As Johnny Depp infamously said: ‘Music touches us emotionally, where words alone can’t.’ It can bring people together and create a sense of camaraderie; nothing has epitomized this better than the spectacle of a nation celebrating their own independence. The music industry in Pakistan has been renowned in bringing life to the nations Independence Day. Although classics like Dil Dil Pakistan and Jazba Junoon will always be special to the people in Pakistan, the new renditions and ‘naghma’ bring a breath of fresh air and appeal to newer generations in a way which truly makes them worthwhile.
This year stands out as one of the most successful years for the music industry in Pakistan. In terms of independence, not all only renowned artists, but notable companies and brands have pitched it to celebrate reaching the milestone of 70 years of independence to the fullest. It all started from Coke Studio’s rendition of the National Anthem which has a contribution from all 40 singers performing in the upcoming season. Although it wasn’t as critically acclaimed as its predecessor ‘Aye Watan Kay Sajeelay Jawano’ by the late great Amjad Sabri. What made this year so noteworthy was the sheer diversity of music at hand this year. It wasn’t highlighted better by Pakistan’s first ever a capella song- Strepsil Studios’s cover of Khayal Rakhna. With the tunes and beats being made by the singers themselves, the song covers the true essence and simplicity of the song while the lively video and traditional clothing kept the viewers engaged throughout and payed their respects to the original.
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The involvement of prominent companies and industries to promote this auspicious day was heartwarming to say the least. From UBL’s beautiful showcase of the landmarks of Pakistan with their ‘Rahbar-e-Taraqqi-o-Kamal’.
According to UBL, ‘This year, we celebrate all that is great about our nation, all that makes us proud of our past and positive about our future. On this momentous occasion, we pay tribute to some of the many icons of Pakistan.’ Alongside that, Habib Metro Bank and Allied Bank had released a track which focused on the people and culture of Pakistan. Find My Adventure, an online marketplace for travel enthusiasts, had managed to capture the beauty of the nation through a majestic video shoot of the country titled as Arz-e-Pakistan. While taking shots of mountains, glaciers and sparkling blue water, the video showcases the culture and traditions of Pakistan for the world to see.
One of the more pleasantly surprising tributes was of that of Khaadi’s adequately called ‘Main bhi Pakistan Hoon’. It featured a touching tribute of the people of Pakistan and recognizing diversity and brotherhood. The video featured people exclaiming ‘Main bhi Pakistan Hoon’ and was done in collaboration with Meesha Shafi. This year has seen countless other tributes to Independence Day by various other artists whose songs went viral throughout the lead up to 14th August. These include: Shafqat Amanat’s ‘Sada Rahay Yeh Pakistan’, a remix of ‘Dil Say Pakistan by Haroon’ sung by multiple celebrities and paid tribute to Pakistani Heroes, ‘Ae Watan Tera Bhalo Ho’ by ISPR which compliments the military’s efforts in fending off terrorism and ‘Mery Watan Ye Aqeedatain’ . What was fascinating to note was that as we grew closer to 14th August, older songs that focused on Independence grew to become more popular on Youtube and other websites as well. This included Mehdi Hassan’s iconic Ye Watan Tumhara Hai and Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s ‘Pakistan, Mera Ayman Pakistan’
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As we approached Independence Day, one bit of new that took the entire nation by surprise was that an Indian music band -Voxchord- sang a moving rendition of the Pakistani national anthem as a sign of peace and harmony. The video begins by featured the message: “This is our way of wishing you, Happy Birthday Pakistan’ followed by, “This Independence Day, we’d like to dedicate a song to our neighbours. A song about faith, pride and grandeur, of power, progress and perfection.” Quite a large number of people were caught surprised with this tribute; Dawn goes on to say, ‘The surprise offering comes just days before Aug 14 and features the singers in a monochrome video. Free of any instruments, the song is quite a treat to listen to.’ It managed to perfectly showcase how effectively can cross-border collaboration take place in such a peaceful manner; demonstrating signs of peace, faith and progress in the same front.
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As we look back at the celebration that was, we are reminded of these songs and tributes that were essential in the success of this celebration. We acknowledge the efforts of all these people in making sure this spectacle was a special one and we thank those who made it all possible. As we move forward to the 71st year of this nation’s existence, we are reminded of the grandeur of the great nation we live in and honor the diversity that this country has to offer.