Peshawer underground Music Scene

Unbeknown to the rest of the country, from being a place unknown for its pop music, Peshawar is quietly and slowly emerging with its own local music scene. There are newer and newer bands coming out in the city, which are giving their own twist to conventional
forms of pop and rock music, planting the seeds for a new chapter in the pop music history of Pakistan. The work that is being done is exciting, novel and experimental and in the process of defining its own unique identity.

Images on Sunday focuses on some of the most prominent acts — folk, fusion, rap and metal — that are in the process of breaking through from the northern capital of Pakistan.

From the new wave of pop music from Peshawar, Ismail and Junaid reign on top. Along with their increasing popularity, however, they perform sporadically and shy away from making too many public appearances.

They first made their debut on the media in January 2010, and have to their credit, runaway hits like Qarar (peace) and Ranra (light). Ismail Khan, who is the main singer and song writer in the band, hails from a family of a political background from Charsadda
and met Junaid Javed while they were still in college. Junaid’s family settled in Peshawar after his grandfather, a businessman involved in the textile export industry, moved there. He began playing the guitar at 15 years of age and is also the backing vocalist
and co-composer of the band. They first began jamming together after a dinner during their second year in college.

They’re passionate about promoting awareness of their culture and heritage; and in renewing a sense of pride among the youth when it comes to their cultural identity. As university students they’re not completely focused on their music, but having said that,
they do have several projects lined up which include an Urdu song whose working title is Raat, a song based on an eminent Pashto poet, Ameer Hamza Shinwari’s (also known as Hamza Baba) poems titled Pakhwa, and an attan that would incorporate 15 dialects of
the Pashto language.

Encouraging the local bands is very important as it not only brings awareness but also a sense of pride in the youth.