From the vault: Young, rebellious Fawad Khan says he’s responsible for destroying a generation

The rise of EP, Aaroh's win and Meekal Hassan band's claim to fame


Rida Lodhi August 28, 2017
PHOTO: FILE

It was the year 2002 that kick-started an entirely unique trend in terms of revamping pop music culture in Pakistan. It was the year in which Battle of the Bands commenced and no one would have thought that a participant of the legendary show will see the very same stage 15 years later - however, this time around as a judge.

Fawad Khan, the frontman of Entity Paradigm returned to BOB as a judge for its next installment, but with the same persona.

EP, Aaroh and Meekal Hassan Band made it to the top 3 in the competition, with Aaroh crowned as the winners , EP as runners-up.

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Now, after more than a decade later, Patari has dug up an unseen footage of the first season of BOB, which features the opinions of the bands participating and judges at the time.

"The new millennium was the time of a great change in Pakistan. It was during this time of change that a real game changer emerged," it was said of BOB.

The pre-eminent music journalist by profession, and the former judge of BOB, Fifi Haroon quipped, "Pepsi Battle of the Bands was something that we did 15 years ago. At that time, it was something entirely new. Compared to the shows, for singers, for musicians, we were not that big a thing like it is now."

Clad in baggy jeans, button-up shirt and round glasses, Fawad sat in an interview.

"The thing that probably turns people off even right now about us is that the parents tend to leave our performances," he broodily says as he talks about the rock music EP tends to introduce in Pakistan.

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"But you have to take a stand somewhere. You have to start from somewhere and then progress. Now, if you call that destroying a generation, then I'm probably responsible for that and I'll gladly be responsible for it!" said the frontman.

Talking about the Meekal Hassan Band, Fifi went on to say, "There was Meekal Hassan Band that was doing extremely soulful and classic Pakistani songs mixed with modern jazz instrumentation. It was just so incredibly beautiful."

EP, on the other hand was quite the opposite. "There was boundless energy of bands such as Entity Paradigm. That was pretty mind-blowing," said the former judge.

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Reminiscing about EP's lead vocalist, Fifi asserted, "Whenever Fawad Khan walked into the room, the minute he walked in, every woman in the room turned around and looked at him."

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Aaroh's lead singer, Farooq Ahmed remembers the moment when judge Rohail Hayat asked them to stop playing mid-performance. "We were playing when Rohail waved his hands to halt our performance. He then went out to bring Junaid Jamshed to the stage and asked him, 'listen to this, just listen!"

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Meekal Hassan recalled the moment when his band stunned the audience. "We were playing onstage and there was a background music as well. Suddenly, the electricity went out and we kept playing. It was quite surprising to see how this shocked people."


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