Hip & Home Grown is a brand new interview series on EditionPK. Each week, we will talking to a young person in a creative field of work and explore what motivates them to take the road less traveled.
I first came across the work of Muhammad Shah last year - a 40 second music video about loadshedding. The video so tragically (yet perfectly) encapsulated the experience of being trapped in a Pakistani summer without electricity. It was kinda genius. Born and raised in Lahore (that’s where Rizwan Burger is, he explained), there is something elusive about this 28 year old musician and film maker.
As far as quirky creatives go, Muhammad Shah does fit the bill. An MBA by qualification, Muhammad was rather upfront about the fact that he did not enjoy his higher education experience and just knew that a ‘normal’ job wasn’t for him. And film-making became his escape. Muhammad also makes music, but perhaps more for himself than other. He spoke of how music and writing helped him channel his anger.
His popularity, or rather recognition for his art grew further as he began incorporating elements of pop culture into his music videos - his crush on Hania Amir and Alia Bhatt, his love for Rizwan Burger and Butt Karahi. Both Hania Amir and Alia Bhatt did reply to his odes to them, which has got to count for something.
I got to ask him a few questions about what drives to do what he does.
What is your creative super power?
I don’t think I have any. Unless you count being random as a creative super power.
And what feeds your creativity?
I would say boredom but I am also very lazy. Sometimes I get lazy and do nothing about them.
Do you feel like pursuing your creative field might not be able to give you the kind of financial freedom you want?
It might not but it is very fulfilling to have the freedom to just do what you like. If only the entertainment industry was slightly more evolved here but I think new people are bringing a nice change. So maybe we all make bank by doing what we love later.
What drives you to pursue a career thats more passion and often more difficult to explain in terms of ‘what do you do for a living,’?
Like I said, it’s very fulfilling. I love doing this and it’s also an escape from the real world for me. Honestly, the person you see in the videos is someone I would like to be.
Much of your content seems to come from a place of love, whether it be Hania Amir, a jahaz or Alia Bhatt? What’s next?
I wouldn’t give someone that much attention if I didn’t like them. Originally I made the first Hania song because I wanted her to be on the remix. That message wasn’t clear, so I partially blame myself. With Alia, I wanted the attention because I knew everyone would write about it if she noticed.
I don’t have any person in mind at the moment. It could go from Jhanvi Kapoor to Will Smith; you just never know what clicks inside my head right now. I want to do some experiments.
What happened on the 16th? Did Hania ghost you?
I assumed 16th was a joke but my friends forced me to ask about it and when I did, she left me on seen and that just gave me the idea for another video. She did reply eventually. Hania’s very nice and I did meet her recently. Highlight for me was her knowing my lyrics.
What are you listening to/watching/reading right now?
I am rewatching Mindhunter again. I haven’t read a book since the covid thing started last year but I’ve got some new books that I will read, now that I’ve got some time. I am caught between comic books or non-fiction.
There is an honest quality about the 28-and-a-half-year-old and an kind of mysterious, nonchalance too. While the interaction did still leave me thinking about what really drives Muhammad, I did go back and watch my favorite video by him a few more times. Jahaz.