August, 2020

Josh: The band without borders

The Indo-Pak-Canadian band is rising above borders to spread message of love, peace and unity through music

Canadian music group “JoSH” were formed in Montreal, Canada in the late 90’s.  Comprised of members Rup Magon and Qurram Hussain, JoSH has been producing, writing, and singing hit songs for over two decades and have performed in more than 25 countries. They have released four chart-topping albums and claim to have sold more than three million records worldwide, most in India and Pakistan. In 2001, they released their first album in India. Three years later, the band gained prominence with their second album, 2004’s Kabhi, which won MTV India’s Best New Non-film Artist award that year. It also bagged them the same award from MTV Pakistan in 2005. Based in Toronto now, the duo has been widely-recognized Indo-Pak-Canadian bands. They have collaborated with artists like Nelly Furtado, Apache Indian, Rishi Rish, Domeno, Sukhbir. Recently they struck a new partnership with Samsung Electronics Canada. The partnership spotlights Rup and Qurram with a series of #CaptureYourJourney videos as they share their struggles and journey to becoming close bandmates and international recording stars. In an interview with Desi Today, the band shares its musical journey and what keeps them going at a time when their countries of origin are at loggerheads.

1) Could you please tell us something about the tie up and about #shareyourjourney series?

Our story is one that we feel is echoed by many Canadians – about discovering identity, overcoming barriers and pursuing a dream – and with Samsung Canada and the Galaxy A series we see an exciting opportunity to tell that story and encourage Canadians to share their own. This campaign means a lot to us. We were initially approached by Ethnicity Matters, which is an ethnic Advertising Agency based in Toronto. They had pitched the idea of JoSH being attached to the Galaxy A series #captureyourjourney experience. Once the team at Samsung had seen our work, they were interested in working with us, especially considering we had already done 3 commercials with Samsung in Pakistan. We all put our heads together and produced this beautiful 4 part series which talks about how we capture our journey by using our Galaxy A devices.

2) What is the story of origin of Josh band? How and where did you two meet and when did your journey start?

JoSH started off in Montreal nearly 20 years ago. We used to sing Indian and Pakistani cover songs until we decided to write and compose our own material. It was a struggle to get a record deal on the other side of the world, but after years of persistence, we succeeded. Ever since, we have won many awards, performed around the globe, sold many albums, and most importantly have had the opportunity to do what we love. The Samsung videos which can be found on Youtube or on our Instagram/Facebook pages (@JoshTheBand) highlights our journey thus far.

3) In one of your video’s you have talked about how the band was rejected for so many years but you never gave up. Your journey and road to success is very inspiring. Could you share with our readers what went through your minds during the time of rejection and what kept you going. What is the life lesson that you would like to share with our readers?

That’s a great question. The one thing we realized, while going through this process was —  rejection is a natural part of the journey. Therefore, if we actually “anticipated” the rejection, it was easier to manage. Failure and rejection is a part of the natural process of anything. Even in nature, things don’t always work the first time around. Through years of cultivation and persistence, the art finds itself a home.

4) What kind of music and songs does Josh aspire to produce? 

We aspire to produce innovative sounds, which is what got us here in the first place. Every artist should have something to say, and should say it in their own unique ways.

5) A musical band that is called “Indo-Pak” band. In this troubled time when both the countries are at loggerheads, does the situation affect your work? How do you guys manage to survive if there are and ideological clashes? 

We don’t believe these are troubled times. People on both sides of the border want peace and love. If someone wants tension or war, then irrespective of what their religion or nationality is, they obviously have a completely different agenda than the rest of the world. Ideological clashes have plagued our world for centuries and we have persevered. The problem begins when someone thinks they are better. Mutual respect, humility and love are values taught at home. We think this might be a better way to go 🙂

6) Do you think being born as Canadians, give you an edge to rise above the forever-existing differences between the two countries? or how Canadian values have helped you to survive the difference?

I was born in Canada, while Q was born in the middle east. I think the real values begin at home. Differences exist everywhere; geographically, religiously, ethnically, etc. How we manage them comes from how we view humanity and treat others around us.

7) You have taken tours to Pakistan and India both and proved music has no boundaries, how has been the experience and people’s response?

We have been very fortunate to perform in both countries. We have experienced a range of emotions. The one thing that stands however, is the curiosity of how the other side of the border is. Our friends and fans from each side are always interested to finally get a non-biased opinion on how the other country is. Our answer is usually the same; with a few aesthetic differences here and there, we share many commonalities.

8) What is the message that you would like to send to both the countries and the people?

Music and Love can transcend any border.

9) What are your future projects?

We hope to continue making music that matters to us and to spread the message of love and unity. For further information, feel free to connect with us on Instagram and Facebook pages JOSH – @JoSHtheBand, Rup Magon – @RupMagon , Qurram Hussain – @QurramHussain

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