Nominee - July 2021 Edition

. Best Music Video

. Best Song



Bill Mudge, Director & Co-Producer


Hello Mohammed Paika, tell us a little of your passion for music: when did you realize you wanted to be a performing musician, what was your tuition, etc?

I started my musical journey quite young. I am lucky to have come from a musical family.

My uncle was a stage singer and performer, and my brothers also have a keen interest in singing and performing. Hearing music around my house and family and being exposed to the joy of music from an early age made it easy and natural to love and learn music and singing.

At home, my brothers and I had an incredible collection of songs. When I was 12 or 13 years old, I was fascinated with singing. I learned about other singers and styles of singing and incorporated them into my style.

When I was in undergrad, I learned classical Islamic qur’anic chanting, which helped diversify my singing style and develop my voice.

Though music had been a passion since I was young, I realized I wanted to pursue it when I saw a lack of spiritual based songs in the current music scene. I wanted to address issues which no one would sing about, but which resonate in every heart.

How has the current global crisis impacted your creativity?

The full implications of the Covid-19 pandemic are yet to be determined, but it has disrupted nearly every aspect of society at a breadth and scale not seen in modern history.

Movie production was hit hard by Covid. Due to the increased cost of on-set safety precautions, it has been difficult for independent filmmakers to take a huge risk.

As theaters and movie sets were shut down for months causing financial distress, filmmakers moved content on-line to keep audiences engaged and the industry alive. Creativity has been tunneled keeping restrictions in mind, but the human mind can find its way.

We have had the pleasure, through our Festival, to meet other "Scientist-Musicians."

What do you think makes those two realms compatible?

Scientists thrive on innovation. Being a scientist can complement an individual to reach their greatest heights of creativity. A scientist is someone who gathers and uses research and evidence to gain and share understanding and knowledge which tends to fit well into being a curious and systematic musician.

How did you come to directing your own videos? How do you look at the relation between music and moving images?

Having a vision while creating a song has led me to directing my own videos. When I compose my own song, I am already familiarized with the lingo, equipment, strategies and better prepared when the time comes to turn a concept into a video.

Music and sound are mediums used to enhance drama and to help illustrate the emotional content in any story. When used in films and music videos, it enhances the connection that the viewer gets with what is being shown on screen. Sound in general functions to stimulate reality, creating an illusion and setting the mood.

Is the Musician a messenger? If so, what is the message? And in this context, what is your take on "the Music Industry" at large?

Yes, I do believe a musician in a way is a messenger who provides a message to an audience. The message differs based on who the messenger is.

The music industry at large consists of individuals and organizations who write songs, compose and create music, subsequently sell recorded music and present their music in concerts etc. Since the focus of the industry is monetary, the message is sometimes curtailed to monetary advances which can sometimes hinder creativity.

Eventually, creativity will find its own way.

What do you think it will take for Humanity to take the steps towards peace, tolerance of one another's differences, preservation of the Planet and all related topics?

How does our current situation make you feel?