The new Disney+ limited series, Ms. Marvel, featuring Pakistani-American actor Iman Vellani as Ms. Marvel/Kamala Khan, has us all excited and rooting for the series, and more so as we learn that more than one Pakistani song has made it to the score.
After Coke Studio 14’s exceptional electro-banger ‘Peechay Hutt’ by Hasan Raheem, Talal Qureshi and Justin Bibis headed to MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe), reports are emerging that other musical names will be making an appearance of some kind.
Among them is Eva B’s ‘Rozi’ which appears as the first episode’s end credits unfold.
As for Ms. Marvel, it has been reported that apart from ‘Rozi’ and ‘Peechay Hutt’, Ahmed Rushdi’s iconic ‘Ko Ko Korina’ is also featured in the serial in some fashion. ‘Ko Ko Korina’, has an interesting history. It was covered 25 years later by Alamgir to great success and a banal effort was again made during season 11 of Coke Studio by Ahad Raza Mir and Momina Mustehsan.
Another song called ‘Sohniye I Love You’ from an older Pakistani film - sung by Nahid Akhtar - and a song by Pakistani-American rapper and actor Riz Ahmed called ‘Deal With It’ also features in the series.
Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, two-time Oscar winner from Pakistan, is possibly directing two episodes, not just one (unconfirmed) with powerhouse actor Nimra Bucha also starring in the series.
Cameos from Pakistan’s Fawad Khan and India’s Farhan Akhtar are said to be confirmed. Whether we will hear more Pakistani music as episodes release remains to be seen but what is palpable is that this limited series is embracing South Asian roots and has done a decent job repping brown culture.
Ms. Marvel is also heading to Pakistani cinemas so here’s to its upcoming arrival and a thrilling, non-cringe superhero film.
While on the subject of Coke Studio 14 and ‘Peechay Hutt’, the track, along with ‘Phir Milenge’ by Faisal Kapadia and Young Stunners, ‘Sajni’ by Strings and ‘Har Zulm’ by Sajjad Ali, is part of a new Spotify initiative.
With the aim to launch three TVCs, the new campaign is called Jaisa Mood Waisi Dhun.
The mission of the TVCs is to show musical diversity, via the campaign, the context to each song will represent the idea behind the campaign.
Noted Faisal Kapadia, in an exclusive conversation with Instep, “I’ve been using Spotify since they probably first launched it in the USA in 2012. I love their streaming service, I’m a huge fan of the user interface. So, it definitely feels great to be associated with them.”
Faisal explained further, “We have two songs. There’s ‘Sajni’ (Strings) in one of the ads. In ‘Phir Milenge’, I’m also present with Young Stunners so it was a fun experience. I’m pretty excited and happy.”
Noted a press statement, “Each TV commercial celebrates a cultural insight that is uniquely Pakistani.”
Spotify also has integrated itself with cricket, something that Pakistan adores almost as much as music.
Spotify’s Head of Strategy and Operations Ruthie Qadan, said about the campaign, “Music is the language of the heart in Pakistan. It has always been a part of our lives, a constant companion. We celebrate life milestones with music, bond with friends over music and even remedy our sorrows with it. With billions of playlists and millions of songs on Spotify, our listeners can enrich any moment with the perfect tune. This new campaign captures exactly that.”
Each TVC carries its own context but what this does show is how fast marketing initiatives Spotify has been rolling out since officially arriving in Pakistan in February 2021.
The name Shehzad Roy has become synonymous with educator and activist. Meanwhile obsession with the personal life of an actor as skilled as Sajal Aly is also a public sport for some godforsaken reason. She is fortunately also linked to some of the best work in TV and Films (Mom).
If anything, Shehzad Roy has been so busy with his other roles that his musical identity is inexplicable. However, even Shehzad is capable of dropping a sweet ballad, which is what ‘Tum Hi To’ is. It’s actually better than some of the soundtracks that accompany a TV or digital serial, where the artist tries to copy India’s Arjit Singh (who found inspiration in Atif Aslam).
The song, ‘Tum Hi To’ is a purposeful song that promotes the idea of working women and shows how Shehzad pushes for it but is a contrarian when it comes to his own partner, Sajal Aly.
Whether this means a whole drama series is secretly underway, or this is just one song, Sajal and Shehzad make a good pair. With Faisal Qureshi directing, the music video was in safe hands, and has since gone viral.