We’ve all been following Pepsi Battle of the Bands ardently, waiting to see if our favourite bands make the cut and to see how our judges groom and train the upcoming musicians who will change the course of Pakistan’s supposedly dying band culture.
While we’ve all had the chance to hear the opinions of the celebrated judges of the show, Meesha Shafi, Farooq Ahmed, Shahi Hassan, Atif Aslam and Fawad Khan, everyone has been waiting to hear from the bands themselves on what the journey has been like so far.
At a recently held press conference for Pepsi Battle of the Bands, Something Haute got the chance to speak to some of the bands which managed to secure a spot in the top eight. Standing confidently in the middle of the room were the very viral Pindi Boys.
“Just to get selected in the audition was a surprise. We were very nervous,” shared Jasim Haider, the frontman for the band. Why was the band nervous though? They’ve already been viral on the Interwebs thanks to their song ‘Pindi Boys’. “We have been playing music since the last 13 years but to be judged by Meesha Shafi, Farooq Ahmed and Atif Aslam on such a huge platform was of course very nerve-wracking.”
What did the band have to say to those who claim that band culture in Pakistan is dead? “Absolutely not. There is a lot of talent but there is no exposure or a platform that brings bands to the forefront,” elaborated Jasim.
“This platform is very important for new, underground bands because there are so many bands making original music, making covers, but nobody is giving them the attention they deserve,” observed Nimra Rafiq, lead vocalist for Shajr and one of the only two female musicians being featured this season. “Through this platform, all bands are being allowed to showcase their talent not only to the judges, but also the rest of Pakistan watching the show.”
While there are fewer women on the show, Nimra contests that things are getting better for female singers, thanks to social media. “Our society is becoming more accepting for women to try to find a career in music and hopefully, there will be more girls next season,” she concluded on a hopeful note.
Kashmir seems to be a hot favourite for many musicians on the show, thanks to their clean and crisp style and friendly and likable personalities. Contrary to their name that might make people think otherwise, the band wishes to have a very simple, to the point personality. “We used to be called Quasars, which is a stellar object in the universe. But people kept mispronouncing it so we changed it to Kashmir, based on a song we had just released, as well as our favourite Led Zeppelin song of the same title,” shared Ali, the keyboardist.
But Bilal, the lead vocalist shared that the best part was that the musicians made a lot of friends. “We met so many bands through this competition. It has been a lot of fun!’