The ‘Vital Junoonions’ unite for Naya Pakistan

Published: February 7, 2013
Fans can hardly wait for the return of artists who have defined our music industry. PHOTOS: AANIA SHAH

Fans can hardly wait for the return of artists who have defined our music industry. PHOTOS: AANIA SHAH


The simple yet marvelous Dil Dil Pakistan remains to be the ‘anthem’ of our nation. 25 years later, founding Vital Signs members Shahzad Hassan (Shahi), Salman Ahmad, Nusrat Hussain and Junaid Jamshed (JJ) are collaborating on what they hope to be the new musical sensation — a track titled Naya Pakistan.

In an interview with The Express Tribune, guitarist and author of Rock & Roll Jihad, Salman Ahmad recalls, “I remember it like yesterday… my first performance of Dil Dil Pakistan with the Vital Signs, 25 years ago.”

“It was the spring of 1988, at Karachi’s Holiday Inn [now Marriott Hotel]. There were 50 people in the audience — mostly friends and family. I was a medical student, JJ was an engineering student, Shahi and Rohail were into computers but we all believed that we could change Pakistan through music. Everyone thought we were crazy. We followed our hearts and the ‘universe conspired to make us succeed.’ [Today] our roller coaster journey and friendship continue into a Naya Pakistan, InshAllah!”

While the former members of Vital Signs — with the exception of Junaid — now create music independently, they have come together recently to make what Salman describes as “a song of revolution and change”.

“I have always been politically outspoken. I agree with Plato when he says, ‘the punishment for refusing to participate in politics is that you get to be ruled by idiots’. My music is my politics. If the song inspires a new political leadership, it would make me extremely happy,” he adds.

Salman confesses that getting Junaid on board was not too difficult. “JJ came to Shahi’s studio just to say hello, but when he heard Naya Pakistan he said, ‘Salman, my greatest regret was not being able to record Jazba Junoon with you!’ So I said JJ, here’s your chance to sing for a Naya Pakistan.”

“That was all the motivation he needed to put down a beautiful, impassioned vocal chorus,” he adds. “Nusrat is also singing harmony on Naya Pakistan — so it makes this a Vital Junoonion!”

Junaid says he was initially reluctant to be part of this project, as he felt the lyrics penned by Salman were aggressive. “The song initially had violent lyrics which spoke about the fire and tyranny around,” says Junaid. “[This is] true, but I felt the message was not coming through that well… later one evening, Shahi asked [him] to mellow it down a bit and then we all agreed upon the content of the song,” says Junaid.

For all those who are excited at the prospect of Junaid singing again, he clarifies that he is not. “Salman is a close friend and he wanted me to be a part of this song. I was reluctant but eventually I ended up reading a few lines [which have no music] at the beginning of the song so that it becomes a collaboration,” he says.

Shahi believes that the song has all the right ingredients to make it into an inspirational number for Pakistanis. “It probably will inspire the most cynical of Pakistanis who have completely lost hope. It has that power,” he says.

Nusrat Hussain, who is also part of the collaboration, says that the experience of sitting together was one to be cherished. “Most of our time was spent laughing hysterically, remembering old times,” says Hussain. “When we seriously sat down to give our input to Naya Pakistan, things were falling into place as if we were a regular band who had practiced for a long time,” he adds.

The teaser of Naya Pakistan is available on SoundCloud and has secured 20,341 hits since its release three days ago. The original track is scheduled to release on Pakistan Day (March 23), with the singers in talks with sponsors for a possible music video.

We can hardly wait to witness the return of artists who have defined our music industry!

Published in The Express Tribune, February 8th, 2013.               

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Reader Comments (40)

  • HRK
    Feb 7, 2013 - 8:38PM

    Need of the hour and sounds awesome! Let that be the theme of these upcoming elections =)

    P.S. here’s the link:


  • NarendraModiGodse
    Feb 7, 2013 - 9:14PM

    This is offending my Indian feelings. Stop it, NOW!


  • sensible
    Feb 7, 2013 - 9:14PM

    I can’t believe how suddenly from one way these saviours of Pak pops up. Where were they at the time of dictator, if they had raise their voice earlier Pak wouln’t be in such mess.


