In his teens, Jal's lead guitarist and vocalist Goher Mumtaz sold his bike, bought a guitar and hid it under his bed. "Everybody in my family has PhD's and are doctors, so they didn't really understand my passion for music," recalls Mumtaz now 29, "I'd wait for them to leave home so that I could practice." One day, just before his Intermediate exams Mumtaz had an accident and broke his leg. Bed-ridden, he was stuck in his room for months, free to spend many hours a day alone with his guitar. This, he claims, was the turning point of his life.
The band Jal was formed in Lahore four years later in 2002, when Mumtaz, bursting with ideas, went hunting for artists who shared a similar approach to music. Initially the band consisted of Mumtaz and Atif Aslam, and the duo created their sensational debut song "Aadat". Due to differences, they soon went their separate ways and Mumtaz started looking for a new vocalist. He met Farhan Saeed through a mutual friend and fellow musician, Zulfiqar Jabbar Khan, and they instantly clicked. "We got a positive response with the new line up on our very first performance," explains Mumtaz, "and the rest is history."
Jal's first album "Aadat" became an instantaneous hit, and their second album "Boondh" won the Lux Style Award for Album of the Year. The song "Sajni" from this album also won the Song and Video of the Year at the same ceremony, but the "proudest moment" for Mumtaz was when they won at the international MTV India Music Awards in 2006. "Winning in another country was an honor, especially because we felt like we represented the entire nation."
With their third album and their first performance at Coke Studio due this year, the band's future looks as glorious as its past.
" We feel really lucky to be a part of this platform, the biggest platform. We've performed everywhere but we haven't had this much fun anywhere "