Wooly and the Uke + Janat Sohail Aziz – Circus
Tell us your real names, country of birth, date of birth, and childhood experience.
My name is Janat Sohail Aziz and I was born in Lahore, musically one of the liveliest cities of Pakistan. My date of birth is the 17th of December, 1993.
As a child, I always found the rhythm in the tiniest of mundane things, like tapping my feet with the ticking clock or making a song with the dial tones! I was innately a very quiet child, fumbling with words rather often, so when I got my first guitar, I took a plunge into a world where my emotions no longer existed as just a surreal entity inside me. Music managed to break its way into the little hallways of my head and I couldn’t have felt closer to myself.
Tell us how you start your music career, your band name, musical background, experience, and skills.
I was a part of Pakistan’s first all-girls ensemble in Nescafe Basement, which made quite a few waves with its initiative of breaking barriers and normalizing the idea of women as beyond the roles that society’s social constructs restrict them to. It was, especially, through that platform that I discovered to take a leap out of my comfort zone and introduce my own music to the masses- hence, Wooly and the Uke came into being.
Wooly and the Uke is a solo project that had started a long time ago, only to be named and announced in 2017. I started writing when I was very young and my music evolved with my personal experiences and growth- rather a lot through human interactions. For me, it’s about storytelling- opening the doors to thoughts you wouldn’t be able to express otherwise and I had almost always been telling my story, even if in the confinement of my room.
Tell us about your genre, concept, and idea behind your music video and the song.
I would like to believe that my music identifies with the avant-garde genre; pushing and spilling out the boundaries. I don’t carry the interest or the capability to work my music around structures or the set standards, I feel free when I can stretch my limits and experiment.
My new track, “Circus”, is a rather satirical comment on the capitalist-driven society today- it’s about the rat race that we encircle around, nibbling on each other’s dreams and forgetting our existence as beyond the greed. This human condition has always existed as a series of puzzling thoughts in my head and that’s what inspired me to really describe them through my music.
The idea fell through effortlessly like collapsing dominos- from the music producer to the film director, each element was delicately intertwined with the others and experienced growth from there. The emotion the song carried navigated its way to the video- it is a montage of veiled turmoil, a cold state of an end coming and stumbling across your frail soul amidst the chaos.
Tell us everything that we need to know about you as a musician and the ups and downs you have faced in the music business.
I wouldn’t say that I faced many ups and downs in the music business, as I’ve never been as connected to the commercial aspect of it, to begin with. However, I did struggle with discovering what it is that I really want to do to feel at peace with myself. I realized that creating music that conformed to others’ idea of it made me grow weary and less connected to myself, so I decided to do otherwise.
As a musician, I produce what fulfills me and then, channeling those thoughts to the others listening- it’s a process of reciprocating human emotions.
Tell us about other members of your band, crew, or music video director and how the music video was shot.
Wooly and the Uke is a solo project! So, it’s me- Janat Sohail Aziz.
The music for “Circus” was produced by Jamal Rehman, the founder of True Brew Records.
The music video was directed by The Retro House Productions- it was shot in multiple locations, including the North. Ironically, the most memorable part of the shoot was me surviving a massive mirror fall on my head!
Tell us how long you have been in the music industry, your experience, and your future goal.
I slid into the music industry with my presence in the Nescafe Basement, Season 4, in 2016. It was definitely a stepping stone, as it helped me open up to bigger crowds and be introduced to an array of genres.
Following the advent of Wooly and the Uke, my aim is and shall remain to express thoughts through what fulfills my head and the heart!
Tell us what inspires you to write, compose and sing.
The inner thoughts, what brews inside the little hallways of my head.
Tell us the secret behind making a hit song.
Try and really listen to the wavering voice in your head.
Tell us the message you will like to pass to your fans out there.
To anybody who’s felt a connection to what I’ve done, thank you.
Tell us the kind of advice you will give to an upcoming artist.
As hard as it may be, condition yourself to believe in what your heart wants- help your head feel connected to what lies there. Just do it, dammit!