By Khaya Ahmed:Nescafe Basement made its debut in 2012 and since then, with Zulfiqar Jabbar Khan aka Xulfi at the helm, has discovered some of the most promising music talent of the country. Comprising of three season so far, each season centers on Xulfi scouting various educational institutions for underlying talent. His picks are then mentored, their talent honed, and the end result? It’s different, engaging and most importantly, theirs.
The show has bred many household names such as Soch, a Lahore based band which made waves on the first season with their original song, Awari. This powerful rock n’ roll number went on to feature in Ek Villain in 2014, a Bollywood movie which became a global hit. Parizae Azhar was one of the youngest performers to feature in the second and third seasons of Nescafe Basement and her cover of Nazia Hassan’s Boom Boom remains as one of the most popular tracks ever produced by the show. Bilawal Lahooti astounded us with his skills behind the drum kit and since his performances in seasons two and three has gone on to perform with acts such as RoXen and Call.
The show itself focuses on the journey of these various musicians, a group of virtual strangers who come together and end up producing something truly magical. A compilation of original songs as well as covers (Both foreign and Pakistani) are what gives Nescafe Basement that unique flair; who could forget Parizae Azhar’s cover of Ed Sheraan’s Give me love Or Maria Fatima Unera Qureshi’s take on Gnarls Barkley’s Crazy.
Though it may have started from humble beginnings, this project is showing no signs of slowing down and has provided musicians with a platform to become successful artists. It seems that Xulfi has achieved what he’d set out to do; to give Pakistan’s youth a chance to shine. With Season 4 fast approaching and the new lineup announced, we can expect great things from the latest season.
However, until then, to satisfy our thirst; Nescafe Basement has released all of their original songs spanning from seasons one till three. These sixteen songs, packed with mind blowing vocals, a unique energy, and sharp instrumental precision are single handed proof that Pakistan’s youth has much to offer to us in terms of talent. These songs are now available to download and stream on Taazi.