Pakistani Music In 2022: How Newbie Artists Proved They're Here To Stay
"I heard there was a secret song/David played that pleased God/But you're not into music, are you?" - Leonard Cohen
Among those who do and succeed are those who constantly face the situation. This year is the last. When we snuggle up in our cozy blankets and think about what has been and what hasn't, we realize how far the Pakistani music scene has come. What was a restrictive club 20 years ago has suddenly opened up to a variety of artists and music. While Spotify's statistics are still not the most accurate barometer to gauge an artist's success or fame in Pakistan, the app's integration with platforms and artists in the country has opened doors to new possibilities. In the year 2022, local artists have crossed boundaries without living up to the expectations of any '90s pop group. Your formula? Always standing there.
Let's go back to the crowning of reigning superstars like Aroj Aftab, Pakistan wouldn't have won its first Grammy and without Ali Sethi the massive global audience that Pakistani pop music achieved that year. In the year 2022, the heirs to the empire went their separate ways and further enriched the Pakistani pop culture. As tastes evolve, these artists take a modern approach to delivering a sound that's both culturally rooted and easily produced, making what they do more vibrant and avant-garde.
Until last year, Shae Gill was a cover artist slowly but surely gaining popularity on Instagram. On December 21, he shared Sethi's song Kabar-e-Tahair with Pardon. "Sorry if I interrupted your song, I'm taking classical music lessons soon!" To everyone's surprise, Seth captioned his post with, "Um, can we please hurry?" I'm sure his collaboration with Coke Studios was already underway because Pasori came out two months later.
Gill didn't expect her swimming debut to break her records. It tops the list of most played songs on Google and has over 470 million views on YouTube. Coke Studio is the most viewed music video of all time and also the most streamed Pakistani song of this year.
But Gill has a lot to offer, and he's starting to prove it. Since Pasori, Gill has collaborated with Haasan and Roshan to release another song titled Sukun, which has found an audience in South Asia. On Tuesday, Bollywood's Ayushmann Khurrana performed the song in a picture shared on Instagram. Gill is Spotify's EQUAL ambassador for the month of December and is currently lighting up New York's Times Square.
Hasan and Rosha
In a recent interview with The Guardian, Natasha Noorani told Fatima Bhutto that Pakistani artists are finally "exploring their own identities in a way that doesn't compromise their international reach." He rightly points out that he needs to get home before something big happens.
Hasan and Roshan are such examples. The singing duo, who released their 18-track debut album two years ago, entered the Marvel Cinematic Universe this year with the song Dubbed (Reprise), featured in the "I" segment. Marvel appeared.
Their latest album with Gill, Sukun, is icing on the cake for the Lahore techno-pop duo. Buy it or leave it, Hassan Sheikh and Roshan Sherwani are here to stay and their growing audience is proof of that.
Kaifi Khalil starrer Kahani Suno 2.0 2022 is seen with a bang. The chorus arrangement is nothing special and the lyrics are nothing special either. But the song attracted 10,087,124 listeners on the music streaming app because of the emotion it evoked.
Although all artists understand that their art is an expression of self, few use this expression because it carries an inner feeling. Khalil seems to have mastered the art of expressing his emotions effectively and efficiently. The singer took the cake with Kana Yaari, Kahani Suno 2.0, his debut at "Coke Studio" as Khalil's masterpiece. And some of the best work I've heard this year.
Rovalio and Abdul Hanan
Ah! The Golden Boys of 2022 would, dare I say it, give Hasan Rahim a run for his money. During the reign of Pechai Hat, Rovalio and Hanan came with Bikra and Iradai. Both songs flopped on the charts, with predecessor Pasori also dethroned in May. Bikra has collected more than 14 million streams in eight months, while Eradai has collected 13 million streams. The songs also helped increase the audience for Hana's previous singles, including Harai.
While Rommel Yazda has continued his reign as an Islamabad-based headliner ruling the electro-pop scene since 2018, Hanan is relatively new to the music market having launched in 2020 in Faslay. It must be said that two have arrived. It has come a long way since then and the stars are in their favor this year. Although Bikra and Eradai couldn't capture the attention of Hanna's vocal prowess, her songwriting and soulful voice stole hearts.
Taha Ji, short for Taha Gurwara, has proven time and time again that he is the eternal love child of the Pakistani music scene. The singer, who has been continuously releasing music since 2018, gained great popularity in 2020 with the songs Du Pal and Man Mein Tu. In 2021, Dil Kay continues in the same direction as Isharai. And this year, his streams doubled after the release of Rent Free, a song with Pyaar Bhi Kya Nasha Hai, Aima Baig.
Taha G-tracks shine with their production values and of course their crisp and complex lyrics. Taha says on the one hand “Hua ilham / Dil pa lagam nahi rak sakta hun main”, on the other hand he blames alcohol: “Be iman / Khud se hua, fisalta rehta main / Yeh pyaar, jese sharab ka chaska lagta. . Shark. When it comes to Taha's love songs, there is no comparison and it's hard not to sing her songs.
Anural Khalid may not have made a big splash this year, but he made a name for himself with songs like 'Eat My Name' by Rovaglio and my personal favorite 'Sohneya Ve'. Khalid's voice is difficult to hear - unique, soft and very comfortable. But it's his control over his performance that sets his singing apart.
To celebrate Spotify's one-year anniversary in Pakistan in March, its executives told The Express Tribune, “Since Spotify entered Pakistan, we've seen more female creators experimenting with their voices and finding fans around the world. For example, Hareem Rashid, Nirmal Roy, Anural Khalid and Yashal Shahid are the best artists of this year and we should pay attention to them."