KARACHI : If Sarak Sarak laid down the foundation of a new beginning, then Coke Studio sent her call for love and humility to the rest of the world. Mai Dhai may have come to the forefront just a few years back, but no artist can resist a collaboration with her.
Dhai’s latest project features emerging singer Natasha Baig on the soundtrack. Produced by Saad Hayat, the song titled Kesaria is in Marvari language and will be released on January 15. “The word ‘Kesaria’ means beloved in Marvari. Therefore, it’s a song that one sings for a loved one,” Baig told The Express Tribune. The music video which has been directed by Hassan Ali Effendi and shot by Aamir Mughal explores the culture of Tharparkar. “The song talks about a Hindu wedding, amongst a few other things. We shot in a Hindu temple in Umerkot, which the authorities claimed was the biggest in Asia. In a way, the whole package breaks boundaries as we delve into the culture of a lesser explored region.”
The young singer found the experience quite heart-warming and eye-opening. “Everybody, Hindus and Muslims, lived there with such harmony that I was surprised. They all dress the same way and live so peacefully that you wouldn’t even know whether someone is a Hindu or a Muslim.” Baig added, “We didn’t have to worry about food or anything. I didn’t know people of Thar were so hospitable.”
Baig considers it an honour to have collaborated with Dhai. “I was really surprised when I got to know because this collaboration was her idea. I feel honoured to have been a part of this.” Praising Dhai for her strength and conviction, Baig said, “It’s really empowering to see Mai Dhai come out stronger after going through so many problems in life. Children usually support their parents at her age, but she ended up helping her sons build their houses. This, I think, is what women empowerment is all about.”
Even though Baig hails from Hunza, she said her journey is quite similar to Dhai’s. “She hails from a region where women aren’t encouraged to sing and perform on stage. I come from Hunza, where it’s essentially the same. I feel that, despite being so different, our journey is quite similar.”
Talking about the song, Baig said she had to understand the Marvari lyrics to capture its soul right. She thinks the main audience for the song will not be Karachi-centric. “It’s in Marvari so I think it will cater more to Indians, especially those living in the Rajasthani region. At the end, it’s a folk song.”
Interestingly, Baig doesn’t consider herself a mainstream singer either. “I think Mai Dhai is a more mainstream success than I am. The only mainstream aspect about me is that I sing in a language which everybody can understand.”
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