The life and times of Omran Shafique of Mauj

September 3, 2009

Omran Shafique

Omran Shafique

In Bahrain, a musical star was about to be born. At 18, Omran Shafique moved to the state of Texas in America. From visits to Pakistan, Omran was interested in Pakistan’s music scene, diverse in its styles and formats. Even from the old days, he always thought the pop/rock scene in Pakistan was interesting. Music as his passion, guitar as his favorite instrument, Omran had the talent needed to become a great musician. 15 years on, Omran Shafique (being a creative and talented person) decided to move to Pakistan to pursue music as a career.

Around 2001, Omran formed a band in Houston, Texas, named Mauj (translated as ‘Wave’), to further progress in his musical career. This ‘wave’ consisted of Omran himself as the vocalist and guitarist, Mohsin Atif, the bass player and a co-lyricist. Previous members had came and went but the 3 stood their ground. Once Omran moved to Pakistan, however, the line-up changed. Mohsin Atif couldn’t go to Pakistan with him so Omran started jamming with his old friends from Pakistan.

The line-up had now changed again, but that didn’t stop Omran from pursuing his passion of music. Now, Mauj is compromised of Omran himself again, the vocalist and guitarist, Sameer Ahmed who plays bass, Hamza Jafri who plays guitar, and Sikandar Mufti who plays the drums. This ‘wave’ would be able to strike a powerful blow to Pakistan’s music scene, new in diversity and originality.

In 2004, Mauj released their first single, “Khushfehmi“, directed by Babar Sheikh. This funky jazz-style song became a hit in the music charts and showed people what Mauj could do, diverse in originality and talent. Also in 2004, Mauj released another groovy single, “Paheliyan“, which was also a hit in the charts. On 24 April 2009, Mauj had released their debut album, “Now In Technicolor“. It includes their previous hits and new tracks that have amazed listeners, from the funky guitar riffs, meaningful deep (and sometimes comical) lyrics and just great music! The originality the band has produced has given them a unique status internationally. Pakistan’s music scene was new to their music, and it had taken Pakistan’s music scene to evolution.

Besides Mauj, Omran had started a Hip Hop/R&B project called Kostal back in Texas. It began with Taha Malik, a DJ/Producer who met Omran to help record his album for Mauj. While working with Taha, Kostal released a track named “Jaan Jaye“. An album is expected soon. Omran also played in a band called Co-VEN that consists of the same band members of Mauj. However, in this band, Hamza Jafri was given the front seat, not Omran. Omran has also played for the popular artist, Ali Azmat, for his album Klashinfolk. His work with other projects displays his passion for music. To him, the sky’s the limit.

Omran has worked alongside another popular music project called Coke Studio, a Pakistani television series featuring live musical performances and focussing on the diverse music scene of Pakistan. Omran is a featured artist who plays the guitars in the house band, alongside other professionals also passionate about music. With his help, Coke Studio has broadcasted on Pakistani television and radio, more fans have joined official Coke Studio pages, and music videos have been internationally popular.

Omran Shafique has proved how far one can go with music, with the passion, driving force and the determination to succeed. Being passionate for music at a young age, he knew what he wanted to achieve and achieved it. For his inspirational success, I’m sure this is just the beginning.