In Pakistan, music collaborations have always worked wonders. Back when the Pakistani pop music scene was alive and thriving, collaborations between different musicians were not a rarity. Whether it was the trio Strings, Junaid Jamshed and Haroon who got together for the patriotic Tu Hai Kahan or just about any song from the Coke Studio franchise – listeners have always enjoyed their favorite musicians get together.
Keeping up with this spirit of Pakistani music, in what is said to be the first of its kind, a unique collaboration is in store for the audience. For the first time, a mainstream actor-singer has collaborated with a trans-woman singer. Yes, Mohsin Abbas Haider and Shyraa Roy have collaborated together for an upcoming music single. Titled Kamli, the song has already started hyping up the audience.
Kamli – the biggest collaboration of the year
Speaking exclusively to Galaxy Lollywood, Mohsin and Shyraa shared their experience working with each other and revealed details about how the collaboration came to be. Shyraa called Kamli as the biggest collaboration of the year and said that Kamli was not going to be just another random song.
“It is a Sufi song. It consists of stories that are about religion, honor, and love. It is not just a song; it’s like a movie. There is a story in it.”
Talking about what the audience can expect from the song, Shyraa added that so much hard work has been put in the song as it took around eight months to be made. The song is said to be a fusion of darbari and pop music.
Mohsin corroborated Shyraa’s statement and said that they had been working on the song for a very long time.
“Shyraa used to send me a composition every few days. Until the composition didn’t click with me personally, I kept on rejecting them. It was a whole process and I think Shyraa deserves credit for being patient.” Said Mohsin about the collaboration.
Mohsin said that as a musician he is very pleased with how the song turned out. He personally likes the song and he credits Shyraa for all the hard work that she put in the song.
The music video for the song, produced in association with Stardom Entertainment, has been shot in Wazirabad and is shot on a grand scale.
Experience working together
When asked about how the idea of collaboration with Mohsin Abbas Haider happened, Shyraa replied that she had initially not expected it to happen. Revealing the story about how they connected, Shyraa said that she had messaged Mohsin on Facebook and asked him if he would be interested to collab with her for a song.
“When he said sure to my project, I became quite excited. I was not even sure whether he’d agree to my proposition or not since he’s a celebrity. I thought he would decline later on, but he never did that.”
Talking about the experience of working with each other, Mohsin and Shyraa had nothing but nice things to say about each other.
“It was fun working with Shyraa. She is brilliant, talented, hardworking, and completely on merit. She did not enter the industry because someone did a favor for her.” Mohsin said.
Shyraa was also nothing but praise for Mohsin. “It was a very nice experience. Mohsin gave me so much respect; he was very humble. Whether we were recording or shooting on set, he respected me very much.”
Views about the transgender community
When asked about the experiences and the reactions that transgender people face in the industry, Mohsin and Shyraa both had profound things to say.
Speaking about the mistreatment that transgender people get in the industry, Mohsin said transgender people deserve to be treated with respect. He confessed that he had not gotten entirely positive and encouraging responses from people when he revealed about the collaboration and that did not sit well with him. Not just the people around him but even the senior anchors in the industry had used indecent words when they commented on the news of him collaborating with Shyraa.
“We think it is really cool to write thesis on the transgender community and we think it is cool to protest for their rights but when it comes to respecting them and giving them professional opportunities, we are either reluctant or we pass comments about people who choose to work with them, just like the comments I got.”
Shyraa also talked about some bad experiences that she had go through because of her identity. She spoke of an incident where she was invited to a show on national television only to be humiliated and harassed. However, Shyraa maintained that one bad experience does not mean that the entire industry is bad.
“I can’t say everyone is bad. There are people who support me and appreciate that a girl from the trans community is standing up confidently and talking about her ambitions.”
Shyraa also revealed that in Kamli she will not be playing the character of a transgender woman but she will appear just as a woman, as who she is.
“It shouldn’t be an abnormal thing. If someone identifies as a woman then they should be treated as such. Yes, I agree that there is a stigma around, and the stereotypes associated with transgender people are many. But when someone, despite all these setbacks, has gone ahead and made a project on a huge scale which features a mainstream celebrity, then they should be given extra encouragement and appreciation for managing to accomplish this task.”
Mohsin added that the naysayers who had wanted him to not do this collaboration initially have now begun to appreciate and like the song seeing the end product. He hopes that this collaboration will set a positive precedent in the industry and will open up new avenues for the artists from the transgender community.
What’s next for Shyraa Roy?
Shryaa shared some details about her upcoming projects and sounded very excited about them.
“I am doing a film revolving around cyber crime as the main lead. The film is for an OTT platform, and it is called Hello Shabnam.“
Apart from Kamli, she has also worked on two solos, a seductive and romantic song Qareeb Aao and a sad song Dil Daariyan. Additionally, as a Galaxy Lollywood exclusive, Shyraa also revealed that she is set to collaborate with none other than the music maestro Rahat Fateh Ali Khan for a classic song.
Kamli is set to release in October, with no date confirmed. Galaxy Lollywood wishes Mohsin and Shyraa all the best for their collaboration and hope that it paves way for more such collaborations.