Fingerstyle guitarist Akram ul Haq performed on Sunday at the recently culminated Hyderabad Literary Festival. The musician weaved music as several young poets recited poems at a programme titled Ka se Kavita.
Akram who has been interested in music right from when he was a child says, “In 2006, I came home and asked for a guitar, and luckily it was bought for me. I would always visit Internet cafes and download songs and other videos of my interest. I learnt the basics of playing guitar from Mr Dinakar before moving on to Mr Alexander, from whom I learnt theory and classical compositions.”
Alexander was always kind enough to give him a room to practice at the music school, he recalls, adding, “I would keep playing for hours after my regular learning session. During my journey in music, I moved on to the rock and pop scene playing the electric guitar. The music of Metallica, Porcupine and progressive rock bands influenced me.” Though Akram had to leave for Australia in 2010 to pursue his studies, classical music kept haunting him. “I bought a nice guitar in Australia and came back to pursue my passion. I started practising and playing music which had different elements of jazz, blues, Indian classical and even some grooves of rock and metal. It was all about playing music that was sounding and making me feel good, after years of listening to different genres of music,” he muses.
During his practice sessions at home, Akram has at least one being who is a loyal listener and doesn’t walk out on his music — his pet cat ‘Walter Junior’. “Normally it quietly listens to me and sometimes even wants to strum the guitar with the paws,” he says.
Akram says he is deeply influenced by the music of Gustavo Santaolalla from Argentina who also plays the ‘Ronroco’ musical instrument. He has composed music for many films including Bollywood production Dhobi Ghat and The Motorcycle Diaries. “I would like to compose ‘minimal music’ for films and be a happy globetrotting performer,” he concludes.