The involvement of Pakistani musicians in the country’s political campaigns is nothing new, with Ali Azmat and Strings performing at dharnas of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and bands like Laal supporting the lawyers’ movement. This time around, PTI has chosen a song with a strong message by relatively new artists to spread awareness about the party’s cause. “Uth Jawana” by Soch has been selected as the official soundtrack for PTI’s Jaag Utho campaign.
The track does not sound like an anthem or a patriotic number. It relies on a catchy acoustic melody with satirical Punjabi lyrics by the duo, comprising of Adnan Dhool on vocals and Rabi Ahmed on guitars. Although “Uth Jawana” was released online two years ago, it has come into the limelight with the recent campaign.
“We released this track two years ago and then performed it on the television show ‘Choraha’. Then around a month back, PTI officials contacted us regarding the campaign and we were more than willing to participate,” Dhool tells The Express Tribune.
To some extent, the song’s lyrics have been customised to make the track more relevant to the political scenario, but Dhool is glad that the core message is still the same. “Imran Khan and his campaign supporters loved this song and to meet their requirements we changed the second stanza from verses about cheap SMS packages to the number of cars politicians own these days,” explains Dhool.
The video of “Uth Jawana”, recently released online, starts with the words of Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah followed by images showing human suffering and moves on to stills of Imran Khan. Though the effectiveness of the song for the campaign is yet to be tested, the band is more excited to be a part of the campaign than about the popularity of their song.
Sharing his thoughts about Jaag Utho, Dhool says: “We are a part of the struggle that this party is dealing with, which mirrors to our thought-provoking music and lyrics.”
The members of Soch are recent university graduates. Dhool belongs to Khanewal and Ahmed hails from Lahore, and they both consider music to be their first love, passion and profession. The artists believe that apart from producing music, they also have a role to play as Pakistanis and “Uth Jawana” signifies that.
“We are not doing anything for any political party; we are only trying to play our role as Pakistanis. I think any Pakistani will support anyone willing to save this nation from the ongoing calamities,” says Dhool.
Though PTI has featured the song as part of their campaign, the band did not ask for any money. “We did it for our country, we contributed the song for this cause,” says Dhool.
The video of “Uth Jawana” is available on the Facebook page of Jaag Utho.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 11th, 2011.