It has been a slow month for music and understandably so. Ramzan brings with it a different set of responsibilities and priorities and it makes sense to respect the sentiments of the masses at large.
However, some of us like to listen to the occasional melody or two, provided that it doesn’t incite any unpleasant emotions in us. And we’ve come across quite a few musical maestros who have delivered productions that can safely be consumed regardless of what month it is. We round them up.
Zohaib Kazi and Riaz Qadri – ‘Takht Hazar’
This gem of a song got lost somewhere in the chaos that ensued right before Ramzan began. People suddenly started preparing for one of the busiest months of the year and the second release from Zohaib Kazi’s Fanoos didn’t get the attention it deserved.
Released in partnership with Patari, the Fanoos project comprising of two songs thus far is coming along fabulously. The first song from the record, ‘The Gulmit Anthem’ had already discovered some unexplored sounds and now their second song, ‘Takht Hazar’ has also managed to unearth a hidden treasure.
Riaz Ali Qadri isn’t new to the world of music but has rather reemerged after a long hiatus with this rendition of ‘Takht Hazar’ that sings the tale of the town in Punjab where the very famous Ranjha was born. Even if you can’t understand the complex poetry, Kazi’s music will take you to another place.
Abida Parveen and Atif Aslam – ‘Safar-e-Noor’
Pepsi’s Liter of Light campaign is already the rage nowadays thanks to the star power of our celebrities. Collectively they helped in creating awareness with the ‘Eyes Closed for Light’ social media campaign that saw the likes of Fawad Khan, Mehwish Hayat, Sajal Aly and many others closing their eyes to empathize with those who don’t have access to electricity and light.
However, the campaign’s jingle is something worth writing about all on its own.
Featuring the legendary Abida Parveen, who can make anything sound sweet and alive with her booming vocals, as well as the king of pop Atif Aslam, who already has a good reputation for delivering memorable Pepsi jingles (‘Jee Lay Har Pal’), ‘Safar-e-Noor’ will definitely touch your heart and slow it down a little. It sings about filling one’s heart with noor, which literally translates into light but on a more spiritual level, it refers to knowledge and wisdom.
Abdullah Qureshi – ‘Wohi Khuda Hai’
This is possible another reemergence of a singer who’s known for his soulful vocals. Abdullah Qureshi has been off the radar for some time but his decision to cover a classic Hamd by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan is perhaps a good way to make a comeback.
The video adds to the cover as well. Qureshi croons softly, while occasionally hitting the high notes, while the video shows the daily humdrum of life, moving along the way it’s supposed to.
“Koi toh hai jo, nizam e hasti chala raha hai, wohi Khuda hai,” couldn’t have been depicted in a better manner.
Javed Bashir – ‘Jogiya’
Okay so this musical production isn’t new. It was released all the way back in 2015 as part of the soundtrack of Jami’s beautiful film, Moor but there’s never a specific or dedicated time for beautiful music. Also, ‘Jogiya’ sounds like the plight of every Muslim, especially in the month of Ramzan, which is a time to repent and ask for forgiveness.
Written by Anwer Maqsood and produced by Strings, ‘Jogiya’ is literally a prayer to the almighty. “Humre dukhan ko kam karde, teri rahwan vich sajde hain bichhaye,” presents the point of view of a man who is praying on a prayer mat, bowing to Allah and asking him to reduce his miseries and end his suffering. Many Muslims can relate to this sentiment and that’s what makes this song worth listening to any time of the year.
This story was originally published in Instep on Thursday, 16th June 2017.