Another big week for music
2017 is going strong in terms of music activity and the week that passed us by was no different in that sense as several gigs took place and plenty of new music made its presence felt. It not only paints an optimistic picture of the present but also gives us hope for the future so here’s a quick look…
Live music shows are important for both artists and fans, and it’s good to see the trend on an upward spiral as multiple artists took the stage in various cities across the country this past week.
Our story begins in Karachi, the city by the sea that remains a hotbed for all kinds of cultural activities, despite its reputation for bloody violence.
Having played host to the Lux Style Awards, the city hosted music group, SomeWhatSuper, who along with Patari Tabeer wonderboy Abid Brohi, and rapper/comedian Ali Gul Pir, emerged at IBA University and played to a packed house. The three artists, having collaborated with each other in the past – SomeWhatSuper and Abid Brohi joined forces for ‘The Sibbi Song’ while SomeWhatSuper and Ali Gul Pir collaborated on ‘Modi Teri’ – share a good rapport, and that translated in their performance and had the crowd roaring. Reports also suggest that all three are planning to collaborate on a project. But until this promising and potentially entertaining venture unveils itself, we will just have to contend with their released material, most of which can be found on Patari.
Miles away from Karachi, in Islamabad, Ali Zafar and Zoe Viccaji took the stage as part of the second edition of Cornetto Pop Rock. The season entails three live shows and six music videos. While three videos have released so far, three more are in the pipeline.
Anyway at the show, Viccaji belted out a medley of covers and originals including a lovely version of Strings’ ‘Mera Bichra Yaar’. Ditto for Zafar, who has a huge fan following as a musician, and not just as an actor.
One must also mention Rahat Fateh Ali Khan who has been touring the United States as part of a tribute tour that is meant to be an ode to the legacy of the late (and forever great) Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. RFAK was seen in Houston recently where he was, according to reports, overwhelmed by the strong response of the audience.
Artists are constantly releasing new music, so it is hard to keep track of every DIY effort that is released into our musical atmosphere, but one must always keep a look out. In the meantime, the two big releases we must discuss include a new album from Karachi-based music group, ESharp and the second single (or chapter) from Hadiqa Kiani’s Wajd.
In the case of the former, the second album titled 600 Saal, contains 11 songs and has an enchanting backstory that is imaginative and clever. Currently available on Patari, the record doesn’t suffer from the second album syndrome and is, according to its creators, closer to their real style, which is rock ‘n’ roll from the sixties mixed with modern music.
Speaking about why the group decided to release the album now, ESharp’s Ahmed Zawar told Instep: “We’ve decided that if we want to pursue music for the rest of our lives we will have to keep making more and more new music, that’s really the primary job of a musician. Every time is a good time to release a new record. I don’t like the idea of shelving songs and then telling everyone I have 900 new songs but I don’t want to release them because the scene is dead. The scene is actually dead because you’re not releasing your songs. Also music is such a rapid ongoing evolutionary process that you wouldn’t want to sit on your songs for too long as you’ll have a different perspective in 6 month’s time. It’s best to keep your listeners connected to what you’re currently doing and this is exactly what we’ve done with 600 Saal, we’ve put out 11 new songs we’ve made since the release of our first album in 2015.”
Moving on from entertaining rock ‘n’ roll grooves to something radically different, we must also discuss Hadiqa Kiani who is back with her second single from Wajd.
While the first single, ‘Kamli Da Dhola’ was sung in Saraiki, in the second chapter, Kiani sings in Sindhi. The song is the classic folk tune ‘Bhit Ja Bhitai’ but its Kiani’s rendition of the same that is thrilling. More to the point, it is her first song in this particular language. Backed by a strong music ensemble, the song sounds organic and therefore, beautiful. The deliberate ethnic diversity on Wajd is a strong statement to make in these divisive, polarizing times.
Speaking about the effort, Kiani said in a press statement: “It is very close to my heart and it’s a tribute to Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai. The song highlights the contributions of Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai in the rich Sindhi culture and heritage.”
Having impressed one and all with the first single, ‘Kamli Da Dhola’, Kiani is now setting a new benchmark for reinvention with this effort. And like the first single, this one too is accompanied by a music video that is the vision of one Abdullah Harris. Head on over to Patari to find the song and look out for the video online.