Music and its influence in Pakistan:
We live in a world where the word ‘music’ dominates everything. It is a phenomenon – also an art – which has no boundaries, no languages, no caste, no religions, and no nationality. It helps to connect the minds, hearts, and souls of people. It is a wonderful experience that not only lightens up the mood but also makes us understand the true meaning of love and care with its magical sounds. Music, in other words, is freedom of expression, but in a better way.
Pakistan, on the other hand, has produced one of the talented musicians and artists all over the world. From Noor Jehan to Ahmed Rushdi to Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan to Abida Parveen to Junoon to Vital Signs to Shafqat Amanat Ali… The list would just go on and on and it shows how much music values to Pakistan and its citizens.
However, due to Pakistan’s never-ending crises, the music scene of the nation went towards downhill and soon after, our impressive artists – like Atif Aslam, Ali Zafar, Shehzad Roy, and so on – got picked up by the Indian entertainment industry, which frequently did wonders for them, not for us.
But somehow, three miracles occurred, opening the doors of our beloved music industry with a positive attitude and those three miracles are none other than Coke Studio, Uth Records, and Standard Chartered Priority Night.
1 – Coke Studio:
After the miserable era, Coke Studio started a breeze of fresh air for the nation, moving it to a respectable position. The vision of Coke Studio was once seen by Rohail Hyatt and his wife Umber who worked together, with the Coca-Cola brand, to make their vision come true. It started three years ago, and within a blink of an eye, Coke Studio was a massive success. It helped reviving the Pakistani music scene as it featured nation’s best artists – whether newcomers, settled artists or folk singers. It provided a platform for all the musicians to experiment with their music style and make-up something new, something unique and refreshing.
“The idea is to go back to our roots. Our heritage goes back thousands of years, but when you ask people about our culture, for some it stops at 1947; for some the goras destroyed it; for others there was no culture before the Muslim invasion. Actually, we come from a place where music was a language before the spoken word came into being and there is a hint of this in Coke Studio, and the public is taking to it.”
Rohal Hyatt describing Coke Studio’s vision.
You can watch all Coke Studio Episodes here
2 – Uth Records:
Uth Records (Youth Records) is a program sponsored by Ufone, a telecommunication company. Like Coke Studio, the purpose of Uth Records is equally same – to promote young musicians. With a very low budget, this show has been able to promote newcomers better than the Coke Studio though and it features Omran Shafique and Gumby producing the songs, while Zeeshan Pervez is behind the Camera and video production. As of yet six episodes of Uth Records have been aired in which newcomers Jumbo Jutt band, Yasir and Jawad, Usman Riaz, Natasha Ejaz, Ather Sani, and RamLal the band are shown performing songs with Gumby, Omran, and guests composers like Faraz Anwar and Ali Noor.
Watch all Episode of UTH Records Here
3 – Standard Chartered Priority Night:
It is an “exclusive event”, which has been sponsored by Standard Chartered and it features nation’s major performers collaborating with each other, providing an intoxicating music to the people of Pakistan. Shahzad ‘Shahi’ Hasan of the legendary Vital Signs band is behind the concept of this event and thus far he has arranged this even remarkably well enough. It has shown two of the most sought-after heart-throbs of Pakistan, Atif Aslam and Ali Zafar together, singing with folk singers like Arif Lohar and Saeen Zahoor. This exclusive event, Priority Night, is much like a live version of Coke Studio.
Has the music of Pakistan risen up to its feet?
Probably yes. Coke Studio is the sole benchmark of Pakistan music industry, while Uth Records and Standard Chartered’s Priority Night are following up, which no doubt is a positive thing for our industry. These three miracles have truly helped in increasing the morale of not only the musicians but also the music listeners. More importantly, these amazing shows are putting up a good repute of “Pakistani music” in not only our country but across the border as well. Our music, thankfully, is reaching towards a whole new level now and as far as I think, music lets you understand true feelings; it lets you connect with your soul more freely – music is a sign of unity and I guess we’re united now as music has brought us back together!