Following the reverberating performance of Orangenoise, “Uth Records” introduced their final artist for this season, Rahim Saranjam Khan, who hails from Peshawar, a place that has lately become the powerhouse of raw Pakistani talent.
The last episode of “Uth Records” season 2, which was aired on Saturday evening, led the listeners into a pop rock realm with heavy influence of eastern classical and folk elements. Khan may belong to the “highlands of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa”, as stated in the beginning of the episode, but his inspirations range from a wide musical repertoire from western iconic bands like Radiohead and Pink Floyd to traditional classical singers like Javed Bashir and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.
‘Afsoos’: Giving music to Ahmed Faraz’s poetry
Considering his roots, one expected Khan to take the traditional route — and maybe sing in Pashto — but he surprised many by going for a pop rock number, bringing his own taste to the league of Peshawari musicians like Yasir & Jawad and Naseer & Shahab.
Accompanied by the talented sitar player Rakae Jamil and Bradley D’Souza on bass guitar, Khan performed his original composition “Afsoos”, which is an adaptation of the work of poet Ahmed Faraz. The sound of his music was fresh and original, something “Uth Records” has been known for, and the best part of “Afsoos” was the fact that the sitar, bass and the guitars gelled in together, making it one of the very few complete ensembles of the season.
However, while his vocals have worked out for this particular song, it’s evident that Khan needs more vocal training for the future. His voice is tailor-made for singing English songs and adds to the flavour of “Afsoos” but if he plans to stay on the more eastern side of his influences, Khan will need a little more practice. If certain weaknesses could be noticed in a studio recorded song then a live session would definitely be a much more difficult task.
While commenting on becoming a musician and his experience at “Uth Records”, Khan said, “It was quite difficult for me to choose a musical career as it is not easily accepted in my family. However, with sheer determination and passion to follow my dreams, I am committed to making unforgettable original music for everyone to enjoy.”
Thumbs up for Bradley D’Souza
If the legendary bassist Russel D’Souza jazzed up the first episode of the show along with Jarar Malik, then his son Bradley D’Souza added fire to Khan’s “Afsoos”. If you close your eyes and just listen to the bass line, you’ll be amazed at the beauty of his playing and how easily his groove overshadows every other instrument. Even Gumby was in awe of the youngster’s bass guitar playing, “Bradley is a better guitar player than anyone in the industry. Russell is going to kill me for this but I must say Bradley is a better bassist than him,” said Gumby at the end of the episode.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 10th, 2012.
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Agreed, the only weak link appears to be Rahim's vocals/singing in Urdu language.
It would have been nice if a proper singer was featured to do the song vocal justice. It would have made sense too, the program was already featuring a gifted composer/guitarist, an amazing sitar player and an awesome bassist. All these ingredients, combined with Gumby's music production should definitely result in high quality music.
Uth records did an amazing job & it was nice to see a good Base player being highlighted; since Base (and Drums) are the most under appreciated parts of any rock band (despite making up for its rhythm section). Hope this will inspire more people to take up the instrument!