Songs of the week

March 1, 2020

Instep picks top three songs that must be on everyone’s playlist.

Song: ‘Hai Koi Hum Jaisa

Artist: Strings
Album: Hai Koi Hum Jaisa
(Compilation album)

If music can bring artists together, it can also split them as has been the case with PSL V anthem. And so, we go back in time to find some of the best songs catering specifically to cricket fans. Though dozens of songs have released since this anthemic Strings song, ‘Hai Koi Hum Jaisa’, for so many of us this continues to be the best song to emerge from a cricket specific music dynamic from a revered music group.

Written by Anwar Maqsood and composed by Bilal Maqsood and Faisal Zafar, the song is the official 2003 Cricket World cup Anthem. We may have lost the World Cup but found victory in this song that comes to mind every time Pakistan is playing cricket, whether it’s a T20 game, an ODI or even a Twenty20 tournament like Pakistan Super League.

The infectious energy of this song, its lyrical superiority over many doomed tracks, and the musical field setup by Strings makes its the most unique song in cricket song history. Both Faisal Kapadia and Bilal Maqsood sing on the song; something that we have seen more of as the years (and albums) have passed. All in all, you can’t beat this song. There is a reason why this World Cup anthem has such a strong place in memory.

Song: ‘Garaj Baras’

Artist: Ali Azmat/Junoon
Album: Deewar/Daur-e-Junoon

With Junoon – not just touring – but also promising to release a new album later this year, we go back to ‘Garaj Baras’, a song that was written by Ali Azmat and the iconic lyricist Sabir Zafar and went on to feature in the Pooja Bhatt film, Paap.

‘Garaj Baras’ is also one of the redeeming songs on Deewar (2003), Junoon’s seventh and last studio album together as a band before Ali Azmat, Brian O’ Connell and Salman Ahmed went their separate ways. Azmat remained most successful, releasing the critically acclaimed albums, Klashnifolk and Social Circus. While Brian worked abroad, Salman Ahmed continued to play as Junoon to some degree of success, while writing books, teaching, etc. For many Junoon fans, this song is one of the final great songs in Junoon’s history along with ‘Taara Jala’ and ‘Sapnay’ before it all went awry on the album, Deewar with several songs sticking out as terrible musical absurdities. We hope that Junoon takes into account the criticism off Deewar, the growth of Ali Azmat as a solo musician and the changing times into account before unleashing a new album on excited fans.

Song: ‘Jana Tha Hum Ne’

Artist: Noori
Album: Suno Ke Main Hun Jawan

Since cricket, even a homegrown Twenty20 tournament has a way of bringing out patriotism, look no further than the Noori song ‘Jana Tha Hum Ne’ off their debut album, Suno Ke Main Hun Jawan. As Junoon was wrapping up, a new band was taking over the internet, holding small gigs in cafes and across various vicinities in the city and their name was Noori. Their debut album featured this Ali Noor-written track, ‘Jana Tha Hum Ne’ that is palpable in its patriotic vibes but isn’t pandering to anyone. It is straight from the heart, which is what makes it so special. As cricket comes home, along with several international players after close to a decade, celebrate the sport, the cricketers and patriotism within with this song. Its rock ‘n’ roll with smart transitions and it is Noori in its early days; this is one of their better songs from SKMHJ.

Songs of the week: Strings' Hai Koi Hum Jaisa, Ali Azmat/Junoon's Garaj Baras’, Noori's Jana Tha Hum Ne’