MOOSA SALEEM – A MUSIC COMPOSER, FILMMAKER, AUTHOR, AND A GRAPHIC NOVELIST
Moosa Saleem is a music composer and songwriter with four albums to his name ranging from contemporary classical to rock, folk to electronic music. The albums are available on spotify named as Heliospheric Pilgrim, Kashmir, Iconoclastic Atheist, and Silhouettes on the Wall. Hailing from Kashmir (Paradise on Earth), he is settled in Mumbai now. Moosa loves to travel and is a diehard romantic of cricket.
He has also worked as an assistant director in films and has written six books including two graphic novels.
Here is Moosa Saleem in a conversation with GOGO Magazine.
1) When did your journey as a musician begin?
I started writing original music in 2012, but it took me four years to finish my first album.
2) Tell us more about your albums.
I don’t stick with just one genre. I have made music in various genres – contemporary classical, folk, rock, metal and electronic. I love fusing folk instruments with various genres. Each album is a whole new world. My first two albums were contemporary classical and folk. While working on my third album, which was also a contemporary classical one; when I started writing it, I wasn’t feeling it and thought of making it heavier and darker. That’s how Iconoclastic Atheist album was made. My last album is my most experimental one. I have fused folk instruments from India, Middle East, Greece, China, Africa with electronic music. It was quite an amazing experience.
3) Which has been your first track?
Emptiness After Exodus. This track is part of my first album as well and took me 10 months to finish it. I don’t think I ever spent so much time on any other track again.
4) Who has been your inspiration?
I was into rock and metal music in my school. But music from Ludovico Einaudi, Yann Tiersen, Clint Mansell, Max Richter and Steven Wilson drove me towards making my own music.
5) Where do you see yourself in next 5 years?
I want to compose for films and web-series – songs and background score, both. But I will always keep experimenting with my sound and release music independently.
6) Which has been your most memorable project?
Undoubtedly, my first album – Kashmir….
It will always be close to my heart. Every track from that album is an emotion. I tried my best to show Kashmir through my music. No words, no videos, just music!
7) Tell us about your journey as an assistant director.
My journey started with Haider, a Bollywood film. I was working as an intern in the film. I loved the whole process of filmmaking so much I went to Albania to assist an Internationally acclaimed director, Kujtim Ashku. After coming back to India, I worked as an assistant director on films like Laila Majnu by Sajid Ali and Shikara by Vidhu Vinod Chopra.
8) How and when did you start writing? Tell us about your graphic novels too.
I started writing poems and short stories in school but never shared them with anybody. I never felt the confidence to share them until I went to the film school and started writing stories for short films that I made with my friends.
After my first book came out, a graphic designer and artist contacted me to write a story that he will illustrate for a graphic novel. That idea really excited me. It took us 2 years to finish it but it was some journey.
9) How was life in quarantine?
From March till May 2020, I did nothing productive. The whole situation outside was just depressing. In June, I started going through my old tunes and chose the ones with potential and started polishing them. I finished 12 tracks by September. My latest single – Aaj Kal with Umer Farooq was the first track I made in quarantine.
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