With the musical battle narrowed down to only two finalists, Aarish and Auj, it remains to be seen that who will be crowned winner of Pepsi Battle of the Bands Season 4. With episode 7, we expected a tough competition and a face-off to be remembered for years to come as the grand battle for the title kicked off between two champions.
Both the finalists came forward to present their A-game, after all not only they had to impress the four judges who had selected them for the final round but also it was time to win over the audience as well. The final decision rests in their hands as viewers are going to vote and decide who will win this battle of the bands.
The Original Sound
The format for the final battle consists of two rounds. The bands performed their originals in the first half while they performed covers in the second half of the episode. Aarish entered the battleground with high spirit and performed their favourite original track Umeed. The mellow, heart-felt track gained pace by the end with guitar riffs. The judges loved the song and felt connected to it. They praised the band and said they couldn’t wait to listen to their album in near future.
Before Auj’s performance, we found out that one of the band member’s father encouraged the band to try out for Pepsi Battle of the Bands. Unfortunately, he passed away from cancer three years ago and wasn’t able to see them in the finale of season 4. After a decade-long journey, the struggle and hard work paid off and they are one of the finalists.
Auj’s original track Raat was a mesmerizing performance. With strong vocals and lyrics, lead vocalist Abdul Rehman stole the show and received a standing ovation from Meesha Shafi. Fawad Khan called him a ‘diamond in the rough’, whereas Bilal Maqsood shared that Auj is in their ‘full glory’ and urged the audience to vote for them.
The second round upped the ante of the game as the bands faced the biggest challenge ever in this crucial battle. Both of them had to perform the cover of of legendary late Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s songs. It is impossible to match his vocals or musical sounds but to give it a modern spin is no mean feat. Aarish chose to cover NFAK’s iconic Halka Halka Suroor. They band incorporated some narrations and new lyrics in the song, fusing it with Electronic Dance Music (EDM). DJ Faisal Baig, a pioneer of electronic sounds in Pakistani music industry also collaborated in this performance. The powerful rendition was well-received by the judges.
Auj’s response to Aarish was an equally high-voltage performance. They chose Khan sahab’s Sanware to cover. Auj blended hard rock riffs and electronic elements by DJ Faisal to present a dark and intoxicating yet groovy number. The judges felt they should release an extended version of this cover as the remarkable performance ended too quickly.
At the end of the episode, the band members of Auj and Aarish extended their respects to the extraordinary jury and spoke about how their criticism and judgement has helped them evolve along the journey. Before the second round, there was a pleasant surprise in the form of Pepsi Battle of the Bands season three finalist Xarb. They performed their new original Siyaah in their signature gripping and haunting style.
The episode ended with another huge surprise when Jal’s Goher Mumtaz performed first-time ever on the Pepsi stage. He sang a melodious unplugged rendition of the band’s 2003 hit Dil Harey in front of a live crowd.
Voting is ON
The final decision will be announced two weeks from tonight. The winner of Pepsi Battle of the Bands season four will receive PKR 50 lac cash prize, an album contract, concerts all over Pakistan and lifetime royalties of original tracks performed during the show. The runner-up will win PKR 25 lac and an album contract.
While we wait for the audience to decide which band they love the most, here’s how you can vote for them. You can message AA to 8355 to vote for Aarish while message AU to 8355 for Auj. You can also log on to their website and vote. Another way to is download the Pepsi Battle of the Bands app on the phone. Voting opens on August 9th at 11:59 pm and will close on August 18th at 11:59 pm.
Watch Episode 7 here to make a decision: