Natasha Humera Ejaz on Gulabo Rani

June 26, 2022

Natasha Humera Ejaz, a multi-media artist, has been at the forefront as music and performing arts evolve in Pakistan and beyond. Her work in Allahyar and the Legend of Markhor as a voice-artist for...

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Natasha Humera Ejaz, a multi-media artist, has been at the forefront as music and performing arts evolve in Pakistan and beyond. Her work in Allahyar and the Legend of Markhor as a voice-artist for one of the film’s pivotal characters and two songs including an original showed us how she is growing as an artist.

Her spectrum of talent has allowed her to become an integral part of the music scene, from the early days of Uth Oye to Lussun TV, Karachi Files and the recent Boiler Room TV - Pakistan edition - among other musical efforts.

But Natasha has a lot more on her resume, including serving as music producer for Usman Mukhtar’s short, Bench.

So, it comes as no surprise that for his newest horror short, Gulabo Rani, Usman Mukhtar, another multi-disciplinary artist who can act and direct, thought of Natasha.

Natasha acts in the film while the music department is being spearheaded by Islamabad-based MRKLE of Star Dek. A respected producer, he has worked with several artists including Osama Karamat Ali (OCL), Umair Jaswal and Danyal Zafar.

As the film gets closer to its release date, Natasha Humera Ejaz spoke to Instep briefly about the project. This time around, tapping MRKLE for the music, said Natasha, was a deliberate move.

While Natasha confessed that she’s not allowed to talk about what character she is playing in the film, she admitted that it is an acting part.

“It has been years since I’ve explored acting. I would have loved to do music direction for Gulabo Rani, but we felt MRKLE was such a good fit for the kind of music this film needed.”

MRKLE has worked with Nimra Gilani (‘Zindagi Tamasha Bani’ from Zindagi Tamasha) for the songs.

Natasha admitted that she has done something musical in this film but that’s meant to be a surprise. “I got to live one of my favourite dreams out in this film,” said Natasha on a parting note.

Gulabo Rani also has something else going for it. Usman Mukhtar is the co-producer of the film along with Meiraj Haq, launching the film with Eastern Terrestrial Studios.

Nimra Gilani gives shoutout to ‘Manzil’ team

Singer, songwriter and composer Nimra Gilani who stole our hearts with the rendition of ‘Zindagi Tamasha Bani’ from Sarmad Khoosat’ still unreleased film, Zindagi Tamasha, seems to have a unique connection with Khoosat Films, irrespective of other work.

ZTB’, meant to be a tribute to the original, came as a complete surprise. The song was composed by Nimra and Ali Hamdani (of Saakin) who are married. The idea was to come up with a composition but when Sarmad heard her rendition of the composition, he told her: “I think you should sing it.”

With Kamli, Sarmad’s newest and critically acclaimed feature film about women, without the male gaze plaguing it - Nimra once again emerged on the soundtrack on a song called ‘Paani’ by Zenab Fatimah Sultan as a ft. artist.

The karmic connection between Sarmad Khoosat and Nimra Gilani, continued with ‘Manzil’ - a song composed by Nimra and Ali Hamdani, sung by Atif Aslam and Shae Gill with Varqa Faraid and Shamsher Rana as music producers.

The music video ft. Sarwat Gillani (with the theme of Cov-Sars-2) was directed by Sarmad Khoosat and the lyrics were penned by Mohammad Hanif.

The project was a collaboration between US Embassy Pakistan and Khoosat Films to raise awareness about the pandemic and that its far from over.

Writing about her experience on Instagram, Nimra stated, “I’m really excited to share this project with you all. Attic Productions has put their heart and soul into this. Every single person involved has truly contributed with all their honesty. Making a melody for Atif Aslam was an honour. Shae Gill was a total sport. Came in with that big smile and blew our minds away. A wonderful experience working with both these legends.”

She also gave a shoutout to music producers, Varqa Faraid and Shamsher Rana, who continued, “to sprinkle this magic dust over anything I write and turn it into SOMETHING. I’m glad I know you guys.”

Writing about her partner in life, Ali Hamdani, she further said, “Ali is the person behind all my passion. Nothing was possible without him. Thank you Sarmad Khoosat for always believing in our ideas.”

Nimra will appear on the soundtrack of Gulabo Rani and, we hope, on other projects in the future because as impressive as Nimra is as a composer, she is equally impressive as a singer. Her first major film song pretty much solidifies this view.

Bilal Maqsood is working with Shae Gill

Coke Studio 14 has set such a standard with most of its songs that we do wonder how they will surpass it come season 15. One of their biggest hits, in terms of viewership and love, is Ali Sethi and Shae Gill’s ‘Pasoori’ ft. Sheema Kermani. Directed by one of Pakistan’s finest directors (Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy agrees), Kamal Khan, the song reached 100 million views in just three months. Now it has gone above 180 million views. Apart from views though, it also spawned series of covers from dance videos to instrumental covers to English covers. A cover by Emma Heesters that adds to the original chorus has crossed 5 million views and while interesting, it doesn’t outshine the addictive properties of the original. ‘Pasoori’ was noticed by New Yorker and a viral video also emerged of a woman singing the song while working in the kitchen from across the border. The song, with a conceptual narrative by Ali Sethi, the multi-cultural artist of our generation, not only ranked among top three songs on Spotify’s global viral charts but even topped charts in India.

Since its release, Shae Gill has worked with the reigning king of contemporary music, Atif Aslam in ‘Manzil’. It now seems that Bilal Maqsood is also working with the singer for a project. Confirming on Instagram, Bilal Maqsood noted, “It was wonderful working with Shae Gill [shaegilll] on my latest project (2.0). Can’t wait to share it with you all!” he wrote.

We can’t wait to hear it. Here’s to ‘Pasoori’s’ undying power. We totally approve.

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