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Pakistani Pop Music

By: Faiza Kamal

Pakistan is blessed with talent and when we talk about Pakistani Music, you can never stop picking up one of the best Pakistani pop song uptill now because there are number of such hit songs nobody can judge the best one in past decades such as "Dil Dil Pakistan" , “Huwa Huwa", “Mehndi ki Raat", “Na Kaho", “Dil Haray", “Ankhain Milanay Walay", “Wakt", “Neeli Neeli Ankhain", “Jaisay Chao Jeo", “Garuj Burus", “No More", “Ankhoun ki Sagar", “Na Tu Aigi", “Addat" left the audience agape and many more. Our artists' are popular all over the world. Many new talented artists in Pakistan are still working hard to bring quality Pakistani music.

We can easily judge Alamgir as the pioneer of music industry who's first big hit was "DEKHA NA THA KABHI HUM NAY YEH SUMMA", and remains the song he is still most identified with, though later songs such as "Yeh Shaam Aur Tera Naam" and "Mein Ne Tumhare Gagar Se Kabhi Pani" continued to add to his composition. Alamgir, it must be said, laid the groundwork that countless others used to break into the music industry. He not only sang well, he was a performer in the true sense of the word. There is no denying Alamgir’s contribution to the evolution of the pop music genre in Pakistan.

NAZIA HASSAN was the first one to cross the forbidden Pakistan-India border to sing in an Indian film called "Qurbani" which was "APP JAISA KOI". And later this song became a youth anthem in both India and Pakistan. And next NAZIA, ZOHAIB and BIDDU (an Indian composer) teamed up to release "DISCO DEEWANE" which became the biggest pop selling album till then in Pakistan. The Hasan siblings released one more album, "Boom Boom", in 1984. This second collaboration with Biddu, the undisputed king of Indian filmi disco music, was also a huge success. Their success marked a turning point in the pop history.

And later Vital Sign ventured on to Pakistani television screens with their guitars and a catchy, patriotic song named "Dil Dil Pakistan" in 1986. Their album released in 1987 with gems like "Yeh Shaam" and funky "Goray Rung Ka Zamana".

Then came Jupitars with their evergreen hit songs “Yaroun Yehi Dosti Hai", continued with Hassan Jehangir’s “Hawa Hawa" in 1990, "Sanwali Saloni" by Vital Signs in 1991, "Sar Kiye Yeh Pahar" in 1992 by the Strings, Sajjad Ali’s "Didi" ripoff "Babia" in 1993, Najam Shiraz’s "In Se Nain" in 1995, Junoon’s "Saeein" in 1996 or Awaz’s "Mr. Fraudiye" in 1997. Junoon came into the race with their World Cup Hit song “Jazaba-e-Junoon Tou Himat na Har". This is only to be expected in a growing industry.

Perhaps the biggest unexpected success of an experimental song, however, was Sajjad Ali’s street-wise 1995 hit "Chief Saab". Full of Karachi slang and tough imagery, "Chief Saab", perhaps more than anything else signified the coming age of pop music. It showed that one did not necessarily have to remain within pre-determined saccharine-sweet boundaries to be popular, and that people liked hearing of issues other than puppy love. Partly, as a result of this expansion of the pop market, established musicians from non-pop genres such as qawwali maestro Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan were also drawn towards experimenting within it. Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan gave numerous hit one after another and he gave the music for Hollywood movies and as well as for many Bollywood movies too.

The pop band that most successfully seized upon this idea was, of course, Junoon, which used its success with the haunting "Saeein" to recast itself as a completely different sort of band. Here we saw pop again intersecting with folk and vice versa.

In 1994, FM radio brought about another mini-revolution in Pakistani music. From Landhi in Karachi to Krishan Nagar in Lahore, names like female vocalist Hadiqa Kiyani and young Shehzad Roy suddenly became household names. Even iconoclastic recluse virtuosos like guitarist Amir Zaki (whose almost purely instrumental album "Signature" did well in the market) were receiving the kind of airplay the big bands of the ’80s could only have dreamed of.

Pop industry had big turnaround when private channels came into the scene, Like IM which became the medium to introduce young talents in the pop industry names like Fuzon, Aaroh, noori, Aks, Ahmad Jehanzaib, Mizraab, Karavan, Ali Zafar, Jal which not only rock the Pakistani pop music but also made their names worldwide. The new arrivals made their presence felt through remarkable individual songs, even though full albums for now seemed beyond most new acts. Ahmad Jehanzaib's Ek Bar Kaho, Fuzon's Ankhon Ke Saagar and Schehzad Mughal's Bas Yunheen were each excellent. The first two were carried by soulful, ardent vocals and the last shone through affecting lyrics. Hot on their heels, honourable mentions must also go to Aks stunningly understated Neela Aasman, noori's jangle-pop perfection Tum Hans Diyae, Junoon's excellent Garaj Baras, Sajjad Ali with Teri Yaad, Aamir Zaki's insightful and incisive People Are People, EP's piledriving Hum Ko Aazma, Najam's infinitely catchy !

Jaisay Chaho Jiyo and Aao Wahan Chalain, Ali Zafar’s startling Chanoo ki Ankh, Jal’s splendid addat and yes even Ali Haider's insipid but still memorably melodic Chandi Ratain. Abrar's Preeto was the novelty hit of the year. The Pepsi Battle of the Bands did a great job in throwing up a wealth of talent. EP, Aaroh, Brain Massala, Messiah, Schahzad Hameed and others all have Pepsi to thank. The Pepsi Battle of the Bands got all these fledgling bands great exposure.

Recently, a team of talented Pakistani musicians and artists took the long road to Mumbai, via Dubai, possibly to make history, for this was the first time in recent memory that Pakistanis had gone to India to create the background score for a Bollywood film. The film in question is Pooja Bhatt's Paap, and former Vital Sign Shehzad 'Shahi' Hasan, cinematographer Faisal Rafi, singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and studio session player and keyboardist Faiz Ali Naqvi, were the foursome representing the world of Pakistani music in India.

Strings enjoyed considerable success with Dhaani. Probably the most hyped album of the year, with lead single Chaaye Chaaye being the standout favourite. String gave the soundtrack for Spiderman 2 which was a remarkable effort.

Junaid Jamshed's Dil Ki Baat was understated but assured and notwithstanding JJ's quite public and tortured ruminations over religion and music, the album showed that JJ is still competent at middle of the road pop and that Shoaib Mansoor still has the magic touch. Shahzad Roy's Rab Jane was hobbled by his illness and yet catches the fire while Karavan's Gardish seems to have suddenly picked up and was sold like hot-cakes. Schahzad Mughal's Jhoom Lay was one of the most pleasant of surprises of the year.

So this proves that our music industry has dared to move forward with hope rather than skepticism.

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About The Author, Faiza Kamal

Faiza Kamal
Hi, i am a student of BS Software Engineering in first year from Karachi University and i am 19 years old.
siddiqi_fai@hotmail.com
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