So you think you know: the ‘breakthrough song edition’

December 3, 2023

So you think you know: the ‘breakthrough song edition’

There was a time when film music was the sound that attracted audiences in droves. They watched the films and sang the songs. However, as films began winding down, so did the music. It did open doors for new forms of music, driven by artists experimenting in newer genres, with many not associated to films at all. Some of those artists no longer make music but the music they had made etched a chapter for them in history books as timeless artists, catering to the young and the restless. But for every single one of them, it was always a breakthrough moment that appeared in the form of a song that made them attractive enough for audiences to follow their music beyond one song. Pop, folk, indie music and other iterations found an audience as Lollywood lost its spark. And though films have made a comeback in the last decade (or so), artists defied the film norm by finding fans without any film associated. Can you remember the songs that made them the success they are today? Let’s rewind the tape a little.

1. Pakistan’s biggest solo artist, Atif Aslam, is celebrating two decades in music in 2023. But like every artist, it was a song that made him appealing enough for fans to follow him. What was that song?

A) ‘Channa’

B) ‘Doorie’

C) ‘Woh Lamhe’

D) ‘Jalpari’

E) ‘Aadat’

So you think you know: the ‘breakthrough song edition’

4. After one hugely successful album, Fuzon, in its original
iteration changed. But which song made everyone take notice of this group, where Hindustani classical music, soft and prog rock and raags came together?

A) ‘Khamaaj’

B) ‘Teray Bina’

C) ‘Dooriyan’

D) ‘Aankhon Ke Saagar’

E) All of the above

So you think you know: the ‘breakthrough song edition’

2. From the following songs, which song made music group, Noori, a force to be reckoned with?

A) ‘Dil Ki Qasam’

B) ‘Bol’

C) ‘Manwa Re’

D) ‘Aik Tha Badshah’

E) All of the above

So you think you know: the ‘breakthrough song edition’

3. From the following popular songs, which single made Junoon a household name in Pakistan, across the border and made them a group who found an audience around the world?

A) ‘Sayonee’

B) ‘Taara Jala’

C) ‘No More’

D) None of the above


1. E) Technically speaking, ‘Aadat’ was not a solo song but by the music group, Jal that featured Atif Aslam and Gohar Mumtaz. However, it was Aslam who shone brightly, so brightly in fact that after one song, he subsequently went ahead with a solo career.

2. C) ‘Manwa Re’ by Noori was originally meant to feature in a film but though that didn’t happen, the song upon release made Noori one of the biggest bands in the country, who went from being an indie act to a game-changing mainstream act. They have gone onto release three albums but ‘Manwa Re’ is considered the song that is still Noori’s breakthrough song as it appeals to people who love their guitar-driven music as well as those who find this song akin to some of their performances from the early years of Coke Studio.

3. A) Prior to the release of ‘Sayonee’, Junoon had released more than one album but ‘Sayonee’ from their album, Azaadi, propelled them to a height that no other band in Pakistan has experienced since. From finding fans in Bollywood such as Hindi film star, Kajol, to globe-trotting performances and topping charts, ‘Sayonee’ is the song that compelled listeners to find past Junoon records and follow them until their last album, after which Ali Azmat, Brian O’ Connell and Salman Ahmed went their separate ways.

4. D) The lead single, ‘Aankhon Ke Saagar’ by Fuzon that featured Shafqat Amanat Ali, Shallum Xavier and Imran (Emu) Momina from their debut album, Saagar, was the breakthrough song for this musical outfit. Though it made them an unprecedented success, the original line-up changed after just one album. Shafqat Amanat Ali went ahead with a solo career while Emu and Shallum Xavier continued Fuzon with different vocalists but never managed to reach the same success as their first album. 

So you think you know: the ‘breakthrough song edition’