It was the music wave of the late 80s and the early 90s that gave us many of the pop icons we have today. Be it Sajjad Ali or Rohail Hyatt, we all remember them from music-related TV programmes like “Music Channel Charts” (MCC) and “Top of the Pops”. One of these out of sight, but still in mind, artists is Mohsin Raza Khan more popularly known as Bunny.
Back in the 80s, Bunny’s single “Dil Mein Tum” took the nation by storm and since then it has been one of the songs that is hummed by every music-loving Pakistani whenever they recall the good, old days of Network Television Marketing (NTM later known as STN).
Even though the singer is in his mid 50s, his love for music is as strong and enthusiastic as it was in 80s and 90s. And now, Bunny will be collaborating with Mustafa Zahid, lead vocalist of Lahore-based rock band Roxen, for a rock version of “Dil Mein Tum”. The adrenaline rush singer got from this venture has even made him consider a comeback. “After jamming with the extremely talented individuals from Roxen, I started tuning my guitar after 10 years and now I might even consider a comeback,” says Bunny. Despite his collaboration with youngsters, the singer plans to stick to the genre that gave him his identity when he started his career, “It’ll be the same slow romantic numbers, because that’s what I’m good at.”
Surprisingly, Bunny impressed himself, as well as Zahid, with his vocal prowess, that has not weakened with age and lack of practice. “As soon as I heard the recordings sent by Bunny, I was shocked to hear that the man has not lost a bit of the vocal brilliance that got all of us excited in our childhood,” Zahid exclaims.
While explaining the details of the project, Zahid shares that the idea to cover “Dil Mein Tum” came up in one of the band’s jam sessions, where they were playing old Pakistani pop songs and it suddenly struck them, that the cover could be made even better if they managed to get Bunny on board.
“The melody and the soul of the song will remain the same, but it will sound like a typical Roxen number as we have totally changed the arrangement and revamped the whole song,” explains Zahid.
The band has also shot a video for the song which has Bunny and Roxen band members performing in an underground racing arena — the promo of this video has already been released on YouTube. If this venture is well-received than Zahid plans to do a series of similar videos under his new company Wild Works, but so far this release is a solo project and not a part of Roxen’s official album. “Nothing is certain for now, but if there is a good response to this project than we might get a decent up-and-coming band to revamp another pop classic with the original artist. But all of this is very premature and currently, the only thing for certain is this video, which is scheduled to release in October,” adds Zahid.
Apart from this project, things are very much on track for Roxen. The rock band has done three songs for a Bollywood film called Blood Money — which is a sequel to Mahesh Bhatt’s Jannat. The music of this film is expected to be released at the end of this year.
Additionally, Roxen’s second album is ready, but the band has put it on hold till their pending Bollywood projects are completed.
“We have some gigs lined up for this year, then people will get to hear our Bollywood songs and once their shelf life finishes we will release our album,” says Zahid.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 16th, 2011.