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How Hannan’s ‘Iraaday’ changed over time | The Express Tribune


Abdul Hannan, the man behind contemporary chart-busters such as Iraaday and Bikhra, is not just a musician but also a software engineer and he does not plan on giving up one for the other. From the one-word titles of his songs to his opinion on marriage and society to how he manages life between coding and music, the singer told it all in a candid conversation.

Speaking to Fuchsia, Hannan talked about why his songs only have one-word Urdu titles and whether that’s a conscious choice. “There was a certain aesthetic that I aimed to maintain. Every word is a story in its own way and that was the goal. I also thought that if my discography has just a one-word title, that’ll look aesthetic on my profile and at the same time, the value of those words will increase. If someone says the word Iraaday, people instantly think of me.”

He didn’t think he’d get so popular so soon but ultimately always had a goal to include short but meaningful words in his song titles.

Born in Karachi, Hannan moved to Lahore for his primary education and then stayed there until he went to Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute (GIKI) in Topi, Swabi. After graduation, he returned to Lahore and now works remotely for a European company. “I’m coding from morning to evening and then I pick up the guitar. That’s something that most of my fans do not know,” he said.

However, it gets overwhelming to juggle both together, especially when his “real” wins aren’t documented. “People often message me about my songs making it to the charts and becoming super hits but the real win for me at the end of the day is the journey behind it. Nobody sees that or acknowledges that” he said, revealing that he got a job offer from Berlin eight months after his graduation and while he was applying for a visa and packing his bags, his music journey skyrocketed.

“It was a very dramatic situation. The family’s focus was on what was more relevant to my education, they didn’t even see what future I had in music, and somewhere, I didn’t either. So I left for Berlin,” he recalled. But his stay in Germany turned out to be shorter than he had anticipated and Bikhra’s success brought him back.

“I came back for three days for my first-ever solo ticketed event but I was very anxious about whether people would buy tickets to see Abdul Hannan sing. It was sold out. After the event, I heard a girl shouting, ‘but why do you have to go back?’ and that made me think,” he said.

“Pakistan never felt so homely before that. The people felt like they were my people,” Hannan recalled. Having said that, he does often wonder what would it be like if he gave up his career in coding.

“Sometimes I think about leaving one for the other but then I remind myself about why I started it in the first place. I’ve achieved so much in my coding journey as well as an engineer that I wouldn’t give that up.”  

Moving on from his journey, the host asked him about his love life and the ‘iraaday’ behind his love songs. Smiling and shying away from a more direct question, the singer simply said that his ‘iraaday’ is to have a sense of belonging and love to stay and grow old together.

However, while Hasan Raheem recently revealed that he plans to settle down soon, Hannan has other plans. “I wish to focus on my goals and see the world around me more. I want to travel more and do not intend to get married anytime soon,” he said while asking his audience to not take his opinion wrongly but it’s just his choice.

Hannan is simply of the view that if a man is responsible enough and mentally prepared to give freedom, respect and protection, then only he should get married otherwise he wouldn’t recommend marriage for the person. “Age is not the right metric to determine when one should get married. One should be mentally prepared to protect, respect and give freedom to their significant other,” he said.

The Bikhra singer shared that, while his mom was a working woman, she did not get the same respect as men in her life and was manipulated throughout her life. “Respect is the most important thing. We need to give women space. Marriage is a bond and a journey together. We say that we’ve accepted women’s empowerment but we haven’t. Even now, women do not get to work. Leave that, they don’t get permission to go out after 10 pm or have to think twice before doing that. It happens in our concerts all the time.”

Concluding, the singer shared what type of woman he is looking for in his life. The first thing Hannan notices about a girl is her dressing sense, he said and after that, he looks for how socially communicative she is. “It involves a good sense of humour also, you could say but if she brings the warmth, the comfort in a conversation, then that is impressive and keeps the conversation going.”


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