Meet Ali Raza, the super talented keyboardist from Kashmir, who also happens to be a student of Dow Medical College.
When he’s not busy rocking the stage with his Kashmir band mates, he’s studying for ward tests and doing clinical rotations. Talk about all-rounders!
Ali plays keyboards for Kashmir and has been into music for about 6 years now. We got in touch with him to get to know more about him and his music:
“I began taking interest in music when I was in 4th Grade. I could play a few tunes on the keyboard, but only when I was in A-levels did I start to give music serious thought. It’s something that I love doing. Apart from keyboards, I also play guitars and baansuri. Currently, I’m learning the violin,” shares Ali.
“To be honest,” he continues, “the interest in music was more mathematical than artistic. The ‘fundamental frequencies’ we studied in Physics, and the ‘geometric progressions’ we did in Math, were all demonstrated in the theory of music. This is the reason I decided to explore the musical theory. The more I delved into it, the more amazing music became for me. One thing led to another. I became the president of the music society in school, found like-minded musicians and became part of this band.”
When asked about which artists have influenced him the most, Ali had the following to say:
“Hans Zimmer is my greatest inspiration in music. Most people don’t know about this great musician, but he’s the composer of background scores for some epic movies like Pirates of the Caribbean, The Dark Knight, Sherlock Holmes, Interstellar and Dunkirk, among others.”
Ali loves making orchestral music the most and it’s something he really likes listening to as well:
“We, as a band, don’t make orchestral music since we are an alternative rock band,” he shares. “However, this is something I really like listening to and one day, hope to produce. With the band, I love making music that follows the footsteps of Pink Floyd, Radiohead, and Coldplay.”
We asked him how he manages med school and studies with his jamming sessions. Ali thinks people assume it’s harder than it actually is:
“People often ask me that. Of course, it does get difficult at times. But take the example of Brian May, Queen’s lead guitarist. He did a Ph.D. in astrophysics, wrote books on it, became a Vice Chancellor, while simultaneously being one of the most renowned guitarists of his time. So if you have things planned, it does work out. I remember I was doing a concert in Islamabad two days before my module exam.”
“During the auditions for Pepsi Battle of the Bands, while everyone was rehearsing backstage, I was studying Pediatrics backstage since I had a ward test the next day. You can manage it if you have the passion for it”.
Upon our request, Ali shared his favorite song by his band:
“My favorite song is Soch. It’s technically a good song, with subtle key changes and a signature change. But it also captures the essence of insomnia. Our music isn’t conventionally about love and breakups. This particular song is about insomnia and details of how someone experiencing it feels about things.”
Ali’s message to the young aspiring musicians out there is beautiful:
“Find your reason for getting into music. Whether it’s for fame or money, to woo women, to appear ‘cool’ or to say something to the world, just realize your reason. Music is a tough industry where you are likely to lose hope when things don’t go your way, and that’s when the realization of your reason for getting into music makes you stay determined.”
Did Ali Raza’s success story inspire your inner artist? Let us know what you think in the comments section. Don’t forget to tag your artistic friends!
Cover image via Pepsi Pakistan