After Coke Studio, Nescafe Basement, and Pepsi Battle of the bands, another corporate music platform by the name of Strepsils Stereo has entered the Pakistani music scene. Capitalizing on the national music narratives, these platforms have endorsed patriotism through music in the past.
A few days earlier, Coke Studio released its version of the National Anthem for Pakistan’s 70th Independence Day which failed to impress the public. Now, Strepsils Stereo has released a ‘different’ version of Alamgir’s hit song Khayal Rakhna.
The song features Ali Noor, lead vocalist of the band Noori, Ahsan Pervaiz, and Rachel Viccaji, sister of Zoe Viccaji, Sara Haider and Zoe Viccaji. The singers appear on screen donning bright, festive attire, keeping in line with the Independence Day celebrations.
This is surprisingly the first time that a cappella music has been formally introduced in Pakistan. Originally used in Church ceremonies, this form of music makes use of no musical instruments. In fact, all sounds are made using the vocal chords.
The singers appear on the screen, making awkward facial movements that are funny, if not unnatural. The backgrounds are a burst of colorful frames, as the singers sway unnaturally to the music as if in a retro themed movie.
Published in The Nation on 11th August, 2017