Fortitude (top left), Abbas Ali Khan (top right), Humayun Khan
(bottom left), and Ali Gul Pir (bottom right) all made our list of top
Pakistani musical acts in 2012.
What may come as a surprise to many is that the year 2012
belonged to young and talented musicians from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa while
the rest were either from Coke Studio or those who gained fame by
uploading videos online.
It’s unfortunate that out of a total of 10 songs in our list, only
two belong to bands — the rest are all solo artists. So cheers to them
for saving our music industry!
Start with a Scratch by Sajid & Zeeshan
Start with a Scratch tops our list of best songs in 2012.
The composition includes a remarkable assortment of instruments and the
profound lyrics are just the cherry on top.
What other musicians need to learn from this powerful duo is that
there is no peak when it comes to music — improving and growing as
musicians and bringing something new to the game every time is
imperative for survival. Sajid & Zeeshan’s growth can easily be seen
since they made their debut with King of Self.
Rabba Sacheya by Atif Aslam
Atif Aslam is one musician that never ceases to impress, be it a heated debate on reality TV show Sur Kshetra or a homerun performance on Coke Studio. This year, he proved why he’s one of the biggest superstars in the subcontinent with his rendition of Rabba Sacheya on Coke Studio, a Punjabi poem by Faiz Ahmed Faiz.
The number takes the listener on an eternal musical journey; Atif’s
soulful voice brings depth to the lyrical content and makes the listener
believe the conversation is as real as it could get with the Almighty.
Par Mein Hoon Ruka Sa by Abbas Ali Khan
Abbas Ali Khan made his listeners wait for his song full of soul and
charm (uploaded the teaser a year ago but the full song was released
recently). Khan’s single was a great replacement as mellow singers such
as Ahmad Jahanzeb have pretty much disappeared from the music scene, and
proved to be worth the wait.
Par Mein Hoon Ruka Sa also reveals that Khan has been
working on his vocals; his voice blends well with the composition and
makes the feel of the song even stronger. It is musicians like Khan who
give this industry hope.
Anay De by Sibti
Muhammad Sibtain, better known as Sibti, released a track called Anay De
earlier this year which was full of humour, wit and a rock sound. The
number was a breath of fresh air for rock music lovers as someone
finally came up with a pure desi rock tune — something which had been
missing since the invasion of Bollywood beats. The sound is loud, catchy
and above all hilarious, clearly depicting that this artist knows the
art of songwriting.
If it weren’t for the YouTube ban, Anay De would have definitely gone viral.
Taroo Maroo by Ali Gul Pir
You might be wondering why we chose Ali Gul Pir’s Taroo Maroo instead of his epic track Waderai Ka Beta.
The reason is simple — the sheer quality of this track, lyrics and
music, made it an instant choice. The number is not just about funny
lyrics but also contains a catchy rhythm. It’s a song everyone can enjoy
and was made for all kinds of listeners — those who love music and for
those who want to have a good laugh. Kudos to the Vital Saeen for coming
up with something so refreshing.
Tora Bahram Khana by Humayun Khan
If there is any folk melody which revitalised Coke Studio (season 5) this year, it is Humayun Khan’s Tora Bahram Khana. This pop artist from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa managed to captivate the listeners with this rather difficult and off-beat number.
While he also sang Larsha Pekhawar Ta on the show, it was Tora Bahram Khana which takes the cake. It had a contemporary yet ethnic and earthy feel to it and we thank Coke Studio for bringing such a talented artist to the mainstream.
Koi Labda by Symt and Sanam Marvi
Koi Labda is hands down one of the most well-composed tracks season five of Coke Studio
had to offer. Sanam Marvi and Symt’s vocalist Haroon Shahid, two
singers of varying musical backgrounds, created magic on the stage with
Rohail Hyatt’s slow yet upbeat number.
The song represents the purpose of Coke Studio: to gather talent nationwide and bring them together on one stage.
Awaam by Faris Shafi
Ali Gul Pir’s satirical track Waderai Ka Beta opened new
doors not just for the listeners but also for other musicians. Following
in his footsteps, Faris Shafi and Mooroo came up with a track called Awaam — another hilarious attempt at incorporating humour in music.
The song is a cleverly penned spoof addressing problems Pakistanis
face on a daily basis: poverty, illiteracy, lack of law and order,
unemployment, load shedding, etc. The lyrics are spot-on, the audio is
of high quality and Mooroo’s rap takes this number to another level.
Za Pakhtoon Yam by Naseer and Shahab
Naseer Afridi and Shahab Qamar yet another duo which hails from
Peshawar, the new hub of musical talent, surprised the audience with a
slow yet progressive rock number, Za Pakhtoon Yam (I am a
Pathan). Although, the two met online as Qamar is based in Australia and
Afridi in Islamabad, the distance between was not a hindrance for their
collaboration; their single became an instant hit on YouTube. This
well-produced catchy tune, however, has another purpose in store for
itself — to alter preconceived notions (pro-militancy and violence)
No Borders by Fortitude
The rappers from Peshawar and Islamabad, who collectively call
themselves Fortitude, provided the music scene with one of the most
interesting rap songs we’ve heard so far. Their track called No Borders
was not just a bunch of guys rapping in English and Pashto but also
featured the band Alag who added a melodic feel to the song. It wasn’t
just the excellent audio quality which left the audience impressed but
also the attention-to-detail when it came to the visuals of the video.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 30th, 2012.