will soon be starting their mini India tour as a part of VH1
Handpicked. Starting from Mumbai, the band will perform in Mumbai, New
Delhi and Pune.
Formed in 1997, the band has sold close to seven million
compilation-units in over 30 countries. Their most appreciated songs
being Aicha (originally by Khaled), Guantanamo, and some more. In the
last few years, the band has toured extensively and recently, has faced
some rough weather among themselves. Prior to the release of their
recent album Sound of A rebel, Outlandish was about to split, but
having found the energy and the zest back – the band is out on a new
Before they kickstart their three city India tour, Outlandish singer and rapper Waqas Ali Qadri speaks to Radioandmusic.com’s Chirag Sutar
about their new album, getting star struck on their last India tour,
and why they had lost interest and were about to go their separate
This is your second tour of India….
Yes, the first time we came was in 2003 for the MTV Immies. I
remember I was completely star struck as all the stars of the Indian
cinema were present. I met Shah Rukh Khan and that was the first time
in my career that I was ‘star struck’. My band members had no clue what
was going on. I was like, “Just shut up, and take a picture (laughs).”
The highlight was that AR Rahman had asked to meet us and my knees were shaking – He’s my biggest musical idol...
The present album (Sound Of A Rebel) sounds very mature compared to your previous albums…
Yes, we have matured a bit. Of course, we are not 22 anymore … I
am 33, Isam is 33 and Lenny is 34 – we have got wives and children –
but you know, priorities change and that shows in our music as well.
But this album is special to us because we have rediscovered the
original energy that we had. This album has more of tempo and more
The last album was closer to me and much more introspective. We
had done a lot of traveling and we had seen a lot of different things –
fame, number one positions – and everything else that comes with it…
and that, I feel messes with the young mind and it messes with your ego. Our last album as more like a soul searching album – it was a transition from young man to a man … to a grown up…
I read the band was about to break up?
Yes it’s true. It had become so business oriented for us that we
forgot to nourish the friendship and the music. Well, after being
together for so many years, we don’t really see each other as friends,
it’s more like brotherhood and sometimes on days you love your brother
and then you also hate your brother…
We decided to start fresh and dumped one and a half years of
our work and that included 30 of our tracks. It hurt, but the members
all agreed that it was a necessary step to take. We decided that this
is not fair for us as friends, as brothers… and for the audience –
that’s when we decided to get back.
You really stand out for the kind of lyrics you write… what are the issues that you try to address through your music?
A lot of people ask us - are you a political band? Or an activist band… Or a party band…
I think people like to box us just because we might make a song
about what’s happening in Africa – but generally our music is about the
people. We always focus on our own lives and feelings that we experince
as we move and that’s what we write about basically. So, we don’t have
a huge formula for writing lyrics.
Whatever we talk about … even if it’s a political issue .. it
won’t be about criticizing, say, Bush, or Zardari or Blair – that’s
not our thing. What we might do is talk about ‘power defects’ and about
you and I in every day lives – more like a human touch than some
What is in plans for those who plan to watch you LIVE?
Listeners expect a lot of energy from us – and we have our very
competent musicians. There’s going to be lot of interaction with the
listeners and if the crowd gives us the energy back – we’ll just take
it through the roofs!
Being of Pakistani origin, haven’t you ever thought of performing in Pakistan?
Well, we have had a couple of offers, but it’s more to do with
the conditions – It’s not everyday that you can have a western
performance there. In Pakistan people do business in another way – in the
international music scene you have contracts and many other legal
things which might scare some people … but leaving that aside.. I
really really want to do a concert.
One of my friends in Pakistan told me yaar aapto superstar ho
(laughs)… I said the day I find our (outlandish) pirated copy in
Rainbow Centre, (an infamous place for pirated copy CD’s in Karachi) I
will believe you – so he took me there and they had like all the
Well, I’d definitely want to perform in Pakistan as the people
there are really ‘in’ for music, and a musician of Pakistani origin is
like a great energy boost for them – but we are performers, be it any
place…for us it’s getting our music out there .. But, yes... It’s
something else in your own country.
Outlandish is Isam Bachiri (born in Denmark and of
Moroccan background), Waqas Ali Qadri (born in Denmark and of Pakistani
background), and Lenny Martinez (born in Honduras and is of Cuban and
Tour Schedule -
July 8 – Hard Rock Cafe, Mumbai
July 10 – Hard Rock Cafe, New Delhi
July 11 – Hard Rock Cafe, Pune