We all can agree that Pakistani music is pretty awesome. It can’t be defined by one genre or one type of music. Its soulful, relaxing, upbeat and contemporary all at the same time. From the heartwarming tunes to Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan to the all out rock feels of Meesha Shafi, Pakistan has seen the entire music spectrum.
This playlist is in honor of the diversity that is Pakistani music, which is probably the best way to celebrate International Music Day.
The 60’s saw a Lollywood’s golden age and with it came music that made a nation bust a few moves.
Let’s kick this off with a song by Noor Jehan which you probably haven’t ever heard, from the movie Sound Of Wonder.
But this track, WE’VE ALL HEARD.
In the 70’s Pakistan continued to see movies and music come out in full swing.
From that era, we have ‘Dil Dharke’ sang by Runa Laila
Around this time, ghazals began to become more mainstream in movies and media. One of the most famous one comes from Farida Khanum herself, ‘Aaj Janay Ki Zid Na Karo’.
The 80’s proved a difficult time for Pakistani musicians, with the Zia regime and its rhetoric against music.
This didn’t stop them, though, and the tracks from this time are still popular and remembered. Hasan Jahangir gained popularity in this period, especially with his hit number ‘Hawa Hawa’
And it seems as though disco was the predominant theme of that era. Here’s someone all of us know and love, Nazia and Zoheb Hassan in ‘Disco Deewanay’
Amidst all this, one voice came about and won Pakistan’s heart – Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan
He revolutionized Qawaali, the man not only performed well in the classical form but he singlehandedly made qawaalis/ghazals modern.
The end of the 80’s saw the emergence of the Vital Signs.
And it also gave Pakistan bands like Junoon.
With the craziness of the 90’s behind them, the musicians of Pakistan flourished and grew.
There was so much music (and really good music) coming out during this period. Strings were wow-ing us with their vocals and amazing lyrics
And who can forget ‘Mr. Fraudiye’. Oh yeah!
Fariha Parvez came in and took Punjabi music to new heights with her sweet awaaz.
In the meanwhile Sajjad Ali was making his mark with him one of a kind music style (and that oh so long hair).
Hadiqa Kiani added her voice to the emerging music scene in Pakistan, and is to date one of Pakistan’s best vocalists.
Abrar Ul Haq and the wave of Punjabi music he brought, became mainstream with him
In all the madness, Awaz broke up, giving us Faakhir and Haroon as individual recording artists
Then came the 2000’s and the era of the Pakistani rock bands
Those were the days of Entity Paradigm.
And we were introduced to musicians like Atif Aslam.
And the rockstar himself, Ali Zafar.
And there was Shehzad Roy.
Do you guys remember Aaroh and their song ‘Na Kaho’
Noori happened…and is still happening
Fuzon entered the Pakistani music scene and left us with this hit that still gives us the feels
Oh, oh, oh and there was Jal too
Of late, dramas and their soundtracks have started making a comeback
The best one so far has to be….you guessed it ‘Humsafar’
A little before QB came about, Meesha Shafi left us headbanging with this song
And fairly recently, Coke Studio has taken over the landscape of Pakistani Music and to this day is pretty dominant.
Other than that, music has changed a lot in Pakistan since its early days. New singers and bands are emerging almost everyday, especially given the power of social media platforms.
Let’s see where Pakistani music goes from now on out.
Cover image via: bbc.co.uk