An Exclusive Interview with The Spellz by Fashion Central

The Spellz

Singer / songwriter NAS was born and raised in Lahore, Pakistan. The Spellz, as he’s otherwise known, is currently residing in Toronto, Canada. A multi-talented artist, The Spellz writes, composes and sings his own songs. With a strong vision to become an international musician, the influence of various cultures is visible through his music.

The essence of The Spellz is in Sufism. Their message of hope which is not restricted to one genre of music or language. This message transcends on various genres of music ranging from rock/fusion/electronic etc. In these ever changing times, the music of The Spellz incorporates various elements of cultures around the world.

Incorporating poetries of great poets such as Baba Bulle Shah, Waris Shah, Ahmad Faraz, William Ernest and Langston Hughes as a part of his meaningful lyrics, The Spellz strives to make music which goes beyond being just entertaining. He would like to inspire the English, Urdu and Punjabi speaking populations globally, through strong inspirational and motivational messages in his songs.


A passionate musician, The Spellz started his musical journey in Lahore in 1999, with an underground band. After moving to Toronto in 2004, NAS took a break from music and shifted his focus on settling down in a new country. In 2012, Nas quit his job at a multinational corporation in New York, to pursue his passion for music. After connecting with Hassan Bokhari as lead guitarist and producer in Toronto, he finally laid down the foundations for The Spellz. To improve his skills as a vocalist, he has been taking vocal coaching lessons and has been learning other aspects including composition & production.

Hassan started his journey as a producer/guitarist over 10 years ago. Recording and producing underground bands in Rawalpindi Pakistan. He moved to Toronto in 2006. Over the years produced full original albums, soundscapes for short films and numerous collaborations/sessions with various artists.

Hassan feels that the music of Spellz is all based on the experimentation with the fusion of various genres, which makes it ever exciting and fresh. Before making every song we start fresh on the drawing board and start from ground zero. Regardless of the popular demand we believe to make our own identity which caters to listeners who prefer quality music.

1. Let’s start off with yourselves. Please tell us how the duo was formed and what inspired the name The Spellz?

The Spellz has two members with Nas (lead vocals and compositions) and Hassan (guitars and audio production). It was formed in late 2013 when I composed a song Bara Ishq and I was looking for a guitarist/producer. I came across Hassan’s past work and was really impressed. We started jamming on Bara Ishq and later we started working on Life is Fine and Master of my fate songs. As we spent more time and got to work with each other more, we realized that we make a really formidable team and our songs are being loved so we should unite.

I named us “The Spellz” because when ever I compose songs, I go into a special zone where nothing else matters. It’s where true music overcomes every other noise. In that moment, I am not making music but music is making me as an artist and person. It simply casts a spell on me. So, I name us The Spellz.

2. Your latest collaboration Sayonee/Turn The Page has received a great response in Pakistan. How did this song come together?

We love to try new ideas, concepts and genres. Monotony bores us. We felt that no one has ever tried to combine the East and Western rock songs. Sayonee by Junoon and Turn The Page by Bob Seager were two songs that we both loved from our teens and they had very similar ideologies by obviously treated differently by the original composers.

Daniel heard our original song Life is Fine and he really liked our work, passion and quality. We rolled out the idea to him about doing this collaboration. He got inspired and decided to join hands with us. A lot of effort went behind the scenes in making it happen but at the end of the day we are all happy that it was well received by the audience.

3. What was the experience like of working with an international star like Daniel Weber?

It was phenomenal. Daniel is an extremely kind hearted, hard working, passionate and humble artist. All qualities of a real and true artist. He understands the true emotions in music. When I spent time with in studio, I could see and feel immediately that he goes into a zone as well where it’s nothing else but just him and music. I am lucky to have met him and learn about the art and industry from him.

4. Are there any specific genres, which you are comfortable making music in?

Our main influence is rock music and even if we are trying to touch, other genres there will be a natural touch of rock music in our sound.

5. Since you are both Pakistanis living abroad, have the different cultures you witnessed influenced your music in any way?

Absolutely and we are very lucky to have seen the golden age of Pakistan’s music industry. The time of Nusrat Fateh, Abida Perveen, Mehdi Hassan and bands like Junoon, Vital Signs, Strings, Awaz, Fringe Benefits, Najam, Yatagaan (if anyone remembers them) lol etc. We also got to hear a lot of good Bollywood music as well. At the same time, we listened to western music like Metallica, Guns and Roses, Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd, Led Zeplin etc. So yes, I think listening to more styles and genres definitely is helping us now with compositions and styles.

6. Which musicians do you look up to?

I think we look up to the classics more than the new artists. In eastern music, Nusrat Fateh, Abida Perveen, Reshma, Mehdi Hassan and in west GnR, Sabbath, Floyd, Zeplin, Nirvana etc.

7. What are your future plans in terms of music?

The plan is to create inspirational and quality music and keep working as hard as humanly possible to represent Pakistan on International stage. We will keep trying new ideas and sounds and that’s what keeps it interesting for ourselves and our listeners. You never know what you can expect from The Spellz next but you can be assured that it will be good quality.

8. In your opinion, how important is a good music video for a song?

Videos are extremely important. A good video can cover for weaknesses in the audio department and on the other hand a bad video can really destroy a good song. Everything is visual these days and that’s why I see a lot of artists putting more time in video than audio. I personally don’t agree with that because at the end of the day we are musicians making songs.

That’s why Hassan and I focus on the audio side as that’s our strength while Rehan Noorani handles all the video aspects for us. I am lucky to have him on my side as he has experienced working with Jami (Azaad Films) in Pakistan and can put things visually in perspective.  So, we utilize his strength for the videos and so far the response has been phenomenal on videos as well.

9. Do you think Pakistanis have become more open to collaborations now?

I think Nusrat Fateh showed it to us long time ago by working with western producers. I think Pakistanis artist are collaborating with in their four walls or as far as India. I haven’t seen many Pakistani artists collaborating with Middle Eastern, Western, Spanish, East Asian artists. I think artist feel that language is a barrier. What they need to realize is that music has no boundaries.

People from other cultures get inspired by our sounds and we get hooked to their sounds. So we need to open up a bit more and work with other artists from cultures as well because the world is a small village now.

10. What is your opinion about corporate sponsored music shows?

I think it is great that big corporations are sponsoring local talents. Artists are generally not rich and require assistance of some sort to help promote their talents to masses. Unless you are a big name artist, new artists including The Spellz don’t have thousands of dollars to spend on marketing, social media and advertisements and all of these require monies. 9 out 10 times a new artist does not have the funds.

Even if they have the funds, they do not know where/how to promote themselves. So a corporate sponsorship really helps a new artist big time and takes away the pressure from them and allows them to concentrate on the music only.

11. What would be your message for Fashion Central readers?

Love Pakistan. It is our motherland and we need to love it like it deserves. We need to do every thing possible to ensure that we bring good name to our country regardless of where we are situated. Never be afraid of working hard towards your goals and work with honesty and integrity.

The essence of The Spellz is Sufi. The Spellz brings the message of hope which is not restricted to one genre of music or language.

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