Faris Shafi drops his solo new single called ‘Molotov’. Unlike ‘Nazar’ where Faris Shafi was at his most vulnerable, with ‘Molotov’ he has found a way to a newer height that few can climb
Since releasing the formidable single, ‘Nazar’ a year ago that provided a change of pace for Faris Shafi, the finest Urdu rapper in Pakistan has been quiet – until now. Apart from tearing it up at Lahore Music Meet 2020 during Talal Qureshi’s set, Faris’ name cropped up with the release of ‘Na Tutteya Ve’ during which his older sibling, the mighty Meesha Shafi rapped. And as she told Instep, Faris remotely guided her, and as we know, Meesha dropped it like it’s hot.
However, earlier this month, Faris Shafi dropped his solo new single called ‘Molotov’. Unlike ‘Nazar’ where Faris Shafi was at his most vulnerable, with ‘Molotov’ he has found a way to a newer height that few can climb.
With each single including ‘Awaam’ (featuring Mooroo), ‘Jawab De’, ‘Clap’ (with Talal Qureshi) and ‘Waasta’ (with Ali Sethi), Shafi is upping the game by speaking a larger truth. In a sense, the songs speak to a personal narrative, but they also provide a reflection on our increasingly myopic society, even if it is uncomfortable to digest. But, Shafi never backs down. That is one of his strongest strengths as a rapper and ‘Molotov’ does have those truisms and edginess.
The song is produced by Block-2 and co-produced by longtime collaborator Talal Qureshi with the latter also mixing and mastering it. Complementing the track is a video directed by Awais Gohar.
Combined, this is Faris Shafi at his bloody best. The song where mention of the menace of drugs is openly addressed - that tend to numb us as Faris spits sharp ciphers after ciphers - are open to interpretations at first. But with each listen, it makes sense of the culture we live in and how it ultimately affects people, particularly young people. This is one song that has rightfully earned more than one listen because each time you hear it, its ingenuity and truth hits you in the gut. Bravo!
Sherry Khattak and the boys of Karakoram are finally releasing their much-awaited debut album, Ailan-e-Jang - today.
First slated to release earlier this month, the band has confirmed to fans that their full-length debut album is coming today. It features a total of ten tracks and is produced by super-producer Zulfiqar Jabbar Khan, aka, Xulfi.
Apart from featuring released singles such as ‘Toofan’, ‘Raasta’ and ‘Fanaa’, the album will be accompanied by a music video for a song called ‘Bekhudi’.
The record will be available on all streaming platforms and is being distributed by Rearts PK.
In a way, Karakoram – that has played shows to great success at music festivals including Lahore Music Meet and Koblumpi Music Festival – is a super group of sorts.
It is fronted by Sherry Khattak (lead vocalist/guitars) – who has worked closely with Meesha Shafi on career-defining hits such as ‘Mein’ and ‘Leela’; Bilawal Lahooti on drums (who has played with the likes of Mekaal Hasan Band and has been the drummer for Nescafe Basement); Zain Peerzada on guitars (who works behind the camera for LMM and A for Aleph and also plays with Takatak, Keeray Makoray and Umair Jaswal) as well as Annan Noukhez (also on guitars) and Omair Farooq (on bass).
As for their sound as Karakoram, an alternative rock group explain, their sonic landscape is a blend of “hard hitting rock to soulful spacey arrangements.”
Given their releases so far, we’re inclined to believe this description and with the presence of several names, who work with some of the most mainstream and counterculture acts across the country, this is one album that music fans should look out for.
Quaid Ahmed releases debut EP via Laal Series
Quaid Ahmed, who has been known for a long time as a member of Sounds of Kolachi, has grown by leaps and bounds as a musician. It is palpable in his work with Laal Series and the role he has played, as well as his presence in Sounds of Kolachi (SOK). As SOK leader Ahsan Bari told Instep earlier, Quaid Ahmed is playing a stronger role in composing songs for SOK’s next album.
In between collaborations and composing, Quaid Ahmed also managed to announce that he is working on a solo EP, which was marked by the release of the single and the music video for a lovely track called ‘Shamein’.
But Ahmed, like many others, had promised to release a solo EP as well and he has finally done so with the release of Sunlo that has been released alongside a music video of the title track directed by Hassan Ali Effendi. The song is composed by Ahsan Bari and remains a collaborative effort between Laal Series, Ahsan Bari and a bunch of other artists.
The EP release for Sunlo was marked by an event in Karachi that featured a listening session as well as a performance from Ahmed. More important is the fact that the EP is finally out. Though the barrage of music scheduled to release this year is heavy, Quaid Ahmed’s EP is one that is a showcase of artistic growth. One of the more underrated artists in the country, Quaid Ahmed is a good singer, performer and with this album, a solo artist with a narrative that belongs to him alone. And that achievement must be lauded.
– Artwork photography by Moiz Alvi
– Artwork by Azeem Hamid