As the most happening musical event of the year, Pepsi Battle OF The Bands was ended two weeks back, its echoes are still surrounding and fans want more to now about the winner and runner-up of the race.
The two-month long journey was an intense competition and hard work, and the final battle was narrowed down to Auj and Aarish.
Auj took home the crown, along with Rs50 lac, an album contract and lifetime royalties of the original songs performed during the course of the season. Aarish, the ever-competitive runner-up, took home Rs25 lac and an album contract.
During the last episode, entire Pakistan voted to make their favourite band to be crowned the Pepsi throne.
Here’s to Auj, Aarish, and most importantly, the rise of original music in Pakistan!
AARISH: The Runner Up
Six teenagers from the city Islamabad formed AARISH, meaning ‘the ray of sun’. According to band, these six fellows loved doing music from their childhood and wanted to do it for the rest of their lives. The current six members of Aarish are Nosherwan Mehmood (Vocalist), Haziq Ali (Lead Guitarist), Ali Sohail (Guitarist), Nehal Azhar (Keyboards), Fahad Sikandar aka Grooveshark (Bassist), Humayun Mir (Drummer), who is also all in one combo and a backbone of the band as he is a singer, guitarist, drummer, bassist, keyboardist at the same time.
Aarish applied in season 2 but got rejected. After that they made their first original and tried their luck in Season 3, but it was hard again. Then they went back and worked harder for the whole year and applied in Season 4 with a little change in line-up.
“So yes, Pepsi has a huge hand in making us what we are today. Pepsi Battle of the Bands came back after 11 years out of nowhere but we saw it as our only chance to shine”, the band says.
When growing up, they all had been following the old western and top Pakistani bands. Each member of the band has different inspiration and when these diverse tastes come together, it creates the sound of AARISH. But, the mutual following of the band is, ‘COLDPLAY’. The band has made its own niche in the genre of Ambiant pop/rock. They have produced six originals out of which five were made in Pepsi BoB. Aarish is also working on a new album.
AUJ: The Winner
Auj was actually formed in between 2008 and 2009 by Nasir Zaka, guitarist and Syed Hasnani Ali, bassist. They both are constant part of the line up since its inception while the other two places/members were changed two times in the 10 years history of the band. The current vocalist of the band is Abdur Rehman Sajid while Muhammad Kashif plays drums. The band initially called it ‘Crackdown’ and then ‘Shabih’ (reflection). The name Auj was given just three years back by their ex drummer Asif Iqbal. The literal meaning of Auj is ‘the top most point anyone can achieve’. According to Nasir, “The name depicts each member’s passion and ambitions for the music”.
Who Are Auj?
Auj is consisted of four members. They are;
Nasir Zaka is lead guitarist and co-founder of Auj. He also works as the lead composer of the band, which means the finished product comes out from his hands. Nasir works more on western influences but a little bit on eastern melodies as well.
Syed Husnain Ali is the bassist and one of the co-founders of Auj. He has a strong and interesting stage presence as well. Hasnain can work on different genres from rock to eastern classic and never let the band stuck anywhere that is why called the backbone of band.
Muhammad Kashif is the drummer but also has a grip on various other instruments. He completes band’s groove department along with Hasnain. By groove in music means the overall feel and theme of a song. Kashif also takes inspirations from western bands as drum itself is a very western instrument to play.
Abdur Rehman Sajid is the vocal powerhouse of Auj. The young and talented Abdur Rehman, who is still studying business management at University of Karachi, is the last inclusion to the current line-up of the band. He got all the pressure from the rest of the members of the band at joining but tried hard and gave a unique voice to Auj. He is a versatile and can us his vocal chords to sing like from Robert Plant to Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. Nusrat Saheb is the biggest and all time inspiration of Rehman.
What inspired each member to be in this field?
Auj takes inspirations from all pioneers bands in the history of Pakistan like Vital Signs, Junoon, Karavaan, and Mizraab, and then later in the new millennium from EP and Aaroh.
“We are their fans from our childhood and teenage. These Pakistani bands set the trend of band culture in Pakistan. They all made us to believe that to be a musician is a blessing. Wherever you are, you have to look into the local music first.”, Nasir Zaka says.
How and Why Pepsi Battle Of The Bands
As Auj, they were making music for last 10 years, and producing many songs as well that they put up on different digital forums, but couldn’t find any platform to show and promote their work in big way. “So, when Pepsi Battle Of The Bands Season 2 was announced in 2107, it was a hope for us. We decided to take part in it but two years back our singer Abdur Rehman had just joined us, and we were working with him to create a new sound of the band. It was actually the period of season 3, when we made about 14 songs to get into the Season 4 of Pepsi Battle Of The Bands”. Nasir Zaka tells.
What makes the sound of Auj?
Nasir explains, “As far as the musical inspiration is concerned, the band is heavily influenced by both east and west. Collectively, the band’s sound is locally inspired by Junoon, Vital Signs, Aaroh, and of course Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan while internationally, we are influenced by Metallica, Alice in Chains, U2, Cocubine Tree and some of grunge rock. So, these are the forces which are behind the sound of Auj.”
In which genre the band wants to work most?
