By Shershah Ahmed: Cricket. The second most popular sport on the planet. It can unite us Pakistanis in a way very few things can. Cricket fever rages wildly even during regular matches, but with the T20 World Cup going on, emotions and team spirit skyrocket! And what better way to fan the flames of patriotism? Upbeat and uplifting cricket related songs. Here are the Top Ten most streamed and downloaded cricket tracks on Taazi!
10. Tu Hai Kahan- Strings ft. Junaid Jamshed & Haroon
Working our way backwards from number 10, the song starts off with a moody bass line and an atmospheric mix of flute and keyboard. The vocal talents of all three participants meld together to evoke nostalgic feelings of the early 2000’s while the relentless bass line, underscored by a lilting piano piece keeps pushing the song forward into a soaring chorus complete with a violin solo. Just when you think it cant get any better, the vocals take a back seat to a meld of classical instruments, tabla and flutes to name a few which give a nice little interlude to the song. The classical approach mixed with modern fusion really shines through in this track, making it a solid part of this playlist.
Hai Koi Hum Jaisa is the title track from Strings’ 2003 album of the same name, which was a staple for the 2003 cricket World Cup. The song starts off with an upbeat tribal drum beat, which leads into a crowd lead chant, which is extremely well known by now. Leading into a Caribbean melody, the song kicks off, with an uplifting image of striving for victory and praise for our team. The chorus is the extremely catchy chant from the beginning and you can’t help but sing along. To anyone listening to this, they’ll certainly be transported back to 2003.
Coming in at number 8 is Ali Haider’s comeback song, released in 2015 for Pakistani cricket fans. It starts off beautifully with a drum and guitar combo that leads into an emotional chorus, with Pakistan being the centre of focus. An intricate guitar solo follows and its back into singing Pakistan’s praises. Anyone would be swept up into supporting our cricket team, whether they are fans of the game or not. For a comeback, its about as solid as it can go, earning it a place in this playlist.
In 2015, the show ‘Burka Avenger’ released its new cricket related video coupled with Haroon’s track called Hum Hain. The message is basically we’re here, and we’re here to stay. With a powerful driving beat, and heavy guitar playing, the song is definitely going to get you nodding your head along to it. Haroon’s powerful vocals complement the music brilliantly and the subtle yet powerful bass line really brings it all together. The song throws a curve ball by shifting gears and slowing down for a traditional dhol jam with various classical instruments playing their part, before shifting back into an upbeat tempo with a dual guitar solo sealing the deal. The song ends with the uplifting patriotic message prevalent throughout the song and its obvious why it takes a spot on this list.
One of the quintessential hard rock bands of Pakistan, Karavan was formed in Karachi in the late 90’s, and took the country by storm for many years touring both locally and abroad, and after a long hiatus, made a comeback in 2010, solidified by their part in Coke Studio Season 3. Agay Hee Agay, from their 2003 album Gardish, takes the number 6 spot on this playlist.
The song has a very Western funky feel to it, with the drums and bass vying for the spotlight with the vocals, but the hint of the good Pakistani rock is still prevalent. Karavan could challenge anyone who listens to this song to not bob their heads along to it, and they would win everytime. Despite being released in 2003, the song could fit anywhere in the 80’s or 90’s, because it blends elements from so many different eras. The song ends with a driving percussion laden section, with tasteful guitar solos layered between the bass, drums and vocals, and you can’t help hitting the replay button.
Coming in at the halfway mark is Baazi by Amanat Ali, a classically trained singer from Faisalabad, Pakistan. The song starts off pounding drums, and uplifting vocals, which leads into a soaring chorus that is perfect for building up hype and excitement for a game of cricket. The message is predominately one of never giving up, and one can easily envision crowds of Pakistani fans, all clad in green cheering on their team, and victory seems certain when one listens to this song.
Being the former vocalist of Jal, Farhan Saeed needs no introduction. After leaving Jal in 2014 to focus on his solo career, he has exhibited his talents in film, music and television. Coming in at number 4, Kitna Hai Dum starts off with a bang, with a driving beat that gets your blood pumping. The pitch perfect arrangement melds many eastern musical instruments together to form a catchy chorus that one could easily dance to let alone sing along to it. We cannot guarantee that you wont be humming this melody for days to come.
At number 3, Aisi Ki Taisi by Siege The Band, kicks things off with a very Western influenced guitar riff, which transforms into a dhol dominated vocal line that is fearless in itself, let alone being the subject of the song. This song could get any Pakistani’s blood pumping when facing another team, the name of the song being testament to that fact. Be fearless, and always fight to win is the dominant message of the song, and playing this song in the dressing room of our tigers would certainly make us unstoppable on the field.
From one of the best fast bowlers Pakistan has ever produced, to making his singing debut with Tum Hi Tou Ho, Wasim Akram makes it evident that he is a man of many talents. What better person to pen the lyrics to complement Wasim Akram’s vocals? Ali Gul Pir, a Pakistani rapper, stand up comedian, television and voice actor.
The song, coming in at number 2, is satirical in nature talking about various topics that will tickle your funny bone. Complimented by a driving rap beat, the song is guaranteed to get stuck in your head, thanks to its catchy chorus and Wasim Akram bowls the proverbial yorker with this one, adding another accolade to his already substantial achievements.
Ali Zafar needs no absolutely no introduction. From his humble start as a solo musician, to his breakthrough into Hindi cinema which paved the way for other Pakistani artists and actors to expand their horizons, from a critically acclaimed performance on Coke Studio, Ali Zafar is one of the most recognizable stars in Pakistan.
Coming in at number 1, Ab Khel Ke Dikha is the official anthem for the Pakistan Super League. Starting off with a towering vocal line, it immediately starts things off, showcasing the high and low note vocal extravaganza that Ali Zafar excels at. The various melodies all compliment the vocals perfectly, blending pounding drums, synthesized keyboards and a driving beat that makes it perfectly clear why this is the number 1 song on the Top Ten Cricket Songs on Taazi!