The wonder boys of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa

Published: March 8, 2011


Its ventures like ‘coke studio’ that have resuscitated the struggling local music industry. Where ‘Coke Studio’ is known for collaborations and revival of folk music, ‘Uth records’ is gaining popularity for finding new talent. Mauj frontman/guitarist Omran Shafique and legendary drummer Louis Pinto aka Gumby sat together and listened to demo tracks received from all over Pakistan.

Three musicians from the province of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa gave a melodic gift to the local audience — a Pashto rock number, “Reidi Gul” which translates to “Poppy flower”. The band called ‘Yasir and Jawad’, bears some similarity to Sajid and Zeeshan and Zeb and Haniya, two of the most successful bands that have come up in recent times.

The band comprises of Jawad Iqbal, the guitar player hailing from Mardan, Yasir Rehman the Rabab player from Waziristan and Wali Orakzai the vocalist from Orakzai agency.

Speaking to The Express Tribune Jawad said: “We haven’t been around for long; I met Yasir at Government College Lahore [GC] when we were both pursuing our bachelor’s degree. We started off with some originals in English but never thought that a pashto track would become our ticket to success”.

Classifying themselves as a folk rock band, they want to create a unique rock sound with a local feel and hence Yasir , who earlier used to play guitar and rabab started concentrating on rabab only.   It is the exposure to local folk music that gives the band its distinct sound.

“I am more into Neil Young, Pink Floyd  and country music whereas Yasir is more of a rock music fan as he listens to Guns n Roses and  ACDC, having said that, we try our best to keep the groove of the song as folk as possible “ Jawad told The Express Tribune.

However, the vocalist, Wali who won everyone’s heart by singing the poem of the great Pashtu poet Ghani Khan to perfection never expected something of this magnitude to happen when he became a part of the band two years later. “I wanted to join the army and even cleared the initial test, I came into music out of sheer excitement but never thought that we’d get popular” he said. His primary focus is on the lyrical content — the message that the band projects, music is secondary to him. “ When the ‘Uth records’ video was released in which I performed with my long beard, one of my professors at the GC appreciated my effort and said that people should know that beards are not just about bomb blasts and music is the best way to communicate that “ Wali told The Express Tribune

He further elaborated on his passion for Ghani Khan’s poetry; he believes that the Pashtoon youth has deviated and the lack of education and talibanization in the province has further defamed the ethnic group. “ People have started confusing Pashtoons for talibans; this is not the case and I believe that by singing non conformist poetry that preaches humility and negates radicalism, musicians and especially those from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa can serve a larger purpose “   said Wali.

The Yasir and Jawad band has received a number of offers from record labels. Their album will be produced by Zeeshan Pervaiz.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 9th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (19)

  • Mar 9, 2011 - 12:36AM

    amazing guyz…love your music and songs…..
    Best of luck yasir wali and jawad…from Sikandar Aslam, Mardan.Recommend

  • Aayat khan
    Mar 9, 2011 - 2:21AM

    So proud of You!! You are Providing a refreshing feel to the cultural music of Pushtu and a cry for peace through the dirk of Music. Wishing u all luck and tremendous success in ur upcoming Albums. Recommend

  • Mar 9, 2011 - 3:23AM

    Although, many in Pakistan didn’t understand the language Wali was singing in, but it was definitely his expression and happiness on his face that educated us all that NOT EVERY PAKHTOON is TALIBAN. Proud to have a talent like this in my country.

    I feel mesmerized when the song starts with Rabab, it takes me to our Northern Areas. Keep playing this amazing instrument Guys :)


  • bvindh
    Mar 9, 2011 - 5:36AM

    Non-vegetarian food, pop/rock music and fast bowlers……these are the three things Pakistani that we Indians will never beat you at!!Recommend

  • yaarku
    Mar 9, 2011 - 9:21AM

    excellent song you people have sung and even better poetry. i would like you guys to come up with more ghani khan plus rehman baba. and orakzai keep the beard as it is, let us tell the world that every muslim with beard is not a terrorist and every non pukhtun pakistani that every pukhtun with beard is not a taliban. this concept of giving the message of i m khan and i m not a terroist to our fellow countrymen is equally important as to clarification to out side world. lets tell the world that pukhtuns can also play music in addition to explosives.

    p.s i have a complain against coke studio that it played every language song except pushto,
    love you Uth records for your efforts Recommend

  • Hafsa
    Mar 9, 2011 - 10:00AM

    “His primary focus is on the lyrical content — the message that the band projects, music is secondary to him.”…i wsih more people whould have that sort of vision. Sardar Ali Takkar, I think, was pioneer in this regards: “Looking in to the history of Pashto music, it become obvious that up till now none of the singer worked with proper planning for the development of Pashto language and music i.e. most of them have not taken this profession as a mission. They adopted it merely as their source of income. But when it comes to Takkar, he kept on doing new experiments in the Pashto music.”Recommend

  • NJ
    Mar 9, 2011 - 10:11AM

    Good Luck my fellow Ravians… Proud B)Recommend

  • syed babar jamal
    Mar 9, 2011 - 12:19PM

    you have done a great job……. scientist with music is something very different, but you guys did it…… wish you all the best…… jawad you have lots of fan in mardan…. they all are waiting for your album…..Recommend

  • Usman Khan
    Mar 9, 2011 - 2:03PM

    Very talented youngsters.. keep it up! good luck!Recommend

  • Syed Ali Shahzad Bukhari
    Mar 9, 2011 - 2:17PM

    Hey Guys u did Wounder full job:) i really appreciate that. Wish u all the best:) Recommend

  • Babs
    Mar 9, 2011 - 2:44PM

    Post a link where I can listen to their music.Recommend

  • unknown
    Mar 9, 2011 - 4:22PM

    Proud to have such a band in our country.Guys you have raised the level of music in Pakistan.You guys have marked another milestone that would enhance out aesthetics.Recommend

  • Saad
    Mar 9, 2011 - 4:49PM

    Superb … fantastic … guys that’s great, where r u based.
    all the 3 off you are doing a great work. Thank you so much for this and for your service to the culture Yasir, Wali and Jawad. You are the true faces of Pashtoons and Pashtoo. I’m proud of my Pashtoon friends.Recommend

  • saleem
    Mar 9, 2011 - 9:09PM

    Great combination and great work. Good luck for the bright futureRecommend

  • Chodhry Salman
    Mar 10, 2011 - 12:09AM

    Pushtoon culture and its traditions have been quite lovely.Its awesome music has influenced the region as far as Bombay and Bengal but the recent Talibanization in the Pushtoons areas by paki establishment has unfortunately tarnished the very image of the area and its people.I appreciate the efforts of these young Pushtoon guys to highlight the brighter side of their society and wish them every success. Recommend

    Mar 11, 2011 - 10:31AM

    hmmmm…nice yaaar…jawaaada da kala rase…Recommend

  • AN
    Mar 14, 2011 - 12:48AM

    Rohail Bhai! Plz invite them for the next season of coke studio. Love to see them.

    To all my Pushtun brothers!
    Noone thinks of you in that way. You are not taliban. We all Pakistanis are with you in this hard time.Recommend

  • Mar 22, 2011 - 5:56PM

    They are rocked in UTH Records…Thumbs up for them…Recommend

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