Talal Qureshi

Talal Qureshi Turbo

In the playfield of electronic sounds, Talal Qureshi emerges as a master musician, intertwining the rich tapestry of his South Asian roots with the pulsating beats of contemporary music. Monumentally zealous, his music constantly pushes the boundaries of the experimental music arena, with a focus on melding traditional Pakistani music with electronic tunes. 'I take pride in my ability to create a sonic palette that spans multiple genres. It’s not just about defying conventions but also about contributing to the evolution of a sound that connects with audiences on a universal level. Through this diverse range, I hope to not only express my creativity but also leave a lasting impact on the ever-evolving landscape of music,' says Talal.

Growing up with six siblings in a bustling household in Saudi Arabia, along with Pakistani classics meeting international hits, Talal’s initial interest in music stemmed from a medley of music genres. The soulful notes of Mehdi Hasan and the rhythms of George Michael became a prelude to the musical journey that awaited him. He shares, ‘As a young kid, I had an interest in playing instruments — I would play air guitar with a cricket bat when I didn’t have any instruments. When my parents finally got us a Casio keyboard, my brother and I just used to play that, shoot skits, and pretend we were on stage.’

People, places, spaces, experiences, objects — Talal’s inspiration stems from the nuances of everyday life and the energy of his collaborators. He thrives on the joy of crafting something fresh and surprising. His artistic playground extends to the reimagining of existing works, creating music that challenges both himself and the expectations of his audience. The result is Talal’s signature — young, fresh, enrapturing music that forces you on your feet.

Talal Qureshi

Blending an Eastern vocabulary with Western sounds is a conscious choice rooted in Talal’s experience of an international upbringing in Saudi Arabia. Although, as a South Asian living abroad with a dearth of musical representation, his intrigue of Eastern music wasn’t any less realised. ‘I always wondered how traditional elements from our culture would sound in contemporary music,’ he says. The fusion of sounds became a mission, sparked by a casual suggestion from his mother, who heard his track and asked, ‘Why don't you use Shehnai?’ Since then, the flute, shehnai, tumbi, tabla, and instruments inspiring diverse melodic patterns have been constant features in his tracks.

There’s an innate authenticity to his approach, a commitment to the organic evolution of creativity. Layering sounds, textures, and seemingly incompatible elements, he seeks that sweet spot where representation meets innovation and the unexpected finds a place alongside the familiar.

Enter his debut album, TURBO – a two-year labor of love. Talal shares, ‘I’ve been wanting to write an album like TURBO for a long time. Fortunately, I was able to find amazing collaborators who helped me refine the sound I wanted for the album. TURBO is my way of capturing all the diverse talent coming out of South Asia and represent- ing this generation and its soundscape to the world.’ The release of TURBO DELUXE adds another layer to the narrative. Talal reveals that the deluxe version of the album features an additional surprise — a piece that was con- ceived before the album’s inception, an integral part of the broader musical project, where traditional instruments dance with electronic beats, erasing linguistic and cultural boundaries.

This is an exclusive excerpt from our February EZ. To read the entire article and more such pieces, follow the link here.

Words Devyani Verma
Date 27.02.2024