SYMT Shares Their Coke Studio Experience [Interview]

The Lahore-based pop rock band, SYMT, who performed their first Coke Studio session this year, shared their experience and the magical moments they had, while making their songs with the house band of Coke Studio. The band has a total of two performances this season.

How do you feel about your performance on Coke Studio? What kind of reaction are you getting from the audience?

We did the best we could. It was a pretty comfortable environment and Haroon decided to Improvise a bit and I decided to do backing vocals along with Zoe and Rachel which turned out pretty good. Hassan played some really nice sounding arpeggios adding a great flavor to the song. We were all encouraged to experiment and improvise and do whatever we felt like and that is why we think that TUM KAHO is sounding awesome, the energy is great and pretty intense in the second half and the ending of the song.

How was your experience of performing on Coke Studio? Was that a nostalgic experience?

This is actually the first time we are on Coke Studio. We came earlier this year to rehearse our songs and then we went back to record it with the same excitement. The song kept sounding better. Kept growing on us. And when we went for the final recording.. everyone on the set was already humming it. They kept coming to us and telling us how much they loved the track already. We felt extremely excited and humbled at the same time.

Tell us about some of the magical moments you had while shooting Coke Studio.

The first time when we met Rohail Hyatt and he told us that he loves our song, it was truly a magical moment. As kids, we had seen Vital Signs on TV and had been huge fans. We never imagined there would be a day that we’d be working with one of them. Getting to meet him and him telling us that he loves our song! Was truly a magical moment. Plus, when we were about to record our song, we just looked around at all the great musicians we were going to record this with. We had Asad Ahmed (another super musician whom we grew up listening to), Farhad Humayun, Omran Shafique, Mannu playing that crazy bass guitar, Sikandar Mufti, Zoe and Rachel. Time did stop for a while there.

I don’t think anything can go wrong when such great artists work on something together. So, how was it to make the songs with the house band?

No doubt the house band comprises of the top most musicians of Pakistan. They all have their unique style of playing and they were adding their unique flavor to the song. Its just a magical thing when such great artists get together to work on something.. you just have to let the energies flow and the end product cannot be anything but beautiful. That’s exactly what we did.

Tell us about some unseen moments that probably the fans might not get to see on the show.

While staying at the hotel, for 2 days Haroon watched cricket. Old matches, new matches, Test Matches!! We entered Hassan’s room and he was ironing something normally people don’t really iron. While we were shooting BTS I was asked a question to which I gave a long emotional answer which, honestly, was not really making sense I’d say. We all starting laughing and I am glad they didn’t use that footage.

Whose performance touched you the most? Do you have a favorite song in the season?

We have just heard the first 5 songs which are released along with our song in episode 1. Its hard to say.. since all of the songs were so amazing we cant really pick out one. But to name a few.. we think Bohemia was great, so was Atif and Qayaas’s song, Hamayoon Khan is our all time favorite! And we are really looking forward to Overload’s performance! It’s a super band.

What are your thoughts on the future of live music, and the challenges the industry faces moving forward.

Music is meant to be played live. We love performing live, That is the real thing actually! and our live act is pretty strong. So, all we can say is we hope that live music doesn’t ever fade away or die.

When you mix the genres tastefully I think the end result always come out something new and fresh. Did you experiment with your music or did you hone in on one type of sound?

SYMT already has a different sound and it cannot be compared with any other current artist from the industry. But our Coke Studio sessions will definitely have a feel different from that of our original sound. We did play around with it and so did the house band. We think it came out pretty new and fresh.

What motivates you in this musical journey?

Music itself. And experimenting and finding new dimensions of it keeps us going.

What do you think the biggest differences were between the last season and the new one?

We have a lot of newer acts this time. A lot of bands are introduced.. Qayaas is there, Uzair Jaswal, and then Overload which is most awaited for, I believe. So, this time Coke Studio has a whole new essence and flavor to it which you wont be able to find in the last 4 seasons. The most important difference is that SYMT is on it for the first time 😉 .. which has been well received by the listeners too! We have read the reviews on Youtube and are thankful to the listeners for their kind words 🙂

– Photos Courtesy: Kohi Marri