Asad started his music career in 1987 with The Barbarians, which is regarded by many as Pakistan’s first rock band. The band’s first single “Yeh Zindagi Hai” (This is Life) set the foundation of Pakistani rock. They got their first big break when The Barbarians participated in “Rock vs. Rock” show in Karachi and won . They released their only album, the self-titled “The Barbarians” in 1989, which did not fare well in the then rock-repellant Pakistani music industry. The Barbarians fell apart in 1990.
Junoon and Vital Signs
Asad did a gig with Salman Ahmad of Junoon at a party in 1991. On Salman’s invitation, he hopped on board with Junoon and played bass with them for about a year. In the winter of 1992 he played on the Vital Signs third album “Aitebar” and went onto play and tour with the band on their fourth and final album “HumTum” in 1995.
Awaz was formed in 1992, by Haroon, Faakhir and Asad. The band went on to become the next best thing in Pakistani pop scene after Vital Signs. Awaz were highly skilled and talented musicians, producers and composers. The band’s skill at composing and producing was often overlooked and the focus was on their good looks, glossy videos, catchy songs and wild stage performances. Awaz was the first band from Pakistan to appear on MTV on April 20, 1992 with the song Janeman. Awaz released three albums. The first album was the self titled album “Awaz”, more commonly known as “Awaz 1”. The second album was “Jadu Ka Chiraagh” and the third and last album was “Shola”. After “Shola”, the band fell apart due to creative differences.
In 1997, Asad established his own studio. Simultaneously, he joined hands with Sameer Ahmed to form Karavan, thus returning to his rock origins. They brought the already established solo singer Najam Sheraz as the first vocalist and Alan Smith on drums to complete the lineup. In 1999, Najam Shiraz returned to his solo career, vacating the vocalist’s slot for newcomer Tanseer Daar. Karavan released “Rakh Aas” in 1997, “Safar” in 1999 and “Gardish” in 2002. In 2005, The band issued an internet only Unplugged album which had over 100,000 downloads. Karavan released their 4th studio album, “Saara Jahan” in 2010. The band broke up in 2012 after a highly successful 15 years.
Over the years, Asad has done extensive session work contributing his guitar work and compositions to albums by Vital Signs, Ali Zafar, Zoe Viccajee, Haroon, Sajjad Ali and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan to name a few. He also performed on the hit tv show “Coke Studio” for 5 seasons. In 2017 he released Rebirth his first solo album. Animal was released as the first single and got heavy airplay on radio and TV. On August 14th he also released a guitar rendition of the Pakistani National Anthem.