The politically-charged indie pop band Bayghairat Brigade, which became famous overnight with its hit single “Aalu Anday”, is aiming to make a comeback with a new song “Dhinak Dhinak”. In an exclusive interview with The Express Tribune, the band spoke about upcoming releases, censorship issues and the politics that fuel their creativity.
Before delving into a discussion about the band’s ongoing projects, vocalist Ali Aftab Saeed said that the band has always been aware that freedom of speech can be curtailed and that censorship is a problem in Pakistan. He recalls that even when “Aalu Anday” was made, the assumption was that the mainstream media would reject it.
“It was a gamble. We were more concerned about something happening to us rather than making money,” explained Saeed. While the band members are safe and sound and their song was highly appreciated, it was difficult for them to find someone who wanted to record them, as the content was politically-charged. “Most of the major artists who do political satire check to see if the mainstream media will like it. But we always tried to look to social media,” Saeed added.
Speaking about the political nature of their songs, Saeed jokingly stated, “Imran Khan’s jalsas only have music. In contrast, we also have the comedy element. When we have enough money, we are thinking we could copyright (this tradition of politics and music).”
Turning to their new project, “Dhinak Dhinak”, they revealed that it is another politically-charged track that uses satire to critique the state. Saeed was unwilling to share any specific details, but he expects “Aalu Anday” fans to be pleasantly surprised with the visuals which go with the catchy song.
The band says that the new song has a more lively vibe and that a variation of instruments have been used, including the harmonium, dholak and ugly snare which they hope will add a marasi element to the song. Saeed also explained that the song has gone through several phases and lyrical alterations.
“Musically, the song is commercial. We want this song to connect with as many people as possible,” said Daniyal Malik. “The content is going to be one of the big surprises, each line will have a little pun and people who hear it will say ‘oh that’s a way to think of this’.”
Malik explained that even if the band moves to more light-hearted subject matter, they aim to maintain their politically-charged nature. “Even if we do some emotional love song down the line, the political and satirical element plus the critique of our society will remain,” he added.
Furthermore, while the band has many fans, their in-your-face attitude also makes room for haters and staunch critics. Malik, however, sees this as a great learning experience and a way to pin down the wide range of views that exist in society.
“When ‘Aalu Anday’ came out, the most interesting responses were from our haters and we learned a lot about the different viewpoints within our society,” says Malik. “Without haters we will be nothing,” he added.
At the end, Malik explained that inspiration for the soon-to-be-released “Dhinak, Dhinak” arose out of the current political scenario in the country, adding that they have five more songs in the pipeline as well.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 30th, 2012.
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