10 Questions: Khurram Waqar and the ‘Facedown Movement’ feat. Todi, the smoker


By: | Muhammad Ali Azlan |


We sit down with the pre-eminent rock aficionado of Pakistan Mr. Khurram Waqar, lead guitarist, music director and a real cool positive individual.

Khurram has been part of various rock outfits over the years with a varying degree of commercial success, most notable for forming and playing lead guitar for the Iconic ‘Qayaas’. Currently Khurram is a lead guitarist for the band KW and the Facedown Movement.

Let’s do this… This is, Ten Questions.


KW and the facedown Movement is my band and I am KW (Khurram Waqar), It has three very good friends of mine, Mr. Solomon, Mr. Shahzad Hameed and Mr. Kamran Farooque with me and what we like to do is play the music that we like and enjoy while doing so.


Now, coming to what is ‘Facedown Movement’, there could be different perspectives,  I will tell you uh… my perspective. Everybody is going through there 9 to 6 grind, what we call Life, right… so much is happening around us politics, family, and friends to relationships, music etc. Amidst all of that you need to have a very clear objective and then work towards getting your focus aligned with your objective, working towards it. ‘Keep you head down, keep your focus aligned with the objective and work towards it. Enjoy what you are doing, strictly talking about it from music’s perspective here, not other areas of your life, enjoy what you’re doing. Don’t worry about what the people are going to say, or what they think. When we play, It should satisfy you, you should feel energized, charged once you finish it… finish playing.

Don’t worry about success or fame, If it has to come, It’ll come uh… and success doesn’t always mean fame and money. There could be various other forms to success, if it has to just stay focused on your objective, ‘Just keep your head down and Face Down’.  

Why did you start reaching out to people online? 

I’ll go back about 15 to 20 years… uh… at that time social media had not exploded as it has now, at that time there were only online forums, I had a band ‘kNuMb’ at that time, we had a strong online community, a lot of likeminded individuals were a part of that and a lot of healthy discussions (were) going on on a daily basis… on an hourly basis on that forum. Which was very good to see.

You keep talking about a social experiment, please elaborate on that? 

The main purpose is, to reach (once again) out to all of those likeminded individuals and move forward, this is the social experiment. (I will re-terate) The ‘Facedown’ mantra, when you are working towards your objective.. in that process you will meet a lot of likeminded people, people who will like what you’re doing, people who are also doing what you are doing, and they you’re gonna meet people who don’t like what you are doing. So, fine… that’s fine. The purpose is to get likeminded people together.

Like in IT (Information Technology) there is this peer-to-peer technology. Lot of these apps, softwares, they use that, same concept. ‘Get likeminded people together and then slowly grow’.

How important is it that music reaches the right listeners? 

If you have likeminded people, good healthy community, you don’t need to actually do (much) anything.

How do you see music in the digital age? 

It’s evolving… It’s been a blessing in disguise for a lot of individuals, because earlier… initially, if you wanted to record your song you either had to be signed by a record label or you had to have a lot of money, these days you don’t need that, all you need is a computer, a basic sound card, a basic mic, any instrument that you would like to… play.  As we have seen it has helped a lot of individuals, It’s till evolving it’s in its earlier stages… initial stages, it is gonna’ keep evolving.

Who is todi, the smoker?  

TODI – The Smoker – 31st October 2018 – Official Video Release

From ashes to dust, from smoke to rust – Todi, the smoker unleashes on the 31st of October'18"

Posted by KW & The Facedown Movement on Friday, October 26, 2018

Todi, the smoker is basically in the Todi, thaat, or todi scale I would say, Thaat if you look at it from an eastern perspective. I got introduced to it by a very good friend of mine Mr. Taimur Khan, he’s an amazing sarangi player, he plays the Raag Multani, raag Multani is also a todi thaat, I Love ‘Raag Multani’ so… it’s got this…melancholy about it, this was about the time when Kami had shifted from Karachi to Islamabad, I was fooling around with todi, he came around… I think it was probably the evening, I think it was early evening and we just started playing and it was all just one take, I was fooling around with it as was Kami and that was about like… 12 years ago.

Will music cease as an original art form sometimes in the future? 

I don’t think music is going anywhere, it has not gone anywhere for centuries and it will continue on, and nothing is going to happen to it.

Would music have died if it solely remained on manual instruments and not shifted towards a more electronic base? 

Umm… It’s good, a lot of people like it, but that doesn’t mean that it’s a savior, there are lots of genres out there, lots of people still listen to these other genres, relatively… electronic music is a new genre… fine, it’s good that people like it… like listening to it. So it’s not like a savior, not in my opinion. It’s just a new genre.

Is rave the new rock & roll?

Again, rave is another genre which a lot of people appreciate, like it, it’s a good thing there is nothing wring about that but rock and roll is a different genre. So let’s not you know, compare them together, some people are also saying ‘rock and roll is dead’ well… yeath they can say, they can say that, In my opinion what I feel is that… they are different times, there are times when a thing goes up and other times the thing comes down, there are hard times and good times, so this is the hard time. “Rock and Roll is going to come back very strongly and it will come back very soon.”

Your view on reality TV shows trying to revive rock music in Pakistan and fading of the underground scene. (Start 00:09 to END)

Umm… I’ve actually not heard about them, it’s a good thing, if they are doing it but I like to talk about it in a different way and a different perspective, the thing is… there should be no one controlling uh… what you need to listen to, you’re trying to put music out… one sort of music out and you are trying to think… oh, this is what the people like so let’s just put something like ‘this’ out. This is what the ‘Facedown Movement’ is about, there should be no one telling you what you need to put out there, you put out there whatever you want, The way it’s happening everywhere around the world. There are so many genres out there… electronic music, rave, R&B, soul, jazz, funk… all these different genres of rock, all these different genres of metal, everything is out there and there are audience for each of them. I agree, some genres have more mass appeal but that does not mean that there is no listenership for the rest.

So, thinking in our market only a certain sort of music is going to work… for me it’s uh… it doesn’t work and that is what we will be working towards, to ensure that this concept is changed, put whatever you want out there, there will be listeners.

What is this underground Music Scene?…. I mean this was a term the media used in the early 90’s about bands who were playing rock & roll, playing covers of English bands that they liked and at the same time tried to work on originals. Pff…. It’s just music, I don’t agree with this underground, name or tag… which was given, I don’t agree with it. There is no underground music, everything is music, so make it, enjoy it and be happy.

The writer tweets @MuhammadAliAzlan





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