By Khaya Ahmed:Every once in a while, we feel the urge to lock the doors to our rooms, bump up the volume on our favorite rock tune and shamelessly air guitar to it while belting out those sweet sweet notes…. Or is that just me? Moving on, this week’s Top Ten is all about unleashing your inner rock God or Goddess. So go ahead, press play and listen to the top ten most streamed and shared rock songs on Taazi. A side effect of listening to this list may include sore necks from excessive head banging.
Coming in at number ten we have a band that coincidentally, is going ten years strong as of this year. Formed in 2005, E Sharp is a Karachi based band that have cited The Beatles, Pink Floyd, The Who and The Doors as some of their inspirations. True to that, their song Ek Haseena, has elements of each band resonating throughout this bluesy, eclectic song. From the infectious bass to the smooth vocals, this song will leave you feeling like you’ve walked onto the set of an old school gangster movie.
Coming in at number nine is a band that needs no further introduction. Mauj first made headlines with their song, Paheliyan, until practically everyone in Pakistan knew the opening guitar riff to the song. Khayal, is another one of their songs which proves that Mauj’s music is anything but simple rock n’ roll music. Taken off their debut album, Now in Technicolor, the song bears an infectious tune that reminds one of the American rock band, Incubus and proves that after all this time, Mauj is still very relevant.
With Umair Jaswal at the helm, Qayaas may have started out in 2007 as an underground band but soon became a household name when three of its songs featured in Pakistan’s Biggest Blockbuster Movie WAAR. Known for their signature hardcore rock and metal vibes that rival those of Metallica and Guns N’ Roses, Umair’s powerhouse vocals and raspy screams are what elevates this band to new heights. Halaak, written by Umair, is no exception and with its powerful lyrics proves exactly why Qayaas was selected to perform in Coke Studio.
Before Fawad Khan burst onto the scene as an actor, he was first known as the front man for one of the pioneer mainstream rock bands in the Pakistani music industry. EP, short for Entity Paradigm was formed in 2000 and awed everyone with their fusion of Fawad’s vocals and Ahmed Ali Butt’s rap. Kahan Hai Tu, written by Zulfiqar Jabbar Khan and Ahmed Ali Butt, is the third single off their debut album Irtiqa. Infused with EP’s signature style, the song is laced with heavy guitar notes and drums and was often used by the band as an opening song during their concerts to get the crowd going.
It’s not often that one hears the words Sufi and Rock, together and yet Meekal Hasan has managed to fuse the two unlikely genres to create something truly magical. Sayon is featured in Andholan; the third album released by Mekaal Hasan Band or MHB for short. With an infectious melody of the flute laced through with Sharmistha Chatterjee’s blistering new vocals and Gino Banks on the drums, this band, formed in 2001 has undergone a lineup change but still proves that Sufi-rock is alive and well.
Naseer & Shahab is a soft alternative rock band based in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. The band comprises of Naseer Afridi and Shahab Qamar and was formed in 2010. Their musical goal? To celebrate one’s identity and promote peace; a message they delivered perfectly with their debut song Za Pukhtoon Yam, a song entirely sung in Pushto. With its soft riff and soothing vocals, it slowly transcends until the drums mix in with the guitar, leaving you with a sense of warmth and patriotism.
Formed in 1996, Noori debuted with their album Suno Ke Main Hun Jawan and soon after became a common household name, synonymous with Rock n’ Roll. The band recently returned with their latest album Begum Gul Bakaoli Sarfarosh and are already making headlines everywhere. Aik Tha Badshah is a single off of their latest album and though it differs from Noori’s signature hard rock style, its slow yet heavy style of electronic rock has heralded the return of one of Pakistan’s favorite rock band.
What sets Malang Party aside from other musicians is their unique sound; imbued with a fusion of folk-reggae and hard rock; now that’s a mouthful, isn’t it? Though they made their mark on the industry with their various session with artists such as Arieb Azhar and Zeb & Haniya; it was on Season 8 of Coke Studio that they truly broke out into the music scene. With their song Dil Jaley, Malang Party draws you in with its bluesy hook and smooth guitar riffs combined with lead singer Zishaan’s tantalizing vocals.
An actor, model, and a musician; Umair Jaswal has proven to the world that he’s a force to be reckoned with. Jee Raha was written for and featured in 2015’s blockbuster hit Jalaibee. Written and composed by Umair; the song is more subdued and emotional compared to his usual singles. Though you might find yourself missing that signature Jaswal high note, rest assured, this song is as powerful as it is subtle which is why it is ranked number two on Taazi’s most streamed & downloaded rock songs.
Ali Azmat first captured our hearts with Junoon Se Aur Ishq Se Milti Hai Azadi, a song that has become an anthem for Pakistan and though he may have parted with Junoon, Ali continues to leave his mark on Rock n’ Roll music. His latest song, Rangeela, released on Coke Studio proves just that. The combination of the underlying tabla mixed with Ali’s signature enthusiasm as a vocalist is a treat to the ear as it slowly builds up to a satisfying crescendo. It is sure to have you on your feet; Ali Azmat is clearly a force to be reckoned with and position at the top of our most streamed & downloaded rock songs proves just that.
And there you have it folks, who said Rock n’ Roll was dead? Because judging from our number of streams and downloads; it is alive and kicking. Keep on rocking avid readers, and for the latest in rock music stay tuned to Taazi!