  • John B
    Feb 7, 2013 - 9:36PM

    Isn’t music unislamic according to the mufti : or it applies selectively only to India Muslims?


  • Feb 7, 2013 - 9:44PM

    Is this going to be the new anthem for the PTI?


  • Huma
    Feb 7, 2013 - 9:49PM

    yeeeaaay! although im not too fond of salman ahmed, and where is rohail… he was a part of the original, not salman!


  • Huma
    Feb 7, 2013 - 9:50PM

    also, why isnt the soundcloud link given here express tribune??!


  • Mir
    Feb 7, 2013 - 9:59PM

    JJ was probably making them cut out anti taliban stuff .. even if that meant he would story tell a few lines in it. Victory!!


  • Feb 7, 2013 - 11:28PM

    Look at all these Indians being so jealous! :D


  • choptocut
    Feb 8, 2013 - 12:01AM

    A big NO to JJ, an imposter


  • Ammarttitude
    Feb 8, 2013 - 1:34AM

    Well that’s an excellent news for Pakistanis and I’m pretty sure that its all related to PTI, I attended a meeting today at PTI Lahore office and I know ‘Naya Pakistan’ is the campaign that we’re starting.. :P so congratulations patriotic Pakistanis (including me) and Inshallah the dark times would be over soOn, Pakistan Zindabad..Recommend

  • Feb 8, 2013 - 2:24AM

    Looking forward to this!


  • Danish
    Feb 8, 2013 - 2:30AM

    So finally JJ seems to be on right path ;)


  • RHS
    Feb 8, 2013 - 7:26AM

    A good move here by Vital-Junooni members for their aging fans. Never thought that I would write this but “those were the days” when in spite of dictatorship and incompetence there was still hope blazing out through these bands.


  • Vital Change
    Feb 8, 2013 - 7:47AM

    Junaid Jamshed does not believe in music anymore. It looks more like that he is doing this for his friends. He is becoming part of music in his non musical way. I don’t know how Junaid Jamshed will justify his position to be part of something even in non musical way which he is condemning of last almost 10 years now very strictly.Recommend

  • Hina
    Feb 8, 2013 - 9:27AM

    These people are truly the ones who’ve produced legendary Inspirational songs for Pakistan and for depressed and fed up Pakistanis. I wish Junoon all the best and sincerely hope this song to be a real trigger for us to rekindle the rays of hope that have long faded away.


  • Ali Raza
    Feb 8, 2013 - 10:16AM

    Why does music hurt your feelings?


  • Ali Raza
    Feb 8, 2013 - 10:22AM

    @John B: whatever happens in India is none of our business in Pakistan. The Muslims of India can lead their lives according to indian rules. Why should we in Pakistan follows suit?


  • junooniat
    Feb 8, 2013 - 10:23AM

    Junaid is there to give them advise on maintaining long beard incase of no water during war. lol.


  • Babur Sohail
    Feb 8, 2013 - 11:23AM

    At last something from our old heroes. hmmmmm can’t wait…….


  • Feb 8, 2013 - 11:35AM

    it is good that necessity/ urgency of a Naya Pakistan is youngsters.


  • zubair
    Feb 8, 2013 - 11:59AM

    Wel, my friend, I think he was on the right path since long!


  • NV
    Feb 8, 2013 - 3:46PM

    @huma..Salman was part of the original VS lineup. he toured with them nationally and internationally for a significant period of time until conflicts arose between Salman and Rohail/Shahi following which Salman went ahead and made junoon. (Salman wanted a heavier, more guitar based sound for VS, while Rohail/Shahi insisted on keeping their direction floydish and more synth based..when Rohail chucked out Salman’s instrumental from the VS album..Salman angrily decided to leave)


  • saqib ali rana
    Feb 8, 2013 - 4:41PM

    anxiously waiting!!!!


  • Feb 8, 2013 - 4:42PM

    Listening to the teaser give me goosebumps. Can’t wait for this!
    Here is the link btw:


  • saqib ali
    Feb 8, 2013 - 5:27PM
  • wali mar jan bangash
    Feb 8, 2013 - 5:56PM



  • UHS
    Feb 8, 2013 - 6:38PM

    I thought they already have an