“Basically we are defined as a rock band but have added up different other genres as well. It cannot be called fusion but has a touch of classical, pop, a little bit of alternative and hard rock all in a same song or any specific genre dedicated to a whole song. So, root is the rock but is connected with other branches as well. That is how it goes.” Naisr Zaka further explains
The work produced till now?
Auj is currently in studio, recording a lot of stuff. They already have made many songs. “Some of them are almost finished while some are in the middle of completion, but we will select the best from them as our each album will be consisted of 9 or 10 songs. So, stay connected”, concludes Zaka.
Zubab Rana- The fashionista with an unmatchable screen presence!
Enviable fashion sense is something not many actresses in our industry have been blessed with, but one actress who has impressed us with her fashion sense is Zubab Rana. A budding actress and a beautiful model, Zubab Rana manages to light up the frame every time she appears on our screens. From ramps to dramas, there isn’t anything the actress can’t do.
Born on 3 June 1998, the young actress started her career with Naseebo Jali in 2017 and received a nomination for the Best Soap Actress at Hum Awards right with her debut role. This doesn’t only speak of the actress’s mettle as a performer, but it also helped her make her mark on the small screen in a short period of time. She then appeared in Mere Khudaya and Bandish, and again received a nomination for the former as the Best Emerging Talent at the Lux Style Awards.
That isn’t all. We haven’t just seen the actress making her mark on the screens, but she has also stolen the show every time she has appeared on the ramp. She has established herself as a successful model and is renowned for her effervescent charm as an actress and a model, both. Having started her career as a ramp model, there is no denying her talent on the ramp, but what took everyone by surprise was her talent on the screens as well.
After her powerful performance in Rishtay Biktay Hain in 2019, we can currently watch the actress starring in Mehboob Apke Qadmon Mein, a drama that revolves around the power of black magic, Zubab Rana has been weaving magic with her performance in the play. She is featured as Sunaina, a sweet and innocent girl who is in love with someone and wants to stay happily with her love. Zubab Rana’s acting makes you feel for Sunaina and all the problems in her way. In every scene, she stands out with her phenomenal acting, making us root for her.
So far, Zubab Rana has done wonderfully in every drama she appears in. It looks like the actress is on the rise, and we can’t wait to see where she would be heading next!
Ali Zafar foundation to distribute amongst Christian and Transgender communities
On a tweet posted by Ali Zafar, he showed the conditions on the ground as he went live on Instagram with his team who was seen distributing Rashan amongst a Christian community.
Many celebrities have raised their voice to raise awareness in the Corona battle, however, Shahid Afridi and Ali Zafar take the lead in going all out in their Rashan Distribution campaign.
Ali Zafar had also posted a video a few days ago of a transgender “Julie” highlighting the plight of their community. “We must make an inclusive society where everyone feels equally empowered and a part of the society, like a petal in a flower. Only then we can get rid of the thorns”. the Singer Actor quoted whose foundation has so far distributed Rashan amongst almost 3500 families so far.
This Social Networking App is definitely the New Thing in Town
When boredom hits us hard, we all cuddle up to our social media accounts rooting around for something new and exciting. Right now, when the world has come to a standstill and people are ready to do anything to spice up their lives and when cooking, baking, watching, or reading looks so monotonous, we all are on the hunt for activities that put a little jazz to our dull days.
There are no real-life meetings, a cup of coffee, or a smoke break. All we have is our phone with the same contacts, plenty of work emails to respond, and some messages in the “other” section of our messenger. Some of us are so bored that we have gone through all those messages and some are on the verge of responding to those messages.
But, there is one thing that is keeping us occupied all of a sudden? As controversial as Tinder sounds, the long-lived thunder has been stolen by this new app called Bumble. You can either date or find BFF on the app depending on your preference. The dynamics of this app are slightly different from Tinder as it gives women the first right to make a move. Is this actually a conscious effort to change the patriarchy considering the fact women are entirely in control of choosing whoever they want to talk to and on the other hand, men do not have the option to initiate the conversation at all. This is probably one of the reasons for the app to flourish in a country like Pakistan where there is a pipping hot debate on feminism every now and then.
The main difference between Tinder and Bumble is the reliability of having a verified account. You cannot have an account on bumble without your picture and since the whole idea behind this app is about being kind, if there is slight misconduct from any party, the account gets suspended immediately for good and all. Unlike Tinder, Bumble gives you more details about the person in contact so, the swiping is not just about the looks here.
If we peek into the real world, there are very few opportunities to find friends or even a potential match once you are done with your school or college. Which means, a very little chance of getting your dupatta stuck in the button of his waistcoat. Such an app will put you closer to the network of a person who otherwise does not have the slightest chance of meeting you in real life. If not a match, you may end up finding some incredible friends that many people actually claimed to have found so. Hence, the dating pool is marginally better on this app.
The cons of having this app are “anything can happen”. Stay alert and know your moves. Don’t get caught into the traps of instant meetings or any kind of thugs disguised as a chum. Take time to know the person and learn about the similarities you have with them if any. These are the very basic tips that we need for any online encounter.
Although a lot of success stories have been witnessed through the app from outside Pakistan, the app is still less productive and less popular among the masses. It is either the pressure of being on a dating app or stigma attached to being associated with these apps. However, this pandemic does seem to change the whole narrative of online amity.
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