Instep picks 4 songs that must be on everyone’s playlist.
There is no one in the music business who can match Sajjad Ali’s terrific repertoire and training. Combined, he is among the most versatile musicians to emerge out of Pakistan. Back with a new song called ‘Baarish’, Sajjad Ali has climbed the top of the charts. His indubitable popularity shows in the numbers the song has attained in just a few days. The track, ‘Baarish’ is no small song. Actor Reema Khan is featured in the music video, which is your above-average love ballad and one that is befitting of someone like Sajjad Ali. It is quintessential Sajjad Ali in some ways and that works in the artists’ favour.
Various artists: Mustafa Zahid and Yashal Shahid
Series: In the Box
After dropping ‘Baliyay’ with Farhan Saeed, which was both reminiscent of his older Jal days as well appealed to Saeed’s fanbase, so much so that it became one of the big releases upon release, In the Box is back on the charts.
Saad Sultan’s In the Box series is not a fluke. Among their most popular releases is a song called ‘Ranjha’ featuring Mustafa Zahid (Roxen) and Yashal Shahid. Produced and composed by Saad Sultan, the song is written by Anil Jeenagar and Mustafa Zahid. It is said to be a conversation between two lovers who speak of purity and depth that they share within love. The track is a decent production and it is no wonder it has picked up over 900,000 hits. Mustafa Zahid leaves the full-blown rocker tones behind and displays it for a short period, showcasing his own evolution. It is perhaps the secret to the song’s success that has elevated the otherwise mellow song. Accompanied by a music video, this is music producer Saad Sultan at his very best.
Approximately two years after making their debut as Karakoram with the heavy ‘Toofan’, Karakoram is back with its second single, ‘Raasta’, with a performance-based music video. The band is led by singer-songwriter Sherry Khattak, who is a member of Meesha Shafi’s live line-up and performed on Shafi’s ‘Mein’ and ‘Leela’ on Pepsi Battle of the Bands. He also performed with Fawad Khan on ‘Uth Jaag’ and continues to be a prolific member of Nescafe Basement. So, it makes sense the second single, released after years and to be fair, ‘Raasta’ is a song that has been worth the wait. The song, which finds the band asking existential questions, is in complete contrast to their debut single. Apart from Sherry Khattak (vocals/guitar), Karakoram’s ‘Raasta’, a beautiful track through and through, also features Zain Peerzada of Takatak (guitars), Omair Farooq (bass) and Bilawal Lahooti (drums). Combined, Karakoram is a force to be reckoned with as was proven at the recent edition of Lahore Music Meet 5 followed by Koblumpi Music Festival in Islamabad.
Artist: Auj (the band)
Appearing on the 2019 season of Pepsi Battle of the Bands, Auj - featuring Nasir Zaka (Guitars, Backing Vocals), Syed Hasnain Ali (Bass Guitar) Muhammad Kashif (Drums) and Abdur Rehman Sajid (vocals) - saved the best for last as they performed a haunting single called ‘Raat’ with lyrics by front-man Abdur Rehman Sajid during the 7th episode. They got a standing ovation from program judge Meesha Shafi who called the performance “a massive display of talent”. Faisal Kapadia thought they knocked it out of the park while Bilal Maqsood batted for them, using his influence as co-judge and openly stating that if Auj doesn’t win, it would be sad because they deserved to win. Fawad Khan, who is still a program judge for the upcoming season, also loved the track, stating, “I see you guys touring the world already,” before adding, “hats off.”
The judges weren’t wrong.
Off the songs Auj has released thus far, including the mammoth performances such as ‘Lafz’, ‘Aansu’ and the most recent ‘Duhrao’, it is ultimately ‘Raat’ that shows the band at its peak. Give it a listen if you haven’t already.