Since Tanzeel Khan began his social media journey on TikTok (erstwhile Musical.ly) as a 16-year-old mechanical engineering student in 2016, his skills, smile, and style have enamored him to millions. His 800k plus community on Instagram and 540k plus subscribers on YouTube are testimony to his popularity.
Donning multiple hats, Tanzeel is an actor, dancer, singer, Vlogger, and primarily an agile content creator. The 20-year-old has been making headlines for his music videos and content that encompass varied topics- travel, fashion, music, and much more. He ensures to entertain his followers and keep them engaged by vlogging his mundane activities and anecdotes on Youtube making him a versatile internet star.
Traversing through his trending reels on Instagram, we catch up with Tanzeel Khan to know more about his music-making voyage, gauge his perspective on content creation and what t takes to stay in trend.
How would you describe the start of 2022 in a hashtag?
Your passion for music started when you were even younger than what you are right now. What sparked your interest in music and how did poetry fuel your passion for this field?
Yes, music has always been a passion. I used to convert my poetry verses into song lyrics. I’ve always been more of a writer so I decided to sing what I wrote, which in turn made me fall more in love with my passion.
What challenges did you face early on while establishing yourself on social media?
Being in a mechanical engineering college and studying, it was really challenging for me to categorize time and give priority to content and studies simultaneously. Dealing with society and people were challenging too since back in the day content creation, in general, was neither a trend nor was it seen as a ‘respectable’ career path.
How has life changed for you before and after releasing your first track?
Nothing has really changed apart from the fact that I’m more motivated and confident regarding my music and my goals in life have become bigger.
Also Read: SN Spotlight: Following trends is the new normal but being real and authentic stays classic forever- Ramsha Sultan
When it comes to creating musical content, what game plan do you follow? Can you take us through the entire process?
I don’t have an organized, step-by-step process of making music. Whenever an idea pops into my head, I make sure to record it as a voice note on my phone. I essentially begin with composition. The moment a melody/harmony pops into my head, I record it quickly and over a period of time, I lay out the framework in terms of how I want the song to sound. Once that is done, I add lyrics. And the last step for me – and what is possibly the first step for everyone else – is the music.
Most of the songs I have written and made, the music is always the last step. I write songs according to how I feel, and how I hear the song in my head. Tweaks are a given, and as I am learning to become a more confident musician, maybe this process of writing songs might also change!
Out of all your musical works, which one did you enjoy working the most on and why?
Everything I’ve ever done in the music space is my own creation, everything I’ve ever created is mine and I love every creation of mine, equally. I invest a lot of time and effort into every song I make. I’ve enjoyed working on everything, to be honest.
But ‘Befikar’ was my first time with another singer, who is also my best friend, and it was a whole new experience, collaborating with someone and best of all, we wrapped up the video in just 36 hours!
Everyone has someone they look up to or wish to work with. Who has been your idol in music and whom do you wish to work within the near future?
Actually, when I think about it, there is no one name. I’ve actually never thought over it since music is something that just happened to me. But every artist I listen to – from pop to rappers to – I respect and they inspire me to do better. I would love to work with everyone from Hasan Raheem to J Cole if I was to make a wishlist!
When was your “I’ve made it” moment in your career? While you answer this question, any memorable fan moments that you will remember for years to come?
When I finally gathered the guts and confidence to execute my debut album, Dastaan!
In October 2021 you announced your debut album ‘Dastaan’. What inspired the shift from releasing singles to releasing an album? Also how different is the process and how has the experience been so far?
All the singles that I have dropped from Dastaan – only two are remaining from the tracklist of seven – were created over a period of time, and some over two years. I would write down a melody as it took shape in my head, I would record it and over a period of time, I had collected a bank of melodies that I wanted the world to hear.
The songs had a non-linear connection so thought of packaging it as an album since it felt like a more artistic and authentic approach towards my passion.
Being a young popular adult who has grown handsomely on social media, what challenges do you face online and how do you tackle them?
The biggest challenges are consistently making relevant content, being relevant, and making quality content. I try really hard to make sure I am ticking all the boxes, which requires a great deal of time and effort. Then there is always criticism that you counter but which I try and learn from and push myself to do better.
With short forms of content taking over social media, why do you think long-form of content will never die?
I feel the genre that I’m passionate about and love to create i.e. music. It’s something every age group relates to, listens to. Although I’ll always be partial towards short-format content, the impact long format gives is unbeatable.
Do you think making a career in music as an independent artist is tough? If so then what’s your piece of advice to all the budding musicians like yourself out there?
It is tough, very tough. Some of your songs hit millions, others not even lakhs. It’s a constant rollercoaster ride. There is no certainty and there’s no label or company that pays you to make music. It’s all you. And my advice would be to never lose hope. If you think you got it if it makes you happy the world is yours.
Lastly, what is Tanzeel looking forward to in 2022? What kind of content do you want to focus more on?
2022 is mine just like I said for 2020 and 2021 but this year I feel it.
I have been open to different sounds and ideas and now I would like to zone in on what really makes me tick as a musician. I get inspired by genres like hip-hop, R’nB, pop music. I’m aiming at creating a blend of indie-pop – which is my preferred style – and combining that with R’nB.
Although 2022 hasn’t begun on the best note for a lot of us, I’m aiming for a lot this year, starting from being more focused and dedicated towards music. I also want to pick up an instrument and learn the ropes of music production.