Home Featured NAUGHTY BOY – The King of Music

NAUGHTY BOY – The King of Music

by Grazia

In our sizzling new issue, Grazia’s Front Cover Creative Director – Kaniz Ali had the pleasure of creatively styling and catching up with world renowned music producer Shahid Khan, also known as Naughty Boy.   The award winning star captivated many hearts with his super hit music tracks featuring Beyonce, Emeli Sande, Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith.  Naughty Boy’s track La la la won best song and best video at the Mobo Awards followed by endless back to back achievements over the past decade.

Grazia: What inspired you to head into the world of music?

Shahid Khan:My passion for music was always there from a young age. Listening to Pakistani/ Bollywood music growing up opened my ears to so much. I taught myself how to play the piano in school. My mother always felt I had a natural gift which in fact grew to be my greatest talent. 

Grazia: Tell me a little bit about your background?

Shahid Khan:I was born and grew up in Watford, Hertfordshire (UK). My family are originally from Rawalpindi, Pakistan. I consider myself a British Pakistani Muslim. 

Grazia: Coming from a south Asian background did you face any challenges entering the world of music?

Shahid Khan:I am grateful to say that I’ve never faced any major challenges due to my background. I didn’t push for my race to be the face of my music. I wanted my music to speak to people worldwide. It belongs to everyone, it belongs everywhere. I enjoy embracing my culture & identity but I always wanted my music to talk first.

Grazia: What do you think makes a good song?

Shahid Khan:When writing lyrics, I would say to be honest. People resonate with honesty & being able to pull on the listeners heart strings musically helps me connect with the audience on a deeper level. I enjoy writing with simple ideas, then building the beat around the song. Telling your truth along with a great melody/beat to keep it fresh and exciting. It’s okay to be vulnerable in your lyrics. We all have a story to tell and the world needs to hear it 

Grazia: What are the essential qualities that make a good musician?

Shahid Khan:An essential quality that makes a good musician is the willingness to learn and adapt. When I embraced the piano it changed everything for me. I love collaborating with other musicians too there is always so much to learn. You should treat your work like a hobby. Getting to do what I love every day is a blessing but I would say its 30% talent, 30% how dedicated you are to learning your craft 30% the people that surround yourself with and 10% magic. Never forget about the magic a higher source of power 

Grazia: How does Naughty boy manage home life and work life?

Shahid Khan:Balancing both home life & work life is definitely not easy and I’m yet to fully master it. But I am grateful to Allah for my family & career. My mum is recovering from a stroke, I live with her and a carer which has helped me greatly in my work/home life balance. We are able to support each other a lot better this way and I am able to finish my next album and continue this musical journey of naughty boy, I recently did the wedding song for Jemima Khans new film “What’s love got to with it” (Mahi Sohna) with Nitin Sawhney & Rahat Fateh Ali Khan it’s my mums new favourite song, there’s always a way to find the right balance.

Grazia: What is your greatest strength?

Shahid Khan: I would have to say my 

greatest strength is being able to connect and communicate with people. I enjoy speaking with people and getting to know their story. I would say I have a comfortable presence in the studio enough for artists & songwriters to open up to me. A great conversation always help make for a great song 

Grazia: What has been your favourite tour so far?

Shahid Khan:My favourite tour was going to Australia, New Zealand and Malaysia with American artist Pharrell Williams, British band Rudimental & Tinie Tempah. It was an amazing experience and very inspiring. It was great working with new people in a new environment. Additionally, it warmed my heart to know my music was travelling and being listened to on the other side of the world.

Grazia: What are your main highlights of your career?

Shahid Khan:A main highlight of my career was bringing both my parents to a dinner at which I performed in front of the then Prince Charles & Camilla for the British Asian Trust. My dad spoke with a member of the band afterwards and expressed how proud he was of me. It was such an honour and a very special day for me. My main goal in life is to continue to make both my parents proud.

Grazia: What are your favourite moments of your career?

Shahid Khan:My favourite moment of my career was when my song La La La ft Sam Smith became the no.1 single on the charts. I remember being in my friend’s car which had broken down and hearing the news on the radio for the first time. That was an incredible and exciting moment which I luckily got to share with my friend Shakil, the car breaking down was just part of the balance, we were still number 1!!

Grazia: Who has been your favourite person you’ve created a track with?

Shahid Khan:I’ve collaborated with such amazing artists over the years so this is quite a difficult question. However, I would have to say Emeli Sandé was my favourite person to create a track with because she was there from the start when I was growing as a producer and becoming known. I learnt a lot working alongside Emeli such as chord structures and how to write powerful songs like “heaven” then working with  Beyoncè, Mary J Blige & Rhianna felt like a natural evolution, I love working with female artists with powerful voices 

Grazia: What are 5 things a music producer must do?

Shahid Khan:As a music producer it’s your job to ensure that the artist that you’re working and creating music with is

comfortable with the environment they are in. It’s important to build a rapport with them by having honest conversations and getting to know them on a personal level. This allows for the creative process to flow better and be more organic. Also having snacks and drinks in the studio helps everyone stay hydrated!

Grazia: If Naughty Boy was not a music producer what would he be?

Shahid Khan:If I was not a music

producer I would have delve into the world of psychology. I’m particularly interested in the way people think and why. This translates in my work ethic currently as I like to think of the psychology of music and how our moods can affect the genre of music we listen to.

Grazia: What and Who inspires you?

Shahid Khan: My biggest inspiration would have to be my mum. Although she doesn’t know much about the music industry, she’s always been my biggest supporter

throughout my career and kept me going. From a young age she’s always told me I can do anything I put my mind to, her words of encouragement mean everything to me. She understands my purpose 

Grazia: What do you love doing in your spare time?

Shahid Khan:In my spare time I love cooking. My mum wasn’t able to cook after her stroke and when she moved in with me, I made it my mission to learn how to cook all the dishes that she cooked for me as a young child. I started to really enjoy it as it not only made my mum really happy, but I discovered I have a natural passion for it. Her favourite dish is “Shaljam Gosht” and I have finally mastered it

Grazia: What is your favourite food/dish and why?

Shahid Khan:One of my favourite dishes is ‘keema aloo’. It was definitely a childhood favourite. This dish brings great nostalgia and reminds me of home when eating it. It brings joyful memories from when I was a little boy, young and carefree waiting for his paratha. I also love my sisters Chicken Yakhni Pilau 

Grazia: Naughty boy is single!!! Very exciting for the readers – What do you look for in your future partner? Is marriage something that you are interested in?

Shahid Khan: Yes – I am currently single and happy lol however I’m at a time in my life where I would love to settle down and have my own family. It would make my family happy & yes I would love to get

married one day but it has to be the right person. I would want my mother’s approval obviously but I would enjoy falling in love with the right girl.

Grazia: If Naughty Boy was to disappear for 4 days where would he go?

Shahid Khan:If I was to disappear for 4 days I would head to Dubai for some good food and good vibes. Being abroad brings me a different level of peace and inspiration. If I was to disappear although being abroad, my work would continue whilst away. I would book a studio session and start thinking creatively

Grazia: What are your upcoming plans for 2023 & 2024?

Shahid Khan: My upcoming plans for this year are to keep progressing in my music and producing. The release of my second album drops this year which is very exciting. I have plans to tour the world. I would like to show my face more and meet new people. I’m enjoying getting involved in more things allowing people to get to know who Naughty Boy really is.

Grazia: What is the best advice you would give to the younger generation who would like to head into music?

Shahid Khan:The one piece of advice I want to leave with the younger generation is to be yourself, stay humble and keep pushing your goals. Never let others tell you your dreams are too big and remember to follow your heart. Take criticism because that will help your growth, don’t stop and be you.

CEO & Publisher: Zarah Saifullah

Managing Editor: Saneela Swaleh 

Front Cover Creative Director: Kaniz Ali

Photography : Danny Singh

Senior Creative Stylist: Kaniz Ali

Editorial Associate: Sibgha Batool at Kaniz Team 

Hair by Dar

Outfits by Sache by Asif  & Aloofy’s Studio

Assistant: Mehreen Sohail at Kaniz Team

Location: Taj 51 Buckingham Gate, London &  Yaatra Westminister, London

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