Exclusive With Mohsin Abbas Haider.
Mediapeedia recently had the opportunity to meet with the multi-talented singer, DJ, RJ, and Na Maloom Afraad`s lead star, Mohsin Abbas Haider. He rose to fame with his exceptional DJ-ing skills on Dunya News` political comedy show, Mazaq Raat. After 2 years of his film debut, Mohsin`s new film, Teri Meri Love Story is all set to release on 2nd September, 2016 and we can`t wait to watch a rom-com coming out of Pakistan. The film is directed by Jawad Bashir and co-starring Mohsib Mirza, Ushna Shah, Omar Shahzad, Ahmed Abdul Rahman and Uzma Khan. Mohsin singing career is also on a roll. After having sung more than 1500 songs on Mazaq Raat, he is debuting on Coke Studio`s season 9 with his solo performance on the same date as his movie release!
To find out more about Mohsin`s upcoming film, personal life and future plans, Mediapeedia had a lively discussion with the star. Here`s what we found!
MP: What should the users expect from your upcoming film, Teri Meri Love Story?
MAH: Teri Meri Love Story is my second film, after Na Maloom Afraad. People generally expect me to be a very hyperactive, comic, loud and larger than life character. So my role in the film is exactly like that, but in a heroic manner. My character in the film is called Sherry. The film is directed by Jawad Bashir. The film is releasing on the 2nd September, 2016 and alongside other films releasing on Eid, we expect a lot from viewers a lot.
MP: What`s the storyline of the film?
MAH: The film is a wrong call. The story revolves around three friends who study at a film school.
Esha (Ushna Shah) is a beautiful, stylish TV host who is on an adventurous shooting assignment and is accompanied by her shooting crew and friends, the goofy and mischievous Sherry (myself), Uzma Khan and Danish (Ahmad Abdul Rehman). Esha wants to marry her true love Ramis (Omer Shahzad) but her father (Salman Shahid) is adamant that she marries her childhood family friend Nael (Mohib Mirza). TMLS follows the trio’s adventurous and hilarious journey to finding true love.
MP: How was your experience of working on Na-Maloom Afraad? Since it was your debut, how did you feel? Were you scared, happy?
MAH: I don`t generally get scared while acting. I feel there`s a line between confidence and over confidence, and I lie somewhere between it. I am a little above confidence and a little below over confidence.
MP: Why`s the marketing/PR promotions of TMLS not as much as other films coming out at the same time?
MAH: Marketing strategy is generally planned out by the PR agency hired by the producer. Teri Meri Love Story doesn`t have a media partner, so yeah, activations etc. are not running with full swing yet. I have no idea what the rationale behind not having a media partner was, but marketing and activations is purely the producer`s domain. We set a trend of promotions with the release of Na-Maloom Afraad, and I surely miss that.
MP: Your skill set is very diverse. You were an RJ, singer, VO Artist, DJ and now acting. How`s your on-screen experience different than off-screen and is this shift from music to acting permanent?
MAH: I am basically an actor. I started with acting and realized after some time that I have the potential to sing as well. I came to Karachi and explored my passion with a formal music education from NAPA. I personally enjoy acting more than singing. So acting would be my wife, and singing is my girlfriend.
MP: What are your future plans?
MAH: To be very honest, I have never planned my career. The only career choice I ever made was leaving Faisalabad and coming to Karachi to pursue a career in media. I did numerous projects which were very diverse and different from one another. But I haven`t planned anything as such. Things are coming up, there are some film offers, so that for now. I am going with the flow.
MP: Since you enjoy acting, why haven`t we seen you in Pakistani TV dramas as yet?
MAH: In a film, there`s a dedicated department that takes care of the wardrobe. In dramas, you have to make your own wardrobe and take care of it. I simply hate that part. I have signed up for a new serial, and I sincerely hope someone will take care of my wardrobe. I want to focus on acting.
MP: Who`s your favorite female actress in Pakistan?
MAH: Sania Saeed
MP: Who`s the hottest female actress in Pakistan?
MAH: Mehwish Hayat
MP: Who`s the best looking actress in Pakistan?
MAH: Mahira Khan and Aisha Khan
MP: Who do you aspire to be like? As an actor who do you look up to?
