|Overload’s ‘Ankahi’ brings a message in melody|
29 September 2012
The impressive single track “Ankahi” recently released by Riot Studios in Lahore is a product of Overload — one of the loudest rock bands in the country formed by Farhad Humayun, who is also the lead vocalist.
Overload has been shuffling in the rock music scene since 2003. With songs like “Pichal Pairee”, “Dhamaal”, “Neray Aa” and “Mela Kariye”, they have carved a name for themselves in the music world. The band fuses eastern rhythms with western instruments and recreates the rock music.
In 2011, the fall-out of crucial band members Meesha Shafi and Mehmood Rehman came as a sudden blow. Fortunately, Overload stood intact with Sheraz Siddiq and Nasir Sain as the backbone, and a year later, they rocked speakers again with their performance of “Mahi” in “Coke Studio Season 5”.
Talking about the ideology of his new song, Humayun touches upon social injustice and uncertainty in Pakistan. “We are actually dividing ourselves,” he says. “We are going against our own philosophies and traditions. Our flag says the white portion is for minorities and the green for Muslims. Somebody needs to comment on these things and as artists we are giving an autobiographical account.” After Ali Azmat’s smashing hit “Bum Phatta”, the more recent abominable “Kuttay” by Faakhir and Faris Shah’s rap version “Awaam”, it seems that an increasing number of mainstream Pakistani artists are penning their lyrics keeping the current security situation in mind.
“Ankahi” is the band’s biggest production to date. With lyrics such as “Awaz kyun dab see gai, Aahon may kyun khamooshian, Keh to sahi tu Ankahi, Azaad hai Teri zubaan” in the chorus, the patriot number addresses the country’s current societal fabric through melody, words and visuals. According to Humayun, “Ankahi” could not have been your typical love song. Instead, it is something that reflects the current political and social scenario of the country.
Written by Tahir Shaheer, composed by Siddiq and sung by Humayun, the song’s video was shot in three rigorous days by Sabeeh Khan. The video is designed in the traditional Overload manner, keeping the largely black and white theme. This is complemented by several featured appearances by the legendary film actor Nadeem, dancer Nighat Choudary and Humayun’s mother Naveed Shahzad. The vocalist explains that the idea of bringing veterans together was to show a beautiful Pakistan and the dreams of our forefathers. The video communicates this theme in a figurative sense through a tree, which has no leaves or flowers. Then, by bringing everyone together, the tree comes back to life.
“Ankahi” is rather different to anything else that Overload has released, with defining vocals and a message to stand up for the truth in troubling times.
“In light of the various murders that have taken place and the overall violence, certain minorities have been taken advantage of,” Humayun says. “When we travel abroad, we notice all kinds of people living together in harmony. Religion and personal beliefs are your own personal beliefs.”
The band plans to expand on the resurgence with its third studio album by early next year. “Overload has never been just any other band, it has always been the underdog,” says Humayun. “In 2003, we shocked people when we came out with the concept of a percussion-based band,” Humayun adds, as he emphasises on the band’s ability to adapt and experiment.
At the end, Humayun explains that his reason behind using electronic music is to keep up with changing times while re-inventing music. “All over the world there is a shift towards electronic music, and especially in music festivals and dance music,” he explains.
The album is expected to have around 11 songs, including the recently released singles, in various languages including English, Urdu and Punjabi. The band is currently working on several tracks with Faisal Baig, Pakistan’s top electronic DJ and producer. We wish them the best of luck!
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