Bilal Maqsood talks about first solo single, ‘Naya Naya’

May 15, 2022

‘Naya Naya’ is an apt name for Bilal Maqsood first solo single. Solidifying the promise that he would release new music, ‘Naya Naya’ alludes to a new journey and this song...

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‘Naya Naya’ is an apt name for Bilal Maqsood first solo single. Solidifying the promise that he would release new music, ‘Naya Naya’ alludes to a new journey and this song spells these ideas visually in the same context, complementing it instead of getting in the way. There’s an element of joy to ‘Naya Naya’ while the song is very much like a pop song that you’d remember.

It is co-written by Bilal Maqsood and Anwar Maqsood with direction by Murtaza Chaudhary and follows Bilal Maqood in the midst of new experiences.

The music video follows Bilal as he rides a scooter, interacts with strangers and takes a walk as people pass him by.

Speaking to Instep about his first solo single, Bilal Maqsood said, “‘Naya Naya’ is about my new journey and the way I’m feeling right now.”

It is also, Bilal confessed, about his audience and the loyalty, love and consistency with which they have been following his career.

Hear the lyrics and you’ll find that context to be true.

“My audience means everything to me,” he added, “I’m singing this song to them. These words are for them. Some things are precious to us and I hope that’s how my words will be precious to my audience.”

“If I am a wanderer, my audience is my Ektara [a one-stringed musical instrument used in the traditional music of South Asia].”

Will Bilal continue to drop these melodious songs that are worth cherishing? He will, as long as it appeals to him and, perhaps to his audience.

Sajjad Ali gets experimental with ‘Aatish

As we often say, Sajjad Ali has got the big mo’. One of Pakistan’s pioneering music forces, Sajjad Ali is navigating unchartered territory and doing very well.

His newest release, ‘Aatish’ reflects newer territory for Sajjad in terms of sound and he’s brought his A-game. The music video is essentially black and blue background but perhaps it is done so to keep the focus on Sajjad Ali, the artist, and not get lost in the storytelling music videos he has released in the past.

Wearing a black suit and sporting a manbun, he is full of confidence as he looks towards the camera and sings.

Written, composed (and performed by) Sajjad Ali, the music is produced by Ahsan Pervaiz Mehdi and shot by Nauman Javaid and the combination of these names together culminates in a music video that commands our attention.

As for the song, heavy on low percussion, it is not fueled by lyrics superior to Sajjad Ali’s previous works. However, Sajjad Ali has the ability to take mediocre lyrics and make them sound deeper and less banal. There is also a sense that it is about having the confidence and high self-esteem to achieve whatever a person wants to gain. And yet, it is not as fulfilling as the iconic ‘Har Zulm’, ‘Teri Yaad’, ‘Tum Naraz Ho’ and many others. Take it as transitional period for Sajjad Ali as he finds space for himself in the age of indie powerhouse acts.

Coke Studio 14’s hit ‘Pasoori’ crosses 100 million views

Numbers do not necessary validate talent. But they do provide an insight into what has captured either the pulse of the nation or found success beyond borders or both.

A case in point is ‘Pasoori’ by Ali Sethi x Shae Gill ft. Sheema Kermani, a song which has crossed the 100 million views mark in just three months. Xulfi has pulled off what no other producer has in the music TV series’ long and illustrious history.

Coke Studio does have a history of songs crossing the 100 million mark, but, it has never happened in such quick succession in the past.

As ‘Pasoori’ made its own history by crossing the 100 million views mark, something that has humbled everyone associated with the song, its success also lies in the people who created it. While the credit for crafty direction must go to Kamal Khan, ‘Pasoori’ is jointly produced by whizkid Abdullah Siddiqui and Zulfiqar J. Khan, better known as Xulfi. Written by Ali Sethi and Fazal Abbas, it is also composed by Ali and Xulfi with music arranged by Abdullah Siddiqui and Sherry Khatak (Karokoram) with the narrative brewed by Ali Sethi.

Other 100 million (or more) tracks that come to mind at this time include ‘Tajdar-e-Haram’ - originally by Amjad Sabri - which is now perched at the top of the table with 365 million views. The song was produced during Strings’ tenure. Similarly, Shiraz Uppal and Rafaqat Ali Khan’s ‘Tu Kuja Man Kuja’ from season 9 generated 122 million plus views to its credit and ‘Man Aamadeh Am’ by Gul Panrra and Atif Aslam crossed the 100 million mark, with the season 8 hit also under the aegis of Strings as executive producers. The way ‘Pasoori’ has been shot and its narrative by Ali, vocals by Ali and Shae along with co-producers have collaborated should take a bow for here is stuff what true content and out-of-the-box ideas look like. -Photography by Nadir Firoz Khan for Coke Studio 14

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