MAH: Shahrukh Khan and Will Smith. I believe they`re the true embodiment of the tag `self-made` and I can relate to my struggles as an actor to them.
MP: Who`s your favorite co-star?
MAH: I love working with Javed Sheikh sahab! While shooting for Na Maloom Afraad, he was the youngest man on the set, always. He was more energetic than me and Fahad together and I simply loved sharing screen with him.
MP: In Pakistani scenario, parents are generally not too supportive with media careers. How did your parents react to your acting/media career?
MAH: In Punjab side, it`s very common to teach your son a talent, and then send him abroad. I was sent to ICS but I am so bad with math and stats that I flipped out. With a lot of struggle I finished 1st year, and in that year I started radio. Gradually, my field started diverting and I started doing voice-overs and copy writing with an ad agency. My family was very supportive overall. I pursued music in Faislabad, I joined the cricket team, I came to Karachi to learn music and they trusted me with everything and were very supportive throughout.
MP: What was your first ever media project?
MAH: My first ever project was a song called Jaana Hai Ufaq Par, which if people watch now, will throw me out of the industry! :D We shot that video in Chiniot and recorder music with a guy who was a Manager at a Petrol Pump and had a small room where there was no audio equipment. The song ran on a few channels for a couple of days but when I saw it running on screen, I wasn`t satisfied and eventually took it down.
MP: What did you want to become as a child?
MAH: I always wanted to become a cricketer. I went to Pindi in my first year of college to pursue cricket and play club cricket. My family allowed me to become a part of it only on the condition that I don`t discontinue studies. When I went there, nobody from the team was a student, so I eventually had to return.
MP: What do you do in your spare time?
MAH: I listen to music. Watch films. I write poetry. Spend time in my house, I don`t like to socialize much.
MP: 5 Must Watch Films?
MAH: 7 Pounds, In Pursuit of Happiness, Na Maloom Afraad (obviously!) Shah, Bhag Mika Bhag.
MP: How does it feel to be a public figure?
MAH: I have no idea what kind of feeling it is, because I never feel that way. It`s great to meet fans, get pictures taken etc. but my fans sometimes feel disappointed to see me off-screen because as compared to the roles I do, I am very quiet, not-too-talkative and serious kind of a person in real life and I get to hear this from my fans a lot.
I like when people appreciate my work, but I never feel like a celebrity.
MP: Since you`re a musician yourself, what`s your genre of music?
MAH: I experiment a lot with music. I listen to almost everything. But yeah, there`s mostly a genre that`s closer to your heart. I like melodious, soft and soulful songs more. I am probably the only singer in Pakistan who has sung in almost every genre. I have performed about 1500 songs since I started doing Mazaq Raat.
MP: What`s your advice to the youth who wants to enter the field?
MAH: Talent is God-gifted but one needs to polish it under the supervision of a teacher. I believe education and skill training is necessary. My advice to people who are looking to enter the field would be that please understand that mediocrity has no place anywhere. If you want to do quality work and stand out, you`ll have to explore your x-factor and work on it. If you think you`re talented, work hard and polish your skills until you know what you can do, no one else can.
MP: Which recent Pakistani film do you love the most?
MAH: I love Biographies. So Mahemir, Manto and Shah.
MP: What`s your opinion about Coke Studio`s Afreen?
MAH: I love it. Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan has given so much to the industry that for generations, musicians will come and earn their name through his songs. He has done the work of centuries. And no one could have executed this song better than Rahat Fateh Ali Khan.
MP: Coke Studio and Nescafe Basement?
MAH: I have very emotional connection with both CS and NB. I was actually going to perform for NB but Xulfi thought I am a singer for a bigger platform. So I feel that Nescafe Basement is that road that will polish young stars so can perform on bigger platforms like Coke Studio.
I think it’s only fair that we maintain our dignity and ban their films and shows, and refuse to play cricket with them ..
My baba never told me how this industry works, probably because he wanted me and Shehzad to learn it all by ourselves.
The awareness is increasing day by day. I think few people watch morning shows and they generally like to watch informat..
I`d like to develop my character beyond the stigma and stereotype..