Singer-songwriter Zaeden has released his latest single, ‘intezaar’ with an accompanying music video. The song is about the phase after separation and encapsulates the anxiety and tension to turn back the clock to happy times, and glooms over the happy memories; the unexpected distance experienced during the time spent apart.

The journey to releasing the song has been in the works for almost two years now.

Written, recorded, and shot during the lockdown, it’s his third single after ‘kya karoon?’ and ‘dooriyan’ and a part of his upcoming album ‘Genesis 1:1’ which is set to release on December 25, 2020.

The music video of the song itself shows Zaeden in a light we’ve never seen before. He’s sexier, edgier and there is a stark contrast to his usual cookie-cutter, boy-next-door image. The video does for him what the original music video for Justin Beiber’s ‘Boyfriend’ did for the global pop star way back in 2013. Of course, its nowhere as raunchy but it appears that the 25-year-old Zaeden has grown up, so to speak.

The lip gloss was a bit much, though. The song itself is intensely catchy and very on-brand for the musician. ‘intezaar’ is an earworm for sure.

MW spoke to the musician about ‘intezaar’, his ideal date and what keeps him up at night. Read on.

Tell us a little about the inspiration behind your debut album ‘Genesis 1:1’.
The word ‘Genesis’ in its literal sense means the beginning of something or creation in itself. It’s the perfect analogy for my career, it perfectly explains my artistic transition from DJ/Producer to Singer/Songwriter. All this while, through the transition I’ve come to re-discover myself as an artist and I couldn’t think of a better word than ‘Genesis’ to describe my new beginning and the birth of my sound.

With ‘intezaar’, we see this new persona of Zaeden, someone that seems to have grown up. It’s sexier, edgier, more mature. Do you agree?
It’s always been a journey for me, as an artist I’m learning – unlearning at every step. And with every single, I try to step out of my comfort zone a little more than before, because my thought process is always – how else am I going to understand if this is what my heart wants at this moment? With ‘intezaar’, it was raw anxiety to reconnect with that one person, and I think that complex mixture of emotions brings out the edge and mature angle.

You have sung about love and about heartbreak. How much of it comes from personal experience?
Oh, all of it. It’s rare for to write something that I’ve not experienced myself. Good or bad, I cannot force a feeling just for a song I know I won’t be able to stick to till the end.

We’ve always viewed you as a fun, good boy of sorts. The video for ‘intezaar’ changes that – it shows a Zaeden we haven’t seen before. It does for you what Justin Beiber original ‘Boyfriend’ video did for him. Has Zaeden “grown up”, so to speak?
I’ve changed, a lot of my music making process has changed and inevitably that’s affected me as a person as well. Actually, more than grown up, I think I’ve gotten comfortable with myself to a point that I am now certain about a handful of things around me but yet again, that’s a part and parcel of evolving.

You’re only 25. Is there a fear that you may plateau at a young age?
Slightly yes, there’s always this voice in my head that goes ticking when I sometimes get reminded about my age and the scale of work that I’m doing right now. But I snap out of it immediately, I know I have to get going and not give myself a chance to doubt the process.

What do you think about the music scene in India right now?
It’s promising, so many new artists are confident in their art and putting themselves out which I think they deserve a round of applause for. And it’s exciting because it’s not just one genre or one form that’s stepping up it’s a collective community of artists that’s got each other’s back, it’s interesting.

India is heavily dominated by Bollywood music – any plans to go that way? And any fears about what it might do for your image?
The right kind of project will definitely get me excited, there’s no fear but there’s an apprehension about the song being right for me. All this while, I’ve focused on a particular sound for myself and if I find a song or a project that’s similar, I wouldn’t mind jumping on to it. It’ll be an experience for sure.

Who are the Indian musicians you look up to?
Oh man, I get nervous answering this question but to pin point a few – AR Rahman, Amit Trivedi, Armaan Malik, Lost Stories, Divine, Prateek Kuhad, Ritviz, Sez.

What’s the sexiest thing about you?
It’s an awfully awkward question to answer but I think it’s my hair.

What’s your idea of an ideal date? Be honest.
A homebody kind of date, at home cooking our favorite meals together and perhaps listening to our favorite music.

What keeps you up at night?
Definitely music and ambition.

How has the lockdown been treating you?
To be very honest, the lockdown in its entirety was unexpected and unthought off. The first half was quite the opposite to what I anticipated, I focused more on writing songs for the album and was busy with music. But as time progressed things changed, for someone who’s never been in one place for more than two weeks, I had to station myself for a better and safer tomorrow. If it’s all safe, I  would really like to travel again for leisure and take some time off for my own mental well-being.

What’s next for Zaeden?
At this moment, I’m focused on finishing the last two songs for ‘Genesis 1:1’, and a short team goal is successfully releasing the album in December. To think about the future plan, I think as an artist, I want to challenge myself by working on features with other artists. It’s one story to get someone to feature on your tracks but I think I really want to try and work with other artist features. Further to that, I want to focus more on my English releases. I think I’m able to express more in English and write stuff that might sound slightly weird if I try to write the same in Hindi. It’s just a little easier to talk about various subjects in English for me. So I’m excited about that too!