Since producing a film, trying his hand at screenplay writing (Superstar) and music film director for multiple films, Azaan Sami Khan is now on another tangent: singer and songwriter
Since producing a film, trying his hand at screenplay writing (Superstar) and music film director for multiple films, Azaan Sami Khan is now on another tangent: singer and songwriter. “I genuinely wanted to make an album that carries the sound that is synonymous to me. I own it,” he told Instep in an earlier interview.
To that end, Azaan Sami Khan has been working on a 9-track album featuring 65 musicians from 5 countries including multiple symphony orchestras.
After releasing his first music video, which is also the title track, ‘Main Tera’, Azaan has just released his second track, ‘Tu’ from his upcoming album. The song was released with a music video featuring Mahira Khan.
The theme of the song is about falling for someone who is not good for you and draws inspiration from Michael Jackson’s ‘Billie Jean’.
As Azaan told Instep, “This album is my life so far. My first crushes, my first heartbreaks, my first encounter with betrayals, euphoria, ultimatums, unimaginable happiness…”
He further stated, “There are songs on Main Tera that take me to happy places and some do not take me to happy places and it does take an emotional toll. It’s vulnerable, raw and romantic and a collection of who I am and is biographical in a sense.”
With that approach in mind, watching ‘Tu’ – shot as a short film - is an inside look in the heart and mind of Azaan Sami Khan during a period in his life.
Directed by Hassan Dawar with music and lyrics by Azaan and Meghdeep Bose playing the role of music producer, ‘Tu’ for one thing is unlike ‘Main Tera’ visually and sonically. The sound borders on electronic dance but in a subliminal sense while Azaan and Mahira play two people in a relationship. Several scenes play out between the two.
Technology and VFX play a strong role in the larger than life music video. At one point, we see Azaan sitting on top of the world and falling between clouds; in another sequence Mahira’s height is that of a giant while he is human. The song in itself is fun.
After two minutes, both Mahira and Azaan start dancing (backed by dancers). In my view, the music video overshadows the song. To learn the full story, just head to YouTube and watch the massive production. Like Azaan’s previous hit, the song is climbing charts faster than ever.
Talal Qureshi and Maanu drop ‘5 AM’
Electronic music giant Talal Qureshi and one of indie music’s most well-known names, Maanu, joined forces [this month] to release a new single called ‘5 AM’.
Directed by Zain Peerzada, we think it’s a part of a larger project between Maanu and Talal Qureshi. It is stated in the credits at the very end of the YouTube page: “Yain X Acha 2021. All rights reserved.”
Mannu previously released an album called Yain City while Talal has dropped Acha Volume 2 ft 5 tracks. This is conjecture at this point. Nonetheless, the single (and its music video) work as a singular project as well.
The music video opens with Maanu and Talal sitting before a computer before the visuals shift. It cuts to a different locale where both artists are featured. Begins the wordplay, “It’s 5 In the Morning/And The Shit That I’m On/Bhula Diye Ronay.”
It’s narrative-based lyrical songwriting where Maanu and Talal share strengths and insecurities that follow independent artists as they find their way in the maze that is the music scene.
“But I know I’m Lit,” Maanu raps at one point, revealing an inner belief in an ability to go far.
Written, composed, and performed by Maanu and Talal Qureshi and produced, mixed and mastered by Talal Qureshi, it is sonically and thematically different than Maanu’s last solo release ‘Melancholic’. With Talal at the helm as producer and co-writer, the sound does have those quintessential Talal Qureshi beats.
Maanu is growing as an artist with each release. The song, in English and Urdu is not exactly a diss track, which is very common to rap and hip-hop musicians. It feels more like an observation of two artists and what they makes of haters and those who don’t want to them to succeed. The song flows and they admit it’s not about money.
Talal Qureshi is on fire as producer of the single. His skills as producer remain astonishing because even as he retains his signature style, he changes the electronic depth to a great deal to make the song and the beats work together. To feel the full experience, we recommend listening and watching this song. The audio-visual experience is complementary.
WoW 2021: The Sketches, Harsakhiyan, Shmol, Lala Ahsan come together for a special performance
It is often said that this is the age of information overload. But it is also the age of algorithms. It means that while you may get similar material to what you watch or listen to on any digital platform, it also means that a great deal of content may go unnoticed.
After Meesha Shafi and Wajiha Naqvi, both of whom gave unique performances for the first digital edition of Women of the World 2021, there is another performance we found that is an absolute must for well, everyone.
Featuring independent folk act (with multiple LSA nominations) The Sketches (led by Saif Samejo), Harsakhiyan, Shmol and Lala Ahsan, the combined artists came together as a regional ensemble for a WoW performance called Saelani.
Described on the WoW YouTube page about what the performance was about, it was stated: “When wanderlust had to be confined to the walls of our houses it was the music of our hometowns and the language of our ancestors that helped us traverse this hard time. The sounds are nostalgia not just for the time gone before but for the tomorrow yet to come. Tying us together through space and time. It is a celebration of who we are and how our harmonies our interwoven into this land. Regional music ensemble comprises of Punjabi folk, old Punjabi, Siraiki, Pushto, Sindhi and Wakhi songs.”
This is, in my opinion, one of the most soothing performance we’ve seen, and not just this year. It’s arrival during the pandemic gives it a visceral verve; it feels organic, raw and thrives in the simplicity if offers.