Anew Bilal Saeed album is forthcoming and his fans couldn’t be more excited
A new Bilal Saeed album is forthcoming and his fans couldn’t be more excited. The Sialkot-born, Lahore-based artist launched the campaign for his new record this month with the release of the song ‘Mitti Da Khadona’, a mid-tempo heartbreak anthem that finds the popstar crooning about being spurned by a lover against the backdrop of a twinkling beat.
The accompanying video reveals that the singer has had quite a makeover – platinum blonde hair and fake tattoos – since we last saw him. The clip was directed by Adnan Qazi and features model Munaza Rajput as the singer’s love interest.
Bilal – who has been releasing music for a decade and has found massive success in recent years with songs like ‘Baari’ (with Momina Mustehsan), the video for which has garnered over 128 million views on YouTube – plans to unveil the new album later this year, although an exact release date has yet to be revealed. The new set will be released on his own record label, One Two Records. This will be his second album, and it comes nine years after his debut, Twelve (2012).
‘Mitti Da Khadona’ is the first single off the upcoming record, as the singer doesn’t plan to include his previous songs on the new disc and wants to entertain his fans with new material. Which is all well and good, although a deluxe edition that includes cuts like ‘Baari’ and ‘Uchiyaan Dewaraan’ wouldn’t be an entirely bad idea either. Just putting it out there…
Abdullah Siddiqui collaborates with
Talha Anjum on ‘Surface’
The rise and rise of Abdullah Siddiqui continues, to absolutely no one’s surprise. The prolific singer-songwriter has not only been making a mark as an artist with his own releases but has also earned praise for his production work, which includes the recent Meesha Shafi banger ‘Hot Mango Chutney Sauce’.
One of the striking elements of Abdullah’s discography has been the array of artists he has worked with. The electro-pop prodigy has gone on musical journeys with everyone from the aforementioned Shafi (who also partnered with him on the song ‘Magenta Cyan’) to performers like Aima Baig, Zoe Viccaji, Natasha Noorani, and Shamoon Ismail.
He keeps this spirit of collaboration alive with his track ‘Surface’, which appears on his latest album, dead Beat poets: side B, and finds him working alongside Young Stunners rapper Talha Anjum. Abdullah provides the English crooning while Talha joins in with his Urdu rhymes as the duo beautifully bring the two languages together in one song. The lyrics reflect the point of view of a person who is hurting and reaching out to someone for a helping hand. The mellow tune effectively captures the mood of its content, and while it sonically may not be his most experimental or dynamic effort, ‘Surface’ gently showcases Abdullah’s talent and leaves you looking forward to everything that’s still to come from this young artist.
Bilal Maqsood’s solo flight takes off
Since the announcement of Strings calling it quits as a music group after more than three decades, we wondered whether founding members Faisal Kapadia and Bilal Maqsood would strike out on their own. Think Ali Azmat going solo after years with Junoon. It was a wise decision for Ali Azmat who went on to release two critically acclaimed albums, Social Circus and Klashnifolk, apart from appearing on mediums such as Coke Studio as a solo artist.
Our question was first answered by the coming of Velo Sound Station in 2020, which Bilal Maqsood co-directed (with Yasir Jaswal) as well as serving as the show’s executive producer, while making way for a combination of mainstream and independent or lesser known artists. It was a knock out because for the first time since Coke Studio, a show celebrating pop, rock and electronic music without parameters had emerged. Even though it was released digitally, it caught attention.
Whether Velo Sound Station comes back with another season is a question mark at this point but with its very first season it solidified what we’ve known for some time: the vision of Bilal Maqsood.
Bilal Maqsood also wrote, composed and produced a song called ‘Sitaray Sitaray’ ft. Asim Azhar, Uzair Jaswal, Natasha Baig, Aima Baig and Young Stunners for the Lux Style Awards in its 20th edition. The song was as much about celebrating a night of stars and shimmer but also about passing on the baton to the next generation of musical superstars.
Bilal Maqsood does appear to have taken off on a solo flight. Post LSA, he was scheduled to drop a teaser for a song for Lipton. And another project, sources tell us, is also coming up.
All this does point to the perception that Bilal Maqsood isn’t done with music just yet, as mentor to the future generation and as an artist himself. And that’s the one silver lining Strings fans can embrace. – Maheen Sabeeh