Call, The Band, is certainly not an unknown name in the Pakistani music scene. With some iconic hits in the contemporary Pakistani music scene, the band has carved a name for itself in the history of Pakistani music.
Zulfiqar Jabbar Khan, known more commonly as Xulfi, has been the face of the band alongside Junaid Khan, who joined in 2002
The band traces its history back in 1994 when Xulfi along with Omer Pervaiz, Khurram J. Khan and Danish J. Khan formed a group that started out by performing background music for mimes and performances at NCA. They were originally called “Undrap Nexus” and boy are we glad they evolved and changed their name to what we all know and love them with now.
The band broke out into mainstream pop culture of South Asia with “Laree Chootee”
While they have many iconic hits from back in the day, their song Laree Chootee for the Bollywood movie Ek Chalis Ki Last Local catapulted them into icon level status. Every pre-teen was heard humming that song on their acoustic guitar to try and impress the crowds at their school’s talent show.
By the mid aughts, the band members became busy with personal projects, like Xulfi’s successful turn at Nescafe Basement, and the band kind of disappeared into oblivion
But more recently they’ve reunited and this past Pakistan Resolution Day (March 23, that is) they released a video featuring 42 drummers from across Pakistan. Called “Zindabad” this music video is one of its kind. So we, at MangoBaaz, spoke with Xulfi about what all went behind creating this truly unique piece of performance art.
“If you think about it, when was the last time you heard this slogan, this prayer “Pakistan Zindabad”. The truth is we don’t hear it often anymore. With global sport events not happening in our country, with international teams refraining from visiting our country, we don’t hear this chant in the stadium anymore”, shared Xulfi.
“This effort is to show the world what Pakistan is. A passionate, united, peace loving, art loving country where talent thrives. From the youngest to the oldest. Zindabad is not only a reminder of the chant, but it’s a symbol of love.”
“The video begins with Fahad, a 9 year old visually impaired drum student.. and the visuals then move to the 42 year young Louis J. Pinto, arguably the best drummer this country has seen. And between these two, there’s a generation of drummers and percussionists jamming together for Pakistan! For the beautiful sentiment that Pakistan Zindabad is”, shared Xulfi.
“It also features 6 years old Leila. The cute girl in yellow! She’s a drum student at the GUITAR School. Fahad is also a student there. Interestingly, their mentor and teacher Salman Albert is also part of the drum ensemble of this song! Then it featured Salman Rafique, another seasoned drummer of the country. And he features with his 12 year old son Sinaan, who’s the one for the future! Remarkable talent” he exclaimed.
Xulfi shared that all 42 drummers from across Pakistan who participated in this video did it free of cost
“They came for the unity. They came without an ego. And they came to show the world what a beautiful beautiful nation we are. The picture of Pakistan that’s never shown to the world”, Xulfi said.
He also shared the interesting history behind the choice of venue to film this music video at
“The interesting bit is that once we were looking for a venue for the drum anthem, we wanted something that has a history. A place you can look at and experience time. Our search effort and intent landed us at the Bradlaugh Hall. It’s a place with a beautiful history. Bradlaugh Hall was established as a centre for free speech and ideas, which later became the epicenter of revolution. Knowing that it has been home to political, cultural and literary activities irrespective of cast, creed or religion, this iconic history of the the hall married our intent beautifully. Charles Bradlaugh, the man after whom the place is named was a free thinker and fought for women’s right to vote.” Xulfi explained.
“Bradlaugh Hall isn’t just being treated as any other colonial building, but something that is linked to revolution, to a realization of self actualization. Musically, we believe this is the start of a movement that showcases the unity of the musicians and their will to show the world what a positive art loving country Pakistan is. And as a patriot and as a Pakistani, raising this slogan inside Bradlaugh Hall is our way of celebrating our freedom in the place where the freedom movement prospered and create our own little piece of history with the power and energy of the drum anthem. That day was something. More than 70 of us, the musicians, the crew, the fans chanted Pakistan Zindabad with such fervor and passion that made all of us teary eyed and eager to keep making a positive impact on our country with our lives”, Xulfi concluded about his experience of choosing the venue.
Here’s the video that finally came together with the passion of Call The Band and the extremely talented bunch of musicians from all over Pakistan
Cover image via: Zulfiqar Jabbar Khan