Music bring has the power to bring people together. As the melodies synchronise, people find peace and create unique bonds together which otherwise may seemed far-fetched. Pakistani artist Maham Suhail resonates with this. She is a travelling vocalist, songwriter, sonic artist, and a producer. Her primary genre is World Beat and she has performed/recorded in 7 languages and composed across cultures and styles, occasionally throwing in sound samples of her own to create Digi-acoustic music and soundscapes.
Following the release of the critically acclaimed track ‘Sajjan Yaar’ from her debut album ‘Mitti’, the artists recently announced the release of her second track from the album, ‘Pauna-6’. Written, composed and performed by Maham herself, Pauna-6 features Mithu Saaein on dhol, Rakae Jamil on Sitar, Amir Mazhar on guitar, bass and production, Akmal Qadri on flute, and international artist Olavi Lappalainen on cello. The powerful track comprises of ‘Tarana’ song form as lyrics written by the female singer to a special beat system (‘taal’, in local music terms) with a unique count of 5.75 beat/cycle. The track also borrows its title, ‘Pauna-6’ (Urdu, literally for ‘quarter-to-6’), from this beat count, as 5.75 translates as ‘quarter-to-6’ in musical time signature calculation. This was the first time anybody ever recorded a track in this particularly odd beat, marking its place as a production marvel.
Expressing her thoughts about the album, she said, “‘Mitti’ is a statement about bringing peoples, cultures, languages and music together: It is a world peace statement made through World Music. It has my heart, blood and sweat put into its production, where over the years since the first 2016 Kolkata recording, the album’s artistic content was evolving alongside my own growth as a human being and an artist.”
The album was created with the intention of celebrating World Music overlaps, rooted in our South Asian folk music forms. ‘Mitti’ in Urdu language means ‘soil’, as the title arises from the artists innate yearning to connect with one’s own cultural identity, while being harmonious and inclusive of other influences.
– Wallia Khairi