By Khaya Ahmed:Music has the power to make you laugh, get you on your feet, and move you. It’s not often one finds a band that accomplishes all three but it seems like Starflight has managed to check all of those boxes. Originally formed as a vehicle for Jib’s songwriting, multi instrumental, & production skills, Australian based band Starflight was initially a duo act comprising of Jib and Keyboardist Damien Spanjer, with the intention of helping usher Vintage Pop into a modern age.
Located in Sydney, this dynamic duo blasted into the music scene with their debut Album Adventure Beyond, packed with a power pop punch and electronic rhythms that reminded one of Daft Punk. Their first single, Phasers on Stun, was a show stealer. The video earned Starflight various nominations under their belt making Set Phasers on Stun, a sure fire hit. The attendant album was nominated for the Australian Independent Music Awards (the MUSICOZ AWARDS), in no less than four categories in 2013.
It was later in 2014 that Damien departed Starflight leaving Najib solely at the helm. A man who describes himself as the “Australian/Pakistani James Bond meets John Rambo,” Jib’s conviction, passion, and his infectious, eternally upbeat personality propelled Starflight to newer heights. Living up to his band’s name, Jib began reaching for the stars and in 2015, Starflight released its second album World Premiere. As I sat with Jib, listening to him talking about how he can land an exploding plane while simultaneously displaying his karate moves, I was in stitches but it was when he told me about the journey of the album, that I was truly in awe.
The album, which includes performances from session musicians in LA, as well as utilizing Jib’s multi-instrumental & production skills (All the vocals, Bass, Acoustic Guitars, Electric Guitars, & Synthesizer no less!) was edited in Australia by Jib who then flew to Iceland to finish work on it before it was mixed in Sydney and Islamabad, and then finally mastered in New York. Quite the journey for a single album but then again, it single handedly displays Jib’s passion for his project showing how near and dear it is to his heart. The result of all this hard work? It not only shows, but it shines brighter than a star. A man who has cited The Beatles, The Beach Boys, ELO, Fleetwood Mac, and The Eagles as just some of his inspirations, Jib Khan has showcased his entertaining versatility, song craft, and lyrical cunning. In short; it is rock n’ roll, electronic pop, disco, all rolled into one magnificent masterpiece of an album.
The lead single off World Premiere is called Wicked Woods and with a video directed by Usman Mukhtar, it is singlehanded proof that Starflight hasn’t lost its original flair. Filmed in Islamabad, the video and the song are the perfect mixture of Gothic Horror mixed with a little sprinkle of humor. The concept? Little Red Riding Hood’s torment by the Big Bad Wolf; a very hairy and very well costumed Jib Khan. Between shots of Red Riding Hood rocking it out on the guitar (personally, one of my favorite scenes) and the Wolf expecting her at the dinner table, the video exudes the perfect aura of horror, mystery, and suspense. As Red Riding Hood continues to be chased and haunted by the Wolf, we find out that there’s more to this story than meets the eye when the story reaches its conclusion.
The song itself perfectly showcases Jib’s musical expertise with a combination of funky guitar riffs plucked from the 70s, elevated harmonies, haunting cellos, a high note that will blow you away, and a catchy yet undeniably sinister chorus complete which wraps the song up into a neat little red bow. With Halloween soon approaching, it’s only apt that both the song and the video are gaining the traction that they deserve. The video has been short listed to be on rotation on MTVU, besides getting airplay on independent radio stations in the US & the UK.
No stranger to the industry, Jib has also worked on projects such as Burka Avenger, lending a few of Starflight’s hits to the Emmy award nominated television series. With two more of Starflight’s videos to be released soon, Jib has only just begun to show the world what he are capable of. His next project? Using the untapped talent of Pakistan and incorporating them into his next project. Jib Khan has returned to his roots, and as Pakistani’s, we couldn’t be prouder of him. Listen to, and support Starflight here on Taazi.com!