‘So Long, Goodbye’ is Danyal’s second track from the upcoming album, ‘Blue Butterfly’. The track, split into 3 phases, goes from up-tempo in the beginning, to a switch of the beat in between, followed by a surprising bang of an Eastern Traditional Qawwali to which Danyal has lent his voice too. Produced by Danyal himself, ‘So Long, Goodbye’ showcases his versatility not just as an Artist, but also as a Producer. Reflecting on adding the Qawwali portion to the track, Danyal aims to create a fusion like never before, since this is one of the first times we have seen a hip-hop/R&B track featuring a tradition Qawwali!
We spoke to him about the new drop!
Tell us why the song is in 3 phases
I didn’t actually plan on it. It just happened as an experiment. When I got done with the first verse and chorus, I had a writer’s block, and the melody that was naturally coming to me was an entirely different composition, that too dropped to a nearly half-time tempo of the portion I had recorded. So I went for this wild idea of switching the beat mid-way. Then the Qawwali added so much more emotion and texture to the track. I just had to go for it.
What made you add in a qawwali?
Initially there was a western part where the qawwali is sung. I was in the studio working on the track and Hassan Badshah, a producer/composer who was over at the studio for my brother’s work, was sitting in the back with a harmonium waiting for his ride to come. And he kept hearing the loop, and out of the blue just sang this melody on the harmonium. I was instantly in love and knew I HAD to go for it! It added so much to the track, in terms of emotion, depth, and a very unique edge to it.
What is your favourite line from the song and why?
English part: “Outta my way while I skrrt! The wind just might blow up your skirt!” ‘Cause it’s like this cheeky ‘baws’ way to make an exit you know? Eastern: “tu murh ke na ja veen hon sajna, main teriyaan rawaan takdi phiraan” Because the notes chosen for these words just pierced through my heart.
What inspired the lyrics and melodies overall?
Lyrics, as they speak for themselves, are about a betrayal that I went through, where I was told the truth about it as well, and it was expected of me to just ‘forget and move on’, but we ain’t robots are we? Life doesn’t work that way. Hence, the lyrics reflect the frustration I went through on top of the betrayal. The melodies are honestly just the first flow that came into my head. And I’m happy with the result because if you read the lyrics on their own, they seem pretty dark, but the melody and the flow completely shift the dynamics and the vibe. They’re rather fresh.
If you hadn't lent your voice for the qawali portion, who would you have chosen to do it?
I sang the Qawwali alongside Hassan Badshah, since he composed that portion and I liked the texture of his voice as well. It was raw and suited the track. Had I not been the second voice I might have had proper qawwals do the whole thing like I did for Ek Aur Ek 3. But I loved the composition so much I had to jump on it, and me and Badshah sounded decent together in the mix too.
Fusion music has been an on-going trend for so long, it's now it's own genre. Would you say this is something you would want to keep doing?
‘Fusion music’ has been, yes, but two genres like Western R&B/Hip-Hop coming together with traditional Eastern Qawwali? Or Qawwals singing on 808’s? I don’t think I’ve heard that much of them. It’s definitely something I’m going to be experimenting with more, yes.
Does the role of an artist clash with a producer?
Not when you’re producing for yourself. In fact in that case it’s only a benefit since you know what would suit your voice, your artistic expression, your sound etc, and you’re not dependent on anyone to ‘make’ you a track. Honestly, I’m super involved even till the last mixing/engineering, mastering process of the track. I’m very close to the art I create. It’s like a bond that only gets stronger with time, making you a stronger artist as well a producer at the same time.
Any advice for those venturing into the field of music & production?
YES: SPEND TIME IN THE STUDIO. As much as you can. It’s literally about the man hours you put working in the studio that you learn production and get better at it. 20-30% of production is also about the music you listen to so make sure you keep ‘listening’ to music as well. Study your favourite artists. Their sound and production. Also, keep making music and PUT IT OUT THERE.