This BNU Graduate Creates Unique Pop Music About Mental Health And You HAVE To Hear It

By UA | 5 Aug, 2019

BNU graduate Salar Shamas uses his unique dancehall music to talk about mental health.

Now with over a million plays on SoundCloud, Salar Shamas is no longer a stranger to most melodic Pakistani ears.

It’s really no news that Pakistan is home to the best of the best when it comes to musical talent-Us but with the increasing tendency of our generation to lean towards Western music, it gets harder and harder to find music that really resonates with us. It is quite rare to come across artists who drop originals that combine the delicate essence of Eastern music with the funk that makes Western pop so appealing to our generation…and Salar Shamas is sowing the seeds for that.

As a graduating senior at BNU, Salar has managed to become an example for every dreamer around him – regardless of their age.

Equipped with nothing besides a dream, a vision, some impressionable experiences and a ray of hope, Salar started Pakistan’s sole record label as early as his sophomore year, taking off much sooner with his flagship track Ayyy Teray Bin; the first EVER dancehall song – characterized by faster rhythms, part speaking and part singing – in the Urdu language.

Through his music, Salar aims to address the intricate complexities of mental health and other taboos in a way that is unparalleled here in Pakistan.

His songs speak to issues beyond mainstream love and lust, penetrating the complications one may face while suffering from depression, addiction, and anxiety. It is this very unique craftsmanship and humility that inspires and moves Shamas’ massive fan-following.

Now, with over a million listens across multiple streaming platforms and a top-ranking in The Sound Of Pakistan by Spotify, Salar continues to strive to work his magic on both local and international audiences, inspiring thousands of young artists to leap after their shelved dreams. His EP Dastak, which translates to ‘knock’ dropped this July, and his song Ayyy Teray Bin has now topped charts as the number 1 Pakistani song in the world for over a month. Dastak is a 4-song project, weaving 4 diverse genres into the same theme – so whether you feel like having a 30-second party or are even just looking for something to let all your tears out – it’s just what you need.

Salar lives by the phrase ‘khwaab poore hotay nahi, kiyay jatay hain’, and that has driven him to do what most sought impossible for him- and excel at it.

As an ex-student of Aitchison, Salar was no stranger to bullying, drug addiction and everything of the like. Not only was he bullied himself, but he also saw heaping amounts of toxicity around him which pushed him to move to London for a while. He soon found solace in music, and after melodizing his way to a healthier mind, he took on the path to provide an open platform for like-minded individuals that heal through creativity. The drive for his label remains mental health, and he strives every day to provide and maintain a safe-zone for the zealously passionate. Another inspiration for Salar’s music is a voice in his head…quite literally. But that’s a story for another day.

Salar is also a producer, entrepreneur and part-time director, managing several projects of his various signed artists at a time…while simultaneously handling his own music and PR!

Salar deals with more than 10 artists at a time from all over Pakistan, helping each of them find their unique sound and articulate it to listeners in the best way possible. All of his signed artists speak of a deep and unique personal connection with him, which is quite rare to find in the heavily commercialized music industry. Moreover, his own music also speaks to his own audience widely, whom he attempts to connect with as deeply as possible.

As a fan myself, some of my personal favorites include Dhoka, Jalwa (bias alert), Baykhudi, and of course…Ayyy Larki Hai Kharrab. 

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If Salar Shamas is still foreign to your ears, here’s a good place to start.

He has even collaborated with Omar Mukhtar!

Salar is very quickly becoming a source of pride for us Pakistanis, and if you still haven’t caught up with all of his music, you should definitely go check it out now! Try not to get too hooked, if you can. Keep it up, Salar!

What do you think about these bops? We’d love to hear in the comments below!


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