Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Pakistani music rocks in India

Pakistani music rocks in India!

Aqsa Hussain
Karachi

Music goes beyond borders. Michael Jackson, Madonna, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Shakira are some true examples of how far musical success goes.

While the new breed of Pakistani musicians may not have catapulted to international fame in the west, they have managed to develop a massive following across the border.

With the explosion of media in the last few years, quite a few new acts have sprouted on the scene. In fact, since then new acts are entering the industry consistently. And for quite a few of them, popularity is fast increasing in India.

It was Nazia Hasan who lent her vocals to Feroz Khan's Qurbani in 1981. Nazia's rendition of 'Aap Jaisa Koi' made her a super success and back then, this tune was an anthem for a generation.

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan's team up with Peter Gabriel, Canadian Michael Brook and Eddie Veddar of Pearl Jam made him an icon in the west.

While Nusrat's fame may have come from the west but in most cases, it is Bollywood that is making Pakistani musicians a hit in India and is helping them carve a name even outside Pakistan with Asians. Even as their own pop albums have a following, it is the foray in Bollywood that really makes them icons.

But what makes this success of local acts last well beyond the fame of one Hindi movie tune is their originality in music. And part of the reason can also be contributed to India's own struggling pop scene. Bollywood music enjoys the biggest share in the market and over the years, pop singers have ventured into playback singing.

Today, pop names like Alisha Chinoi, Shaan, K.K and Sonu Nigam concentrate far more on big Bollywood projects than on their solo records. Hence, Pakistani musicians, who tend to be less filmi in sound and with a struggling cinema scene right here at home, are a welcome for Indian fans.

Over the last few years, Jal, Atif Aslam, Shiraz Uppal, Strings, Raeth, Roxen, Ali Haider, Sajjad Ali, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Ali Azmat and Haroon, Call, Mizmaar - have all developed strong foothold in India.

"Pakistani bands are so melodious, original and pure unlike bands here. Their music is without dhinchek dhinchek. Simple guitaring and orchestra makes Pakistani songs worth listening to," says Shobit from Delhi.

A 15-year-old student who proudly calls himself a Jalaholic says, "I never get bored of listening to Pakistani music because the variety of bands which Pakistan offers differ in genres and styles. Musicians from Pakistan are influenced by western artists but they don't imitate them.

Plus, Pakistani bands have all kinds of music to offer, for all types of listeners. Their music is slow, fast, pop, rock, metal-influenced, fusion, classical and Sufi. One has a lot to choose from. Their lyrics are such that all listeners can relate to it.

The videos are amazing and unusual, compared to the "always romantic ones" in India. People in India are avid Pakistani music listeners. In India, we listen to western bands, which are English because such music is rare in India. But Pakistani bands dabble in such genres but the language remains Urdu and Punjabi, which makes them different from others. It's a rarity in India to have pop rock acts. The language and closeness attracts the younger generation.

Because of the fact that India and Pakistan were once the same country before independence, there is a curiosity to know more about Pakistan. In Urban centers like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Ahmedabad and Pune, Pakistani musicians are immensely popular."

Meher Kahlon a 17-year-old student from Hyderabad appreciates music Pakistani music by because, "All lyrics are so soothing and calm". Meher says, "Himesh Reshammiya's popularity graph is not superior to Pakistani singers."

This young girl emphasises that the youth of India is not judgmental and critical as they are thought to be. "People to people contact should be improved through this lovely medium of music," **** Meher.

Pakistani albums are numerously sold here. All we prefer is meaningful, touching and soothing music regardless of the country that music belongs to. One important reason is blend of Hindi and Urdu spoken in both countries. There are no language issues, even our filmmakers have started featuring Pakistani bands in their film soundtracks and interestingly the soundtracks end up topping the charts and are frequently played in clubs. Man, we can't resist loving it!" says Fatah from Mumbai.

There has been a lot of cultural exchange between both countries but it has never risen like this in past and the reason is flourishing music scene in Pakistan which has ultimately made Pakistani musicians win hearts of billions of Indians.

The way India's younger generations has overwhelmingly accepted Pakistani music is absolutely incredible.

The young generation of music aficionados seem to be unplugged from the fright of past history and tends to look forward. Pakistani music industry has dared to move forward with hope and opened up new avenues for itself. Way to go!
http://www.thenews.com.pk/instep_today.asp

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