When it comes to the field of music, especially when it concerns talented performers and creative musicians, Pakistan is one country that never disappoints.
A recently discovered gem of this country is Affaq Mushtaq and the extent of his true genius was realised in the second episode of “Uth Records”. With just one of his songs, “Aangun”, the musician has raised the bar for other musicians to come. Here’s a musician whose soul-stirring voice flows so comfortably with the music that one fails to notice when it begins and when it ends.
The show has picked up as when Jarar Malik sang “Bewafa” on the first episode, he received a mixed response from listeners. While some viewers found his song catchy, others stated that it was merely of average quality. It was in the second episode when 24-year-old Mushtaq’s voice was fused with drummer Gumby’s creativity and Aamir Zaki’s guitar prowess that pure magic resulted.
Hailing from the outskirts of Rawalpindi, Mushtaq is a formally trained musician who can not only sing well but can also play a variety of instruments ranging from the keyboard to the tabla.
Listening to the song, one can’t help but say that Mushtaq is already a powerhouse despite his youth and inexperience. Although he’s gotten a break into the industry, he has to fully capitalise on “Uth Records” and make more music to establish himself as a solo artist.
But Mushtaq isn’t the only shining star when it comes to this refreshing pop ghazal, it’s also Zaki’s acoustic guitar playing in the song as well as the percussions which help it reach new levels. Gumby, on the other hand, has definetly matured as a music producer. The drummer keeps his drumming pace light and mellow which goes well with the feel of the song.
Zaki — back and better than ever
Despite his troubled personal life or his sudden and mysterious disappearing acts from mainstream music, no one can deny that Aamir is still one of the finest guitarists of Pakistan. During the shooting of the episode, Gumby said, “Aamir is someone who can understand Mushtaq inside out.”
And he really does understand the melody and the musician as the guitar maestro tries his hardest not to dominate the song at all. Instead, Zaki only adds depth to it with his smart acoustic guitar playing. Kudos to “Uth Records” for bringing in the legends of the Pakistani music industry to the forefront and helping them collaborate with the young superstars of tomorrow.
Perwez — directorial genius
Compared to the first episode, the second one was not only musically rich; it was also one of the most visually captivating. One has to give credit to the way the director of the show, Zeeshan Perwez, documented and showcased Mushtaq’s mesmerising journey from Rawalpindi to Karachi. With a series of subtle, minimalistic yet entirely convincing shots, he made the audience feel connected and closer to the musician.
The already memorable episode was topped off towards the end when it concluded with the song, “Let Your Soul Be Your Pilot” by Sting playing in the background.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 16th, 2012.