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Desi Music in 2010: The Mid-Year Review

June 14, 2010

I’m doing yet another post on music, and again I would reiterate the assertion that my musical taste is questionable. However, I present to you a selection of some of my most favourite songs from the first half of 2010. Of course, I’m not including any of the Coke Studio performances in this list, because then that wouldn’t be fair. Please feel free to suggest any other desi songs that stood out for you.


Pakistani (Non-Filmi)

Mae Ni Main – Arieb Azhar feat. Yasir Qureshi (OST “Woh Chaar”)

It was another rendition of the kalam, but Arieb Azhar’s vocals elevate it to another level. Yasir Qureshi of Aunty Disco Project played the Darbuka on it. (And the video has a couple of pretty ladies).

The Kominas – Manji Vich Dang

The Kominas have been impressing in their recent efforts. Their last single “Pooja” was very interesting, but they went really hard-core desi with this cover of Naseebo Lal’s infamous song. Vocals might sound rough to some, but for me, this adds to experience of this punk-rock anthem! Next: Kominas’ music and Naseebo Lal vocals!

Kaavish – Piya Dekho Na

I’ve written (farcically) about Kaavish’s debut album here, and the album still growing on me. The track “Piya Dekho Na” is currently my favourite, even though the rest of the album is also very, very good. However, as I said before, their music is an acquired taste. But, Bravo to Kaavish! (BTW, those who don’t know this, the lead singer of this band is Nayyara Noor’s son, and he plays the keyboard in the Coke Studio)

Mauj – Baat Barhti Gaee

Though Mauj’s “Life in Technicolor” was released on iTunes in 2009, the CD was launched only earlier this year. So I’m going to include Mauj’s efforts in this list. I loved the album when it came out, but since then my enthusiasm for it has waned a bit. Having said that, the album has a few gems, but this song eventually stood out for me. “Baat Bharti Gaee” is a dark, dark song, and I love it!

Symt – Zamana

What can I say! I thought the song’s charm will wear off because of its’ simplistic lyrics, but the composition is so good! I still have a hoot listening to the song, even after a couple of months of its’ release! I have high hopes from the duo! Highly Recommended!

Other worth mentioning:

The Rising – Wisaal-e-Yaar – This Lahore based band hasn’t hit the big time yet, but they seem to be very talented, based on this track. I wish them the best of luck!

Azal – Saari Dunya – This song made it to the 2nd Spot on my Top 5 Pakistani Cricket songs, because it includes cricketing references, confrontational rock music, and the term “Paki Mukka”. Wah!

Noori – Jhoom Lay – I remain a Noori Nut! Noori goes “mainstream” with this one with very un-Noori traits such as catchy tunes, professional music video maker, and even model which is not Ali Noor’s wife!

.. and not to forget the Karavan‘s new album, which has a number of decent songs!

Guilty Pleasure:

Shumaila Hussain – Nain Larray – I know, I know! But she is much better than Annie, methinks.


Rahat Fateh Ali Khan – Dil To Bacha Hay Jee (Ishqiya)

Despite all the craze around Ibn-e-Batuta, this song captured my imagination. It just melted my heart, and hence it is on the list. Though the entire album was fantastic, especially the two Rekha Bharadwaj songs.

Mika Singh, Sunidhi Chauhan et al. – (Dhanno) Aap Ka Kiya Hoga (Housefull)

Despite what one thinks about the movie, this song is clearly a winner! The subject of many repeats on my iPod, this song is not only retro (more than just a bit of Lawaaris thrown in) and catchy beats, but it also features of the best incorporation of Dhol I’ve heard in a Bollywood movie! O Dhanno O Dhanno O Dhanno Dhanno Re! Another winner from the Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy camp. (BTW, a very funny in-depth of the video can be found here, courtesy of Filmigirl)

Rekha Bharadwaj, Javed Ali et al. – Ranjha Ranjha (Raavan)

Do I have to say anything? Though not a big fan of “Beera Beera”, but the rest of the soundtrack from A.R. Rehman is sublime!

Sukhwinder Singh, Sonu Nigaam – Taali (Veer)

Yes, I like it! Plus Sukhwinder Singh and Sonu Nigaam singing on one song! *Aural Orgasm* This Sajid-Wajid record was a delight overall!

Other worth mentioning

Shafqat Amanat Ali Khan – Teray Naina (My Name is Khan)

Atif Aslam, Shreya Goshal – Tere Liye (Prince) – I didn’t want to like it, but I did eventually!

Guilty Pleasure:

Richi Sharma and Sabri Brothers – Sohna Lagda (Sadiyaan) – Nobody heard of this movie, and the music by Adnan Sami was more or less forgettable. However I kept on listening to this song, because of the Sabri Brothers, and it grew on me, big time!

The Rest:

Rahat Fateh Ali Khan – Mein Tenu Samjhawaan (Virsa)

From the Punjabi movie Virsa, Rahat has another brilliant track under his belt. I’ve written about the music director Jawad Ahmed here, and I still like some of the other songs in the soundtrack. I only wish “Hua Hua” had better production values, because it is a very catchy song. We didn’t need “Pull your hands up, if you’re a gangster” rap in it!

GTown Desi – Peerh

I’m normally not a big fan of the British Bhangra scene, but these boys from Glasgow impressed me very much! I always thought that there is a lack of innovation by most of the acts across the pond, but I have no complaints from this brilliant track!

Panjabi By Nature feat. Dhol Foundation – Kaun Nahin Jaanda

OK, I learnt to like this one, but when a Bhangra track is done well, it shows! Really catchy, and I didn’t cringe even once! (Apart from the theme of the song which is actually all about racial pride, and the pronunciation of “Canada”).

Other mention worthy:

Shreya Goshal – Rabba (Sukhmani OST) – A Punjabi movie starring Gurdaas Mann

Gunjan feat. Tigerstyle – Tum Mile

Guilty Pleasure:

Nikku Singh – College

Try it! This thing is EXTREMELY catchy!!

13 Comments leave one →
  1. Zeshan Khan permalink
    June 14, 2010 10:20 pm

    The Kominas are pretty much the most amazing band I’ve ever seen

  2. June 15, 2010 8:11 am

    Mai ne… I have heard this song in Atif’s album. Love it. Also loved this version.

    Need to check out all of them. but hurrying to office. will catch later.

  3. June 15, 2010 5:07 pm

    @ZeshanKhan: The most amazing band?? I, ummm, can’t say that but this song was so much fun!

    @dunkdaft: Mai Ne is actually a kalam by Shah Hussain, and over the years a lot of people covered it. Atif’s rendition is actually one of the few songs that I liked on his album, heh. But I’m in love with Arieb’s voice these days!

  4. tammy permalink
    June 17, 2010 1:42 am

    Hey wht abt Bilal Khan’s Bachana??

  5. June 20, 2010 10:34 am

    I don’t like Arieb Azhar’s voice quality, it’s very rugged and sometimes he stresses at the wrong words and more often than not he just slams them lyrics down on a hard scrappy surface! 😦 Now this might suit some songs ( but not all.

    Anyway, Ishqiya and Raavan’s music was simply superb!

  6. fanta permalink
    June 20, 2010 2:16 pm

    Niiiice! Add SYMT’s Ganderi sth sth to your list too…

  7. June 20, 2010 4:11 pm

    @vics: Well thats true, but then his songs have a unique sound to them. Ive realised that I also find “different” songs to be interesting as well. A really liked this song, for some odd reason, and hence it was on here. And Husn-e-Haqiqi is a classic!

    @fanta: Yes! Ganderi hasn’t been “officially” launched! but its bloody awesome!!

  8. July 8, 2010 2:06 pm

    Nice Post

  9. July 9, 2010 5:21 am

    The Kominas are legit and definitely bringing something fresh!! Loving the track picks here! Great post!! Bookmarked!

  10. July 13, 2010 8:19 am

    aapay sheehsha vekhay bolay sohni laggay gi.. thats gulzar. wesay what do you think.. who was better in this one. there is a sukhwinder only version of this song and surprisingly he hasnt done well. im a huge fan of sukhi but in this one sonu has outperformed him.

    for dhol, try aaja mil ke from chamku. its a rip off from afterglow though but the dhol is nice. monty sharma’s music.

  11. July 13, 2010 8:30 pm

    @djash: Appreciate it man! coming from you! You have an awesome show!

    @Sami: Yes, big fan of Sukhwinder, but i guess the song needed a bit of variety as well. However, a solo Sukhwinder might have been better than solo Sonu, though Sonu is a brilliant singer as well. As for the gulzar, I really enjoy his work. “Dil To Bacha Hay jee” and Ranjha Ranjha was also penned by him, and i guess his lyrics add to the songs, which elevate them to a higher level.

  12. August 12, 2010 5:19 am

    After going through your blog (well, the first page, really) I have found that you are severely missing out on a musical dose of this kind:


  1. Beggar at Ghazi Chowk. » Blog Archive » Music and Gurus of Peace.

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