Music platforms in Pakistan are on the rise all over again and we’re not complaining specially since newer, younger talent has finally been given opportunities to prove their mettle. However, there’s one thing that sets NESCAFÉ Basement apart from its contemporaries. With music producer, and ex-Entity Paradigm lead guitarist, Xulfi’s expert musical prowess, the platform holds its promise of giving raw, untapped talent their much needed break.
Spanning over multiple seasons over the years, NESCAFÉ Basement has brought singers like Momina Mustehsan and many others to the forefront. With the new season coming up soon, we thought it was apt to give you all a little recap of all the icons we have been given over the years and where they stand in their musical journey now.
Starting off with our favorite, Pakistan’s sweetheart, Momina Mustehsan and her debut into mainstream music alongside Farhan Saeed.
Momina’s honey-dipped vocals matched the song perfectly and this was the first we saw of the National superstar. She rose to prominence thanks to NESCAFÉ Basement.
Later lending her vocals to Bollywood movie “Ek Villian” with “Awari”
And that was the beginning of it all. The starlet needs no introduction, she has since went on gain national recognition – walked the red carpet, graced multiple award shows, brand endorsements and took the world by a storm, no less. Is there anything this nightingale redhead can’t do? We guess not.
In the spirit of lifting women up, let’s not forget “The All-Girls Band”
Ever heard a female drummer, tabla player, violinist and pianist spin their magic? For the first time ever in the history of Pakistani music, NESCAFÉ Basement gave us an all female ensemble that basically enchanted everyone with the cover of John Newman’s “Love Me Again”.
Even John Newman was enchanted by the cover:
Suffice to say, these girls were stellar. They were seen all over social media, landing brand endorsements and performing live at concerts.
Of late, vocalist Anna Salman shared this gorgeous mashup with the rest of the girls
In the meanwhile, vocalist and bass guitarist Sanya Shahzad released a soothing indie song, Tiptoeing and Who Do You Blame and Maria Unera Qureshi has been performing live, hosting meet & greets and is currently the face of a local fragrance. She has also come out with a new track “21st Century Love” talking about depression.
Bayaan, the band that is being idolized by fans all over Pakistan, also got the perfect launching pad to showcase their talent.
Their hauntingly beautiful cover went a little like this;
Tujhay Dair-O-Haram Mein Nai Dhonda Tu Nahi Milta
Magar Tashreef Farma Tujhay Apne Dil Mein Daikha Hai
Tum Ek Gorakh Dhanda Ho…
That’s where it all began. An amalgamation of classical Pakistani music and western-rock elements have created an experimental indie/rock sensibility, which is what the band identifies with. After NESCAFÉ Basement, the guys went on to win a music competition and released four new tracks.
Most recently, their project on Bonded Labor with Shehri Pakistan is worth all the appreciation it can get.
Three years ago, Nescafe Basement gave the Leo Twins their much needed debut and since then, they have been the gift that keeps on giving
In an original collaboration with Ritchie, the twins added depth to the song, perfect for a rainy afternoon. The composition is beautiful with sitar, drums, guitar and the violin coming together in perfect harmony. One comment perfectly encapsulates the experience:
Leo Twins have since gone to become nothing short of an internet sensation with their covers taking internet by a storm. They’ve produced masterpieces like Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” and a haunting cover of Game of Thrones theme song. They’ve graced the stage of Hum Bridal Couture Week and performed in concerts alongside musical titans like Gumby.
Remember the electric Peshawar Zalmi song that had us all rooting for our Pashtun titans? Yep, it was these bad boys alongside Call.
Sherry Khattak’s original track “Fanaa” made us ~feel things~ we never thought we could.
The sweet melody is a labor of love by Khattak brought to life by the collaborative efforts of all the artists cherry-picked by NESCAFÉ Basement. Oh sweet Lord, this had me in tears what an emotional roller coaster. And yes, there’s a Leo Twins solo towards the end as well.
Seeing the latest posts on his Facebook profile, looks like the new NESCAFÉ Basement season might just include him. *fingers crossed*
As for the future, with his band Karakoram’s latest song “Toofan” being released on Apple Music et al, rest assured, we’ll be seeing much more of him soon.
Altamas Sever, lead vocalist to the band, Keeray Makoray gave us a fresh new rendition to the pop song, Mr Fraudiye
Oh Fraudiye. Wah ji wah tu kinna set ae
Mr Fraudiye, Dass kinnu kinnu thuk layi ae
Interestingly, the band’s drummer Yusuf Ramay has also lent NESCAFÉ Basement some of their thrumming beats.
Oh and his cover of Sweet Child O’ Mine…Goosebumps. Actual goosebumps.
His vocal range is unmatched.
The funk rock band recently gained further national recognition as the best emerging artist owing to their eclectic new release, Island in the city. The song has been well received by critics and fans alike. Keeray Makoray has since made waves in Pakistan’s underground music scene and through the magic of the internet, they’ve even scored a mention in Rolling Stone India. Exciting times ahead but you know where you saw them first.
A fairly recent find, Shahmir Quidwai amazed us with his scintillating voice in “Jaadu ka Chiragh“
Oft attempts in mixing things up when there’s a classic involved tend to backfire (hell hath no fury like a fan scorned, amirite?) but this hot take was a breath of fresh air.
Shahmir is not only easy for the eyes but his deep vocals also landed him a chance to sing the title track to the film “Parchi”
Here’s a playlist of our favorite songs:
These underground songs and covers have since become a big part of our playlists and our hearts and, we can’t wait to get more of the musical genius. Are there any other bands or musicians we’ve missed out? With the latest season of NESCAFÉ Basement right around the corner, are you as excited as we are? Let us know in the comments section below.
This post has been sponsored by NESCAFÉ Basement