Taimur Salahuddin better known as his stage name, Mooroo, is riding on quite the wave these days. His solo album Peheli was nominated at the Lux Style Awards, and apart from the popping freshness of his songs, his YouTube channel is a vibrant palette of humor, wit and intelligence that has gathered quite the fan following.
He’s currently dropping dope live sessions of songs from his album, and we got a chance to talk with the friendly musician who exudes such grace.
“I can’t really break down why I love music. I remember my father playing his cassettes in the car as we’d drive up to Nathia Gali or Murree”, says Mooroo.
“Music has just been something that has pressed my buttons the most, out of any art form. Being a part of music and listening to it has been the most pleasurable thing in my life. Being in Lahore, my music taste was shaped by the people around me”, shared Mooroo.
“I absorbed a lot of my father’s music from his generation – old Indian Bollywood songs, with artists like Kishore Kumar, Lata Mangeshkar and Madan Mohan. On the western front, Bob Dylan and Billy Joel have been my seminal influences. I find great joy and pleasure listening to old music.”
“Being from Lahore, I’d listen to bhangra because that is the quintessential Pakistani music but like I have very little bhangra influence in my music.
I enjoy them at shaadis but not when I’m sitting alone at my own pleasure. So the city itself hasn’t been much of an influence. The people I’ve met in Lahore whose tastes and influences have affected me, have been huge influences on my work. Those have been my friends and parents and none have the quintessential Lahori taste”, according to Mooroo.
“For my own Music, I look at songs with good lyrical content. I want to be understood.”
“I want to say what I mean and say the sort of stuff that I would speak. My Urdu influences are Azaad Nazam, Meeraji, Faiz Ahmed Faiz. And of course I didn’t want to be as lofty as those guys, I wanted to be understood so I tried to keep it simple but the way that I would say things. That’s not an approach people take which is why my music might seem like a bit of a deviation. Sometimes it naturally flows out and sometimes I have to sit and wait for inspiration to come but when the inspiration strikes you have to serve it, ” Moroo opens up.
He also shared his passion for film-making and the niche his YouTube sketch videos have carved for themselves
“It’s not a linear process and what goes through my mind is themes, motifs etc. With my videos, I’ve developed a certain bit of discipline which doesn’t’ mean I have a formula, but discipline when it comes to not letting my mind wander into things that aren’t relevant. I keep a straight track. I take it from the themes I write down,” Mooroo shared with MangoBaaz.
“My personal favorite skits are the last two sketches I’ve done – Sex, Love, Life and Saas & Bahu.
Sex Love Life came out on Valentine’s Day. I wanted to do something different for Valentine’s Day. The day is about love, and what is love about, it’s an essential emotion that human beings feel so that they have sex and reproduce (laughs) if you were to look at it from an evolutionary perspective. Love is pain and suffering.
There are three points on the spectrum when it comes to love – there’s sex, there’s love and then there’s the depressing guy who looks at love in a bleak perspective. So I wanted to cover these three things.
After I dissected these three things, I realized I didn’t want to do a silly Valentine’s Day video. I wanted to do something deeper than that, that gets to the crux of how I feel love is. And then from that stemmed sex and life.
These are the three things that keep us going as human beings,” Mooroo jokes.
“There’s so much improvement that I feel like I’m going through, that the older stuff always seems a little stupid to me,” Mooroo says.
“I’m like ‘oh my god I’ve improved so much, this was garbage!’ The latest skit seems like it’s at the edge of my abilities but of course I look at them and I feel like I need to get better at them too, like cinematography, and storytelling and acting and makeup, everything”, he opines.
“I want to be a feature filmmaker so ultimately in my feature film I want everything to get the same amount of attention not like these YouTube videos where I’m the only one doing everything, like playing the girl by putting on a wig, which I enjoy, but you know”, he says.
“Of course, I want to make people laugh and that gives me a lot of pleasure but I never thought of myself as a comedian which is why I don’t do improv shows or comedy, I think of myself as primarily a writer and a filmmaker and an artist. So entertainment is something that I like to sugarcoat things with so that if I want to give a deep message people don’t tune out. I want people to keep watching”, according to Mooroo.
“My primary aim is to make content that I would want to see. And a lot of times, the content I see elsewhere is bullshit, it’s recycled.
So if I see myself as the audience, what’s the type of content that I would like to see. I just take that approach. My primary aim is to satisfy myself as the audience and then hopefully that satisfies other people. If you see my page I’m a lot of hit and miss. I’ve got an eccentric and eclectic taste in movies and a lot of times it connects with the Pakistani audience and a lot of times it doesn’t at all. That’s a risk I’m willing to take as long as I’m growing artistically”, Mooroo shares.
“I’m working on a bunch of things. there are two big events that I’m not allowed to mention – one I’m performing in, one I’m hosting in – and then there are a few concerts I’m doing in Islamabad”
“I’m excited about those. I’ll get to meet the fans. Other than that I have a cycle with things, vlogs are overdue and I’ve got four five sketches that are in the writing production and some are in production. More music, more skits, more live performances and that’s pretty much all I have in store,” Mooroo concludes while sharing his future plans.
His whole album is the ultimate summer daze.
Are you looking forward to more Mooroo, as much as we are?