Strings call it a day after 33 years as a band

April 4, 2021

Strings announced the news on their social media account earlier this week

After nearly 33 years in the music scene, Pakistan’s longest running music group, Strings featuring Bilal Maqsood and Faisal Kapadia as the founding members, have called it a day.

The band announced the news on their social media account earlier this week. Writing on their Facebook group, they announced their decision and further noted, “The past 33 years have been incredible for both of us. It’s so rare to have the chance to be able to do things like this and we are infinitely grateful to all of our fans for making it possible. We hope you found it worthwhile as well. While the band technically may not be together anymore, both of us share an inseparable bond that will connect us no matter where life takes us. Thank you so much for everything.”

One of the pioneers of pop music, Strings produced six studio albums, more than a dozen prolific music videos and collaborated with Bollywood on a number of occasions. They’ve participated in Coke Studio as featured artists in its early years and went onto helm four seasons of the music TV series before parting ways with the show.

Last year, Bilal Maqsood successfully captained Velo Music Station while Rohail Hyatt has backed Xulfi as a potential successor to him. It remains to be seen whether VSS comes back or not or whether both musicians are saying adieu to music for good. A lot is up in the air. Will Faisal Kapadia pursue a career in acting or is he done with the entertainment scene in its various facets. Time will tell.

Either way, as the longest running group Pakistan has seen thus far, Strings have accomplished a great deal and like many fans, we are grateful to the band for the decades of music.

Atif Aslam covers Musarrat Nazir

It seems Atif Aslam has vowed to become more visible to Pakistani audience in these difficult times. After recently releasing his ode to the night with the single ‘Raat’ while collaborating with Yasir Jaswal as music video director, Atif has released another song.

Though it’s not an original like ‘Raat’, it is Atif Aslam doing what he does best, singing from the heart while paying tribute to a legendary artist.

Collaborating again with Ahsan Pervez Mehdi on music, the song is called ‘Chale To Kat Hi Jayega’. An original song by Musarrat Nazir, the Atif Aslam version is a beautiful interpretation of the still dynamic original track. The music video that has been directed by David Zennie has a larger-than-life framework in terms of visuals. Released by SufiScore, it’s a tribute but updated in a manner that it can be consumed by a younger audience with its experimental lo-fi electronic field of sound. For those most curious, check out the original as well.

Ali Suhail drops new album, White Flag

Music producer, singer, guitarist and a prolific member of counterculture/independent music, Ali Suhail has dropped his sixth solo album, White Flag. The album was preceded by singles such as ‘Bubbleboi’ and ‘Firetruck’ featuring Aaishay Haque.

Ali revealed that most of the album was recorded on his laptop in various vicinities. “I composed and produced the whole thing at my house. The featuring artists recorded their parts at their own places. The drums were all recorded in Yusuf Ramay’s basement. I did the final mixing touches at Zahra Paracha’s studio and then the whole thing was stem mixed and mastered at A for Aleph Studios by Umair Dar,” said Suhail in a press statement.

It is safe to say that during the time of a global pandemic, technology has been put to great use for the creation of this record.

White Flag is quite possibly Ali Suhail’s most collaborative solo album featuring musicians such as Yusuf Ramay, Varqa Faraid, Aaishay Haque, Nadir Shahzad, Abdullah Siddiqui, Shorbanoor, Nasir Siddiqui, Ibrahim Imdad, Saif Abbas Rizwan, Zain Peerzada and Adeel Tahir. The artwork, drenched in crimson hues is by Sana Ahmed.

Meanwhile, Suhail is also a member of Sikandar Ka Mandar, Takatak and works with artists as diverse as Natasha Humera Ejaz, Shajie Hassan, Natasha Noorani and Umair Jaswal.

His previous solo records include Words From Boxes, Journal Entries, Desolve, Defragment and Pursuit of Irrelevance.

White Flag, published by A for Aleph Records, is available on major music platforms including Bandcamp, Spotify, Tidal, Apple Music and Amazon Music.

Pakistan’s iconic guitarists come together for Guitar Collective

As the saying goes you have to take the bad with the good. Similar is the case with Pakistan’s music scene. If live concerts have become impossible due to coronavirus spreading like wildfire, a new and super cool collaboration in music has happened.

In these times when we spend more time online, a number of high profile guitarists have come together to save the day like a super group.

According to the press statement, Guitar Collective (which you can find on social media along with an introductory video) will feature Khurram Waqar aka kW (kNUMB, Qayaas, kW and The Facedown Movement, RootGate Studio), Asad Ahmed (Karavan, Awaz, Coke Studio sessions, Ali Zafar sessions), Hamza Jafri (co-VEN, Mad School initiative), Shahzad Hameed (Shahzad Hameed Band, kW and The Facedown Movement), Omran Shafique aka Momo (Mauj, co-VEN, Chand Tara Orchestra, Coke Studio sessions, Ali Azmat sessions, Junoon Sessions), Shallum Xavier (Fuzon, Point one three Productions), Kashan Admani (Mizmaar, Dream Station Productions, Acoustic Station, Coke Studio sessions, Junoon sessions, Strings sessions), Shareb Jafar (Arid Zone, Brain Masala) and Royden Mascarenhas (Point of View).

The statement further noted, “We have decided to join forces and bring our combined experience, knowledge and expertise to the forefront for anyone who is interested from upcoming musicians to bands to music producers to listeners. This is a DIY effort to promote positivity and instill motivation in these unpredictable and difficult times due to COVID-19.

“The goal is to establish an online collaborative environment to engage, facilitate and encourage independent musicians and raise awareness of the general masses to diversity in music.

We plan to schedule regular online live sessions on the available social media platforms starting from April 2021. These live sessions will be a combination of talks and performances, which we will build upon as we progress. Since we are all primarily guitar players and producers, we will dwell on subjects ranging from our guitar playing styles, individual approaches to music, songwriting and upcoming projects.

Since music is a universal language above race, color and creed, this platform/environment will not be limited to one country or region. We plan to bring in musicians from all over the world as we move forward.

The aim is to provide a new perspective and approach in terms of treating art as a means of self-expression rather than a route to success.

We encourage everyone to join our online presence on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram on the following links and being a part of this independent effort.”

Instead of clash of the titans, this will be more like titans working together for a greater good. We hope this initiative grows and succeeds.

Strings call it a day after 33 years as a band