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A musical tale of two countries

Pakistani Cinema has been growing each year, by leaps and bounds. From one release a year to multiple releases on a single date, we truly have come a long way. This Eid the box office is expected to break all records with 3 massive films being released by the biggest production houses, featuring some of the biggest superstars this country has to offer.
We have Superstar, produced by Hum Films featuring our mega superstar Mahira Khan alongside Bilal Ashraf, followed by Heer Maan Jaa from IRK films featuring Hareem Farooq, Ali Rehman Khan & Faizan Sheikh. The most hyped film however, is Asim Raza’s magnum opus Parey Hut Love featuring a massive ensemble cast lead by Sheryar Munawwer, Maya Ali and featuring Mahira Khan as well.
While we wait for these films to release, we are being showered with treat after treat as every few days a new song is released from one film or another. From the soulful Bekaraan to the funky Addi Maar to the groovy Haye Dil Bechara, it is promising to be a very fun ride till the grand Eid release date.
However, while enjoying these fantastic tracks, one can’t help but notice one glaring fact: there are Indian musicians and singers involved in all productions. This is a bit surprising, because not only has our film industry blossomed, but our already strong music industry has continued to grow and produce some exceptional talent. Our music scene has always been robust, but with platforms like Coke Studio, Pepsi BoB and Nescafe Basement, we have discovered some magnificent talent in the past few years. Hence, it is a little surprising to see such a significant foreign involvement in the music of these films. Here is a list of the music (released so far) and involvement of Indian talent.
Addi Maar from Heer Maan Jaa – sung by Sahara UK and Nindi Kaur, this is an upbeat bhangra number which is bound to be featured in a lot of mehndi dances in the upcoming wedding season. While one can argue the fact that Sahara is a UK based band, they hail from India and their claim to fame is the Indian Punjabi influence of their music.

Superstar just released its shining glory “Noori” featuring a stunning dance performance by Mahira Khan. The song is sung by Bollywood singing sensation Sunidhi Chauhan. This is a melodious song with the vocals complimenting Mahira’s graceful moves, but one can’t help but think that with talent like Aima Baig and Zaw Ali who have sung hit upbeat numbers in the past couple of years, why was the need felt to take Sunidhi Chauhan’s vocals for this song?

Moving on to Parey Hut Love, the only film to have released the full music album – and what a musical treat this album is! A special mention must be made about the brilliant Azaan Sami Khan who has composed the music of both Parey Hut Love & Superstar. His melodies are soulful, groovy & hauntingly melodious and we are extremely proud of him. The PHL album features songs from new talent like Ali Tariq, the powerhouse Aima Baig, the groovy Jimmy Khan, the soulful Zeb Bangash, the melodious Hadiqa Kiani and our pride Rahet Fateh Ali Khan, this is album is one for the golden records of musical history. However, looking into the credits, one can see that most of the music has been produced by Indian producers, featuring Indian musicians as well as vocals from Indian singer Harshdeep Kaur. From tabla, to sitar, guitars to backup vocals, all this is done by Indian talent.

If a song can be made magical by a unique voice like Sukhwinder Singh or Rekha Bhardwaj, one can understand, as that is the reason why the neighboring industry continues to utilize the talents of RFAK and Atif Aslam. However that doesn’t seem to be the case with any of these songs and with the list of singers mentioned above, it seems that the Pakistani music industry is more than capable of creating iconic songs using our own talent.
While we are all in favour of artists without borders, one can’t help but wonder why our industry is still so heavily inspired and reliant on talent from across the border when there is no shortage of exceptionally talented musicians and singers from our own country.
Here is to hoping that with the way our film industry is progressing, our music industry continues to flourish with it and we see our stars grooving to the vocals of our own singers.

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