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In the Haute Seat: Waqas Ali Qadri

Nasheed artist opens up about journey from Outlandish to new album release 

@therealwaqas

After the news early this year that Outlandish have officially broken up, fans from across the world were devastated. The band's music had enlightened fans for a whole 2 decades. The hip-hop band from Denmark decided to call it an end after their highly successful journey. January of this year was thought to be the end of the three artists together who decided that it was time to move on. 

Yet, Waqas Ali Qadri, former Outlandish member, used this as a chance to self-develop himself and his career and decided to relaunch his musical career has he released his brand new album ‘One foot in the sink, the other on a banana peel’. 

“After we decided to put Outlandish down, I was in a very dark place. Outlandish was my life for 20 years and without it, it was like who am I?” explained Waqas. Luckily, after being inspired by close friends and family, Waqas began working on his own album and within just a month, he was able to create a masterpiece that is going on to inspire a whole new generation. 

“I wanted the album to speak to the youngsters by showing the struggle that we all have between our deen and the western world that we live in. We all have those questions like how do you find the balance? How can I be muslim but have swagger? How do I fit in?” 

The title, although seeming unusual to some, represents the great identity crises that many young muslims experience. ‘One foot in the sink’ exemplifies religion and culture, whereas 'the other on a banana peel’ represents the world and how we are constantly trying not to slip up. “Life is about finding the perfect balance between your inner-self and outer-self.”

“There is a lot of negativity around in the world, but I didn't want the album to be dark, I wanted it to be proud and positive and something everyone can relate to,” expresses Waqas. For Waqas, this was both a musical and spiritual journey and his interpretation of what it is like when you are trying to be both self-conscious and trying to fit in. 

He uses his music as a way of speaking to the youth and showing them that it is ok consider both your religion and the world. “It is ok to have a beard and wear a rolex, for example. As long as you are conscious of what you do, respect your religion and culture then it is ok to treat yourself.” 

Going through the same struggles as everyone else, the nasheed artist has learnt to overcome the stigmas and taboos around the music industry as he uses this expressive art to inspire and educate anyone who is struggling with their religion and fitting into western society. 

“I’m not that concerned about what people think, this is something I have always done with Outlandish. We were one to the first bands in Denmark that spoke up about social concerns and tried to raise awareness. We have always tried to inspire people.” 

In fact, one of the highlights of Waqas’s career was seeing how much they meant to their fans once broken up. Receiving hundreds of messages and people come up to them is what showed Waqas what they mean to the world and the ability he had to make a change within society. “A women came up to me one time and she said ‘My mum just passed away but what really helped me to keep going was your music’ and she started crying. That really moved me and it showed me that we matter and we can inspire others.” 

Despite the fact that Outlandish is no longer there to do so, Waqas has began his own nasheed career to carry on the legacy. “Outlandish had nothing more to offer, it would have just been us trying to reinvent our old music and being a parody of what we used to be. We wanted to end on a good note where everyone would have a good lasting impression on the band. It wasn't a difficult choice but a necessary one.” 

“Everything I am is due to the band, but now it is time we all did our own things. Now I don’t have anyone to answer to I can express my own spirituality through my album.”

Waqas’s album is more than just the music, it is a voice for every person who experiences a struggle between the world and religion. For everyone that feels left out or feels as though they are drifting away from their beliefs.This fun, quirky and high-spirited artist is here to tell you that it is ok. We all go through the same things and it is all about finding the perfect balance between the two worlds. 

“Just be true to yourself. We are all so privileged to be where we are today. It is all about having a positive outlook in the world, that is all you can do.” - Waqas Ali Qadri. 

Waqas’s album ‘One foot in the sink, the other on a banana peel' is now available to purchase. For it’s amazing message that it portrays, we, at Haute Elan recommend this album 100% for its clever, relatable and light-hearted representation of any individuals struggles. 

To purchase Waqas's album you can click here.

Follow Waqas's journey: @therealwaqas 

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