sound and that’s what, I, as an individual feel is amazing about Bayaan. You don’t only get to create this unique music but also learn a lot during the whole process,” shared guitarist Muqueet Shahzad.
Alongside Shahzad, the other members include lead vocalist Asfar Hussain, Shahrukh Aslam on guitars, Haider Abbas on bass and drummer Mansoor Lashari.
Band members Shahzad and Abbas have known each other since the last 10 years and played together in a school band. They eventually moved to the underground music circuit and used to perform with a band called 'Shapataaz'. It was here that they met Lashari.
In between, Lashari and Abbas became a part of Nescafe Basement where they performed with Hussain and Aslam.
“The jams, hangouts and relationships that we formed, organically lead to us to create Bayaan,” shared Shahzad.
The band was eventually formed in 2014 and released its first single in 2015.
When asked about the name of the band, Aslam remarked: “We wanted a band name that accurately expressed how seriously we view music as a vehicle for communication and expression."
Bayaan made its way into the hearts of viewers with strong performances including Hum Nadaan, Raaz-e-Fitna, Tou Kya Hua, Tha Yaqeen among others during the third season of Pepsi Battle of the Bands.
One of the band’s most defining qualities is their strong and moving songwriting. Penned down in Urdu, the gritting lyrics of their songs tend to mesmerise music-lovers.
Regarding the songwriting process, Abbas remarked that it is “very collective and inclusive in nature”.
“Our process of songwriting is constantly evolving. If you observe closely, every song [of ours has] a different feel and structure form the rest yet they have a sense of similarity which is also very important for a band to establish their unique sound,” remarked Hussain.
Explaining the song-writing process, Abbas shared that a band member comes with a foundation melody while the rest help build on it. “It is usually Asfar who pens down the lyrics as he as a good grip over the language.”
However, he added that other members are also “venturing into lyric writing to bring a different perspective to the songwriting process.”
Drummer Lashari has written the lyrics of our latest original Paani aur Mitti, Abbas added.
However, their journey has not been easy.
Over the years, the band members have faced a myriad of challenges, including balancing day jobs with music, two members completing their Master’s degrees, and making their music "digestible to the public" among others.
Initially, working together as one entity proved to be a hurdle for them. "The biggest challenge any group, musical or otherwise, can face is a clash of personalities where communication becomes a problem, and people find it hard to open up to each other and resentment builds to a crisis point,” shared Aslam.
“We've had clashes and fights and even gone through a dark period. But we worked through our issues by being honest and communicating openly, not to hurt but to heal,” he added.
With their latest stint on Pepsi Battle of the Bands season three, the band has a lot of exciting projects planned for the future.
From releasing a new music video to producing more music and a few live shows lined up, Bayaan is on its path to be “safely know as one of the best bands Pakistan has ever produced.”
Speaking about their journey, Lashari shared: “Over time, we’re developing a sort of maturity in our music that we can feel through our song arrangements and lyrics. What has remained constant throughout, however, is how much we enjoy the process!”
When asked about the risk of band members parting ways, an assured Shahzad remarked that Bayaan will remain an entity of its own. “That is something we are all united on. Bayaan will remain no matter where we are individually.”
— This article is part of Geo.tv’s series spotlighting Pakistani bands and musicians.