KARACHI: After her rendition of Sufi poetry for “Coke Studio” this year, singer Hadiqa Kiani has released a video for her song “Jab Se Tum” from her album Aasman. The new video features her brother and manager Irfan Kiani, who croons the vocals for this romantic duet.
The song, which was first released sans video in 2009, may have generated a better response if someone with stronger vocals had tackled it, but Irfan’s voice coupled with auto tune and several other effects at the post production stage fail to make an impression on the listener. His vocals come off as flat, monotonous and leave one hoping Hadiqa had asked someone else to sing alongside her. The melody itself is composed by the well-known Baqir Abbas who surprisingly has not done justice to his experience as a music producer and arranger. Although the tune is catchy and may stay with you for a few minutes, one can’t help but feel that there is something missing.
The video has been directed by Sohail Javed, one of the finest in the trade, but is not in the league of his previous achievements. The video is too abstract for a viewer to comprehend and connect with the lyrical content of the song and seems like a job done in a rush, without much thought put into it. Despite some really beautiful shots and Hadiqa’s interesting makeover, the video is as good as the song. Keeping in mind that it is coming from someone like Javed, it’s actually a disappointment.
Hadiqa on the other hand looks beautiful and sings her part with ease. But it does leave one wondering where she is headed to. All the musicians of her era have either taken a back seat or have matured as musicians, producers or singers for that matter, but she seems to be experimenting still. Having said that, she must be praised for the effort she is putting in to rebrand herself in times of low output in the music industry, which have left Bollywood and YouTube releases as the only solutions for Pakistani musicians.
For those of us who grew up in the 90s, Hadiqa was the only emerging female pop artist. The likes of Komal Rizvi did come and go but the only one who managed to establish herself as a true pop icon was Hadiqa. With the death of pop princess Nazia Hassan, one would have hoped that Hadiqa stepped up and filled the void. But unfortunately, apart from her early years — during which she exuded a pop icon vibe and energy — Hadiqa’s story has not been so glorious. After spending two decades trying to sing in different languages and experimenting with various musical styles, it seems she is still trying to search for her real identity.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 10th, 2012.