Entertainment Desk: After banging out successful covers of iconic songs, the follow-up episodes of Nescafe Basement returned to its roots by raising the bar with their Original Songs. With a slew of Original hits in the previous seasons (Who could forget Awari by Soch?), this current season has a lot to live up to and with episode five and six; it certainly didn’t disappoint.
In fact, episode five not only raised the bar but knocked it out of the park with a stand out performance by newcomers Richie and Leo Twins and their surprisingly mellow track Mein Hoon. The song is the perfect partner for those long drives back from the office, with Richie Robinson’s vocals serenading you the whole way through. The song, perfect as just an acoustic is elevated to new heights with that sprinkle of the violin which makes it transcend onto an ethereal plane; it’s nothing short of art and truly speaks volumes about the talent of the people attached to this musical masterpiece. Another standout of the episode was Fanaa, another original track by Sherry Khattak, a Karachi based musician who is the mastermind behind Overdose. Oh, and does that proficiency with music shine through on Fanaa which opens with an eclectic opening layering in Sherry’s smooth yet powerful vocals that almost remind one of Umair Jaswal. Containing all the ingredients for a classic soft rock track, the hero of the song is definitely that guitar solo in the middle that mingles with Sherry’s piercing vocals.
Episode six continued the trend of Originals with a dash of homages to classic rock icons of Pakistan because what kind of show would be complete without a cover of Junoon’s classic hit Just like with every other cover before, this song has been given the Nescafe Basement treatment and it works wonders thanks to Altamash Sever, the lead vocalist of Keeray Makoray and a force to be reckoned with; Xulfi couldn’t have picked a better vocalist to take on this powerhouse of a song.
However, the highlight of the episode was undeniably Forever, an original song by Yasrah Haseeb who is making headlines everywhere with her dynamo vocals and awe inspiring range. The song, composed by the young girl and sung in English comprises of deep, emotive lyrics that are brought to life with the electronic keyboard, an instrument that Yasrah dominates as she croons out a slow yet powerful song that rivals, if not surpasses A Thousand Years by Christina Perri. Of course, as it has been with all of Nescafe Basement’s tracks, the song is anything but simple with a guitar solo that would make the great Slash proud! There are many songs that will stick through long after this season is gone and Forever will be one of them.
Season Four of Nescafe Basement is slowly becoming the best of the series and with a handful of episode still left, it seems that Xulfi has only begun to showcase the talent that Pakistan has to offer.