I’m Janat Sohail Aziz, a singer and a songwriter. I’m a fifth year student of Architecture at National College of Arts. Having remained a former artist at Nescafe Basement, I now have a one-man band by the name of Wooly and the Uke- it caters to a completely different genre, the indie genre. My new track is coming out, it’s called Circus. It is a satirical comment on the shallowness of the capitalist driven society today.
What is the idea behind Circus?
Well, it’s my angst- this bizarre hole of phantasmagoria where our heads swirl in fleeting moments, almost melting and remerging as we pour into this grand scheme of things.
What inspired you to write about it?
Have you ever seen a person. Really seen them? It’s sometimes pitiful to watch humans. We circle around in this rat race, climbing over each other’s heads, nibbling on our dreams while hidden away in secret corners- our little endeavours to take over the world. We exist in the absence of our presence and only so often our frail bodies stumble upon what they carry inside. This human condition has always existed as a series of surreal images in my head and that’s what inspired me to really describe them in words.
Just the teaser out and people were awestruck by the way it felt spine chilling- how was it visualized and achieved?
The idea fell through effortlessly like collapsing dominos- from the producer to the narrative to the director, each element was delicately intertwined with the others and experienced growth from there. Awais Gohar, the director and a close friend of mine, always shared this inexpressible energy with me and he, along with his team, understood that emotion the song carried- a veiled turmoil, a cold state of an end coming.
What does making music mean to you?
I’ve always believed this- for me, music is less about creating something that is just the right fit for appreciation and more about stripping yourself of your most valuable emotions and lending them to those listening. It is art, after all.
How do you come around to writing a song?
As humans, whether we realize it or not, we’re deeply enveloped in emotions- these exist as continuously evolving visuals in my head. I feel emotions taking forms, dissolving in the realm of my imagination and pouring out as quivering words dusted on a tune.
People loved you in the Nescafe Basement- what encouraged you to make Wooly and the Uke?
Nescafe Basement has been quite a positive push- it has helped me grow as a person and explore what I want better. Even before I understood the different genres, I always had this indescribable inclination towards indie music. It felt like it fit the little spaces in my head effortlessly and I felt cozy with what poured out of my ukulele. Wooly and the Uke is my safe place, I had to do it.
So we see that Wooly is an important band member, what is his role in your band?
It’s a funny story- so a phoofy, grey monster adorned in delicate dust bunnies decides to enter my life and ignite some romance as an adolescent, only to leave me hanging. A few years in, things get less awkward and we decide to share a bed again. All the while I believed he was secretly snuggling my head in sleep, he was actually rewiring my brain with his carefully plucked crinkled eyelashes to name my band after him. It worked and here we are!
You recently performed at the Lahore Music Meet- how was your experience?
Felt right at home. The founders, the performers, and the audience- everyone had a beautiful world within themselves and it’s always the most fulfilling when your audience listens, feels and reciprocates.
When do we hope to hear more music from you?
I’m always writing one thing or the other, but it’s only when it makes it to the studio that it really gets out there for a lot of people. I do plan on releasing some very soon, till then I’d love to have more of the little performances to connect with my people.
Which musician is your absolute inspiration?In this era, Sufjan Stevens- definitely!
What other instruments do you enjoy playing?
When Wooly’s taking a nap on my ukulele, I usually resort to my Tonbak these days.
Do you have any secret talents?
My head grows symmetrically aligned curls? Will that count?
Do you listen to the kind of music you create- or are you into other genres too?
Oh, I can never stop dancing to Latin Jazz!
What is the last played song on your playlist?
Everlasting Light – The Black Keys
Do you ever like to do any covers?
I do take inspiration from good music, but prefer singing my own thoughts- it’s a better catharsis for me.
How would you describe your style?
Scruffy hair and old t-shirts.