© Legendary Musicians of Karachi
Category ~ Musician Profile
Russell Owen you are certainly a talented and notably hard working bass guitarist in Karachi these days. You have been around for a while therefore let’s begin with your experience of the nightlife in Karachi?
I started music somewhere in the mid ’80s and by then the night life was on a fade out… But there were a couple of joints catering to live music; places like Village, Woods n Cave, Horse shoe of which comes to mind. I played at the Horseshoe before it was closed down in 1987.
Who inspired you back then?
I was definitely inspired by Neil Araujo.
Do you remember the first tunes you played?
The first few tunes I learned were ‘Evil Ways’ by Santana and ‘By the rivers of Babylon’ Boney M. When I started learning how to play bass there was no internet where we could upload tutorials from and all these fine gadgets you have nowadays. I learned directly from my senior mentors; Mr. Nobby Furtado, Mr. Glen Boyle, Mr. Allan Dias and Mr Neil Araujo.
What are your fondest musical memories? in Karachi?
So many great memories! but my best ones as sentimental as it sounds were when we played for weddings and dances. The happy occasions that we, as musicians shared with the folks of Karachi. My time with the band ‘Experiments’ and then ‘Black jacks’.
The best experience was definitely when I first joined the Village band. It was a great atmosphere back then. It just felt good playing live regularly. My best local concert was at the
St. Patrick’s grounds in aid of Darul Sakoon.
What are you currently working on?
As you know I am a session musician and I have worked with an endless number of musicians and bands. However, at present I am session-‘ing’ with Mr. Shafqat Amanant Ali Khan, and still jamming whenever and wherever I can.
What would you like to impart to the young musicians of Karachi?
Love what you do! Love your music! Enjoy it! And if you do it with dedication, it will get you respect and love… Thank You!!