Abdullah Siddiqui on ‘Preacher’ making it to a Mahira Khan advertisement

November 29, 2020

He may be singing in English but his talent has put him on top of the list of best emerging artists

As far as independent artists go, Abdullah Siddiqui - just 19 or 20 years old at most - has accomplished much more than so many others. He is a whiz kid, the polymath who has worked with Fawad Khan on ‘Uth Jaag’, Zoe Viccaji, Shamoon Ismail, Zulfiqar Jabbar Khan, and on more than one occasion, Meesha Shafi.

He may be singing in English but his talent has put him on top of the list of best emerging artists. Nominated again for 2021 Lux Style Awards, albeit for a song he has already been nominated for before, Abdullah’s latest is a collaboration of sorts with the country’s leading female actor, Mahira Khan. Mahira recently made it to BBC’s 100 Most Inspiring Women of 2020.

Back to Abdullah, a song from his sophomoric upcoming album, Heterotopia, called ‘Preacher’, has been picked up for a Mahira Khan Samsung advertisement.

Speaking to Instep, the young artist revealed he was stoked. “I’m super excited about this!”

He reiterated, “It’s so rare that an ad like this, from such a mainstream brand, with such a mainstream actor, would use local independent music. ‘Preacher’ started as a weird little experiment in my bedroom studio, when I wanted to make a song using only sounds from my mouth and hands. And somehow now it’s been given this giant, prestigious platform. I’m so honored that they made this advertisement with this song in mind. You just never know when you’re making something, where it’s going to end up.”

MRKLE drops new music video

Pakistan’s emerging and mainstream musicians have been busy making music, lending some sense of normalcy to this otherwise crazy time. Much of this music has released with a slew of music videos, each one of which deserves a watch.

MRKLE (pronounced Miracle), a leading producer and artist based out of Islamabad, has been behind the scene for far too long. Working at his studio and producing for Abdullah Qureshi, Osama Com Laude, Umair Jaswal and Danny Zee lately, he is now ready to come out of his shell.

He has stepped out with an EP titled Everything. Containing singles such as ‘Exceptional’, ‘Rehne Do Na’, and ‘Num’, he has also dropped a music video (or as he puts it, ‘official visualiser’) for the last. The video features Ishita Chawla, who came up with choreography in the music video, and it’s quite sweet and goes well with the song.

In addition, you can also find a song called ‘Sweet Jalapeno’ by the artist. MRKLE is an artist to watch out for. He has great potential.

Grammys 2021 nominations, announced

The year 2020 was a big one for music, globally. From the likes of Taylor Swift trying to approach a singer-songwriter way on Folklore to Coldplay’s Everyday Life (featuring the late Amjad Sabri), some very prominent albums have come out.

In the Grammys though, perhaps like most awards, there are always snubs and surprises. As the nominations came out, artists such as Justin Bieber, Nicki Minaj, The Weeknd and Teyana Taylor - all slammed the awards for various reasons.

Coldplay have landed two nominations including one for Everyday Life in Album of the Year category. Billie Eillish has been nominated for Record of the Year, Album of the Year and Song of the Year. Similarly, Taylor Swift is again nominated for her 2020 release Folklore. Beyonce Knowles walked away with nine nods while last year’s winner Billie Eillish returned with four nods in total. Black Pumas, Post-Malone, Megan Thee Stallion, Phoebe Bridgers, Justin Bieber, DaBaby all walked away with nominations. However, the predicted act who should have been nominated but wasn’t, surprisingly was The Weeknd.

We’re rooting for Coldplay because in their album is a song in which Amjad Sabri’s voice is embedded and for that reason alone we’re hoping they win ahead of another favourite, Billie Eillish. The rest is kind of a mess with some categories not even nominating any female artists. Here’s hoping we learn from the flaws that the Grammys repeat every year. 

Abdullah Siddiqui on ‘Preacher’ making it to a Mahira Khan advertisement