Hyderabad’s very own Akram Ul Haq, a fingerstyle guitarist, is popular for his solo performances
Saying it with the guitar
Hyderabad’s very own Akram Ul Haq, a fingerstyle guitarist, is popular for his solo performances. He picked up the guitar with zeal and passion which brought him to the stage he is on, today. We caught up with him ahead of his performance at the Terrassen Cafe on Saturday, where he opened up about his love for the instrument, the fingerstyle performance he’s known for, the music scene in the city and more.
Having travelled with his acoustic guitar for close to 15 years now, Akram recalls how he picked up the guitar for the very first time. “I just liked the sound of it up and decided to learn how to play it. I never expected to master the art of playing it or even think I’d play it fulltime and make a career out of it. Slowly, I realised that I was spending way too much time with the guitar and began delving deeper into its music. It took some work leaving the regular aspects of life and just giving it all my all but it was all worth it,” he says.
Akram then started playing for a band and took up a 4-year western classical music course. He adds, “I went on to write my own music and that’s how I brought my stories from my life into my music.” Popular for his fingerstyle method of playing the guitar, the guitarist shares why he chose this over strumming the instrument instead: “For the simple reason that I am a solo artist and I need to incorporate the sounds of several instruments into my music. He explains, “Through this, I have melody going on and at the same time I use the guitar body to play drums while also adding harmony to it. There is a lot going on with one instrument. It is like a band but with one instrument.”
For Akram, putting in work to achieve perfection was never a challenge, in fact, the drive to express what he’s learnt and felt pushed him to get better at it. He who has been teaching for a decade now is proud to be able to put his music out there. He lists the band Porcupine Tree and musician Gustavo as his inspiration but is quick to add, “My friends have always inspired and supported me, even emotionally.”
Recollecting some of the best compliments that came his way, Akram says, “I was playing in Bengaluru when some members of the audience came up to me and said that my music was like healing to them. It feels nice to know that your music has such power.”
The guitarist is loving the current bubbling music scene in the city. “Hyderabad lacked a sort of consistency earlier - great talent would come in, burst and grow and then fade out soon. Thanks to the pandemic, more bands are able to sustain themselves, giving the audience good options to choose from,” he says.
As he gears up to perform on stage, he reveals a little about what it would look like: “I am planning to keep it intimate because my music is completely instrumental and I can’t wait to tell stories through my songs and connect with my audience.”Akram will soon be releasing his first album which was supposed to be out in 2019. Called The Cat Master, the album will be out on June 12 that is sure to take you deeper into his style of music.