Tariq Amin loves the limelight, if it's not fashion, it's music. He has gone into music big time with his involvement not just restricted to appearances in videos. Tariq co-founded Indispensable Communications (IC) last year, a legal music label in a country where music piracy is the norm. The reason: For Tariq, music is the next level.
Now after a string of recent appearances in various music videos like 'Deewana' by Ali Azmat, Joey's 'Main Nahi Hoon', Tariq's latest feat is 'Malal' by Abbas Ali Khan – the Islamabad based singer. The style guru turns into a vampire in the video and shocked the audience one more time. But then, that is quintessential Tariq.
TelePk catches up with the ace stylist who sees this video as a celebration of 25 years spent in the industry.
TelePk What is the concept of this new video, 'Malal'?
It's a vampire story but done with an eastern theme. The song follows a completely western melody so that is a good contrast with the eastern touch in the visuals. 'Malal' means regret, and the video conveys the meaning of the word and much more. There is a definite story to the video. We have done our job, people can make of it what they will.
TelePk Was it your concept?
Abbas and myself both sat down and came up with the concept. The director, Shehryar Hydri was also involved. I am a team player and I really enjoy working with a bunch of people who share a vision.
TelePk Why this concept?
Abbas has been fascinated by vampires since childhood and so am I. He likes those edgy, underworld characters and we both took it up as a challenge. We had to make sure it didn't end up looking like the Zee horror show. There is a lot of hard work put in to this video, from finding the right person to do the dental job to getting the cast to agree to have their teeth altered. There was a lot of time spent researching the characters and it fits in beautifully with the concept.
TelePk What is the relevance of this concept to the local market?
Lately people have started experimenting with new ideas and I think the audience can relate to different concepts now. Not everybody wants to see boy and girl dancing in the field. Our first objective was to make an impact visually. And once you begin to like the video, you would like the song. Personally, I feel that this song couldn't have had another video. The visual reference to the audio is precise. I was in charge of the styling and art direction of this video. We all worked hard because I believe there is no point doing a half hearted job. The video is going to be running forever so why do a bad job?
TelePk There was a lot of attention given to the cast as well.
The cast was very important for this video as all the characters were strong and they needed professional actors. Each character in the video portrays a time frame. Samina Peerzada's character is inspired from old civilisation. Mishi Khan was more Moghul inspired while Mehreen Raheal is more contemporary. The song is a haunting piece of music and the visual should support it. That is why all characters were researched thoroughly from costumes to the look. And in the end everybody looked tailor made for the role. A lot of people haven't recognised me because of my look. Abbas knows what he wants, so did I and together we made a good team. A lot of people might think it is a cliched theme but it is what you make of it. It's reinvention and executing the idea really well.
TelePk Do you support videos with big budgets?
It depends. If people want to pay for it and sponsors want to spend, then sure. It also depends on the song. One example is 'Sun Re' which wasn't a high budget video at all but it still looked good and won accolades.
TelePk How is your association with music coming along?
It's going well. I have won a couple of awards. IC has three number ones with Abbas. And then Arieb's album is coming out followed by Siege's. I may be not doing fashion but I am doing what I do best through videos. To me, music is the next level. My styling is still there.
IC is going slow and steady. We are in our first year, all the release issues are sorted out so are the copyright issues. Abbas will be out there for everyone to buy in a couple of weeks.
TelePk What about your appearances in videos?
I follow the character whenever I play one in the video. I am completely involved in the role whether it is a genie in 'Channo' or the movie producer I played in Joey's 'Main Nahi Hoon'. I play a vampire 'Malal'. I don't force myself into projects but I do what I like. I am not appearing in Shehzad Roy's 'Tumhe Yaad Ho' but I did the styling for it.
TelePk What's with you and Abbas Ali Khan's videos?
A lot of people take his music more seriously and he is a popular artist prior to him knowing me or his association with IC. It's just that creative minds work together. Our idea is always to achieve something which is fresh, not something which has been done before. I like to use my mind in whatever I do. This is my 25th year in the business. I take this as a 25 year celebration in my career.
TelePk What do you think about the local music scene?
It's rocking. There is a lot of talent and I absolutely love some of the music. You know there are a few videos I see on air or some songs I listen to and I wish my name was on the video.
The underground scene is thriving in Islamabad. A young, not too rebellious, and cleaner music crowd is coming up which is very different than the parallel life I live.
TelePk What's happening on the fashion front?
I am doing whatever I need to do. I am working on a lot of fashion shows and commercials and increasingly doing hair.
TelePk What about the LSAs, are you participating?