Instep lends an ear to the songs that make up the Pakistan Super League soundtrack.
When you think of cricket in the subcontinent, you can’t help but think of music. Artists like Junoon, Haroon, Strings and several others have produced quite a few singles over the years that backed up Pakistan’s cricketers. Perhaps the most memorable song in cricket-music history belongs to Strings whose 2003 anthem ‘Hai Koi Hum Jaisa’ is as vibrant and infectious as it was more than a decade ago. Junoon’s timeless anthem, ‘Jazba Junoon’ still springs to mind after all these years.
With the birth of Pakistan Super League though, not one but several cricket-boosting songs have appeared on the horizon, serving as musical anthems to the five teams that make up the ongoing Twenty20 tournament.
Pakistan’s rock god Ali Azmat is hard to beat and this time is no different. His single for Karachi Kings called ‘Dilon Ke Badshah’ is actually best of the lot. The music, produced by Shahbaz Ali, is full of thumping beats and sizzling riffs and Ali Azmat is in terrific form on the song. Though the video is ordinary and the lyrics monotonous, it’s the larger-than-life sound and the presence of an emotive Azmat that’ll get you with every listen.
Islamabad United’s official anthem, ‘Chakka Choka’ is sung by Ali Zafar who has also written and composed this deliberately loud single. Zafar’s vocal performance gives the song the punch it needed and the lyrics aren’t that bad. The theme ‘united we stand, divided we fall’ that Zafar explores in the song is commendable. That said, this could easily double as a Bollywood song and that takes away some of its value.
Lahore Qalandars get it very, very wrong with the tune ‘Dama Dam Mast’. It opens like a shaadi song, full of garish tones including unbearable dhols. This song never recovers and feels like an annoyance every time it plays longer than five seconds. ‘Dama Dam Mast’ has two versions, one by Nabeel Shaukat and the other by Asrar Shah and neither works. Unfortunately, this song is trying too hard to be catchy and fails. Perhaps next year, Lahore Qalandars can opt for acts like Overload or Noori who are capable of producing larger-than-life, sing-along singles without losing their signature charm.
Quetta Gladiators appear on the list with ‘Chaa Jaaye Quetta’ which is sung by Faakhir and Faheem Alan Fakeer. Between the two vocalists it’s Faheem who shines while Faakhir provides support. The uber-catchy chorus though makes up for some of the other flaws such as clichéd lyrics.
Peshawar Zalmi, on the other hand, have come up with a theme song that’s totally amusing. It’s like a desi techno song full of Urdu rap, and if you keep an open mind, this song will make you laugh. The theme song by Arbaz Khan and Zohaib Amjad has a cringe-worthy chorus but the rest of it works. Unlike the rest of the songs on this list, ‘Peshawar Zalmi’ has a unique sonic sound minus psycho dhols. And despite a weak chorus, Peshawar Zalmi deserve applause for delivering a song that is daring and different.