Mohammed K. Paika is back with “Hold Me Tight,” following the hit singles “For The Rest Of Our Lives” and “Love.” In this candid interview, the award-winning musician and singer-songwriter shares the personal story behind the song and how it relates to his own life. He also discusses his upcoming album, M.H. 1.0, and the challenges he faced while creating it.
Paika’s music has gained recognition and awards, including Best Music Video at the Cannes World Film Festival. His music addresses social and religious issues, promoting unity and respect for all. The producer opens up about his experiences growing up as an Indian-American in Albuquerque, the impact of his cultural background on his music, and the unforgettable moments that have shaped his career.
Continue to read below.
“Hold Me Tight” showcases the timeless strength of love and emphasizes the significance of holding on to it tightly without ever letting go. Can you elaborate on what the single means to you on a personal level?
“Hold Me Tight” is a song which is very personal to me as it was written after my wife, and I had an argument over an important matter. We both were quite headstrong about an issue but eventually, we understood and respected each other’s opinion, and at the end of it hugged each other “tightly.” We solemnly swore that no matter what the issue is, we wouldn’t let anything get in between our relationship. It dawned on me at the time that my next song would be called “Hold Me Tight.” Due to our argument, I found it prudent to include the lines “Sometimes we’ll make mistakes, sometimes it will be hard, but no matter all the bad things, we can make it right…. nothing can break us down.”
Congratulations on the success of your recent singles “Love” and “For The Rest Of Our Lives.” How do you feel about hitting the iTunes chart? What was your reaction to seeing your music perform so well on such a popular platform?
Thank you!! I am extremely thrilled that “Rest of our lives” hit the top 19 on iTunes. It is an honorable moment for me to see my song shine above some of the big names in the industry. This is truly a huge milestone for me. I feel a sense of relief and also a drive to continue to deliver my 100% for my upcoming projects.
We’ve heard that you have an upcoming music video for “Hold Me Tight.” Can you share details with us about the creative process or what viewers can expect to see in the clip?
Yes, that is correct. There is a video that is set for release on April 21st on YouTube as well as on other online video platforms. The video was shot in the famous City of Rome around sites such as the Colosseum, Spanish Steps and the Vatican. The Colosseum is noted as a symbol of power, strength, and perseverance. The Spanish steps represent figuratively and metaphorically a close relationship between the sacred and the eternal, and the Vatican signifies authority. All of these components are coincidentally important in a married couple’s life. We thought that this would be a perfect location to shoot this song. The viewers are in for a huge treat!
Fans are eagerly anticipating your upcoming album, M.H. 1.0. Tell us more about it and when it will be available for listeners. “Hold Me Tight” is the third single from the record, will you be sharing more songs before the big release?
After “Hold me Tight”, there will be a 4th single called “Free.” This is also a very special song which is filmed in Italy. This is set to release in May 2023. I’m very excited about this song as it will find a place in every listener’s heart. The complete album is anticipated to be released in the summer of 2023.
How does your creative process differ when creating a full-length album compared to a single release? Can you share any challenges or problems you faced while working on your upcoming album, and how did you overcome them?
To me, a single is usually based on an idea, more like an article and is sometimes a prelude to an album. An album is more like a book where you’re trying to tell the complete story. To create an album is always slightly more difficult as the songs need to have a correlation and at the same time is not monotonous.
Some of the challenges I faced while making the album were trying to figure out which songs would be part of this album and which songs would be edited out. Also, finding out the number of songs in the album was also a challenge as I didn’t want too many songs but just the right amount to tell my story. Furthermore, finding unique locations to film the songs from the album was something we had to think extensively about.
Can you tell us more about your experiences growing up as an Indian-American in Albuquerque? Were there any obstacles you faced or unforgettable moments that have impacted your music?
My family immigrated to the United States in the mid-1980s. I practically grew up in Albuquerque. When I arrived here, I started second grade elementary school. There weren’t that many Indian Americans in Albuquerque at the time. Most of my friends in school were a mix of white, black, and Hispanic Americans. Since I arrived as a child and practically grew up here, I had not faced any major challenges as I had acclimated to the culture here. As an Indian American I was exposed to music from India which has greatly impacted my music today.
You have won several awards for your music in the past. Can you tell us more about some of your most memorable achievements and how they have changed the course of your musical career for the better?
I recall when I won my first award. I was quite excited when I received an invitation to attend and deliver a speech at the California Music Awards function and also take home the Peace Award for my song “So many Divisions,” from the album Unity. I felt that this was my first step to being accepted into the music scene and that my music was being noticed. I knew that I had to continue pushing forward to deliver my best. Since then, many of my songs have addressed social and religious issues with a firm goal to unify humanity.
I was also quite humbled to receive the Best Music Video – Nominee at the Cannes World Film Festival for my song “Purpose of Life,” which is more of a call to humanity to love and respect each other regardless of race, culture, religion or education.
Furthermore, when my single “Stronger” won Best Music Video at the 8 & HalFilm Awards, I knew I could make an impact speaking about sensitive and concerning issues such as covid-19. I believe every one of my singles has had an impact in changing the course of my musical career.
Listen to “Hold Me Tight” here: