While the controversy regarding Jal’s break up is yet to be verified, lead vocalist Farhan Saeed has released a solo cover song online. Jal’s fascination with the legendary Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan is nothing new, as they had earlier sung excerpts from “Dum Mast Qalandar” in Coke Studio. This time around Saeed chose to cover the evergreen qawwali “Yeh Jo Halka Halka Suroor Hai” and the song has been making waves on the internet. The qawwali has a pop feel and has been arranged and produced by Saad Sultan at the Sidereel Studios.
The song is not really different from Jal’s music and one feels that had Gohar been behind the song it wouldn’t have been any different. However, the musical arrangement sounds fresh and the use of percussions instead of drums with minimalistic music gives Saeed’s vocals more room to show their strength. Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan fans will probably hate it and might as well accuse Saeed for ruining the evergreen qawwali, but on the other hand, it is a treat for pop music fans. Saeed has done a commendable job as a vocalist and by incorporating guitars, the producer has converted the qawwali into a ballad and whether you love it or hate it the first time you hear it, it will eventually grow on you.
If given proper projection, this might end up being Saeed’s ticket to Bollywood because his voice is soulful yet commercial, the lyrics are timeless and highly popular and Bollywood is interested in Pakistani talent these days — Saeed is a complete package waiting for a big break.
The Youtube hits on Saeed’s official channel have crossed 10,000 in four days and the fans from across the globe have mixed opinions.
Only time will tell whether Farhan Saeed is going solo or not, but this cover shows that he is definitely using his time to do something productive.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 28th, 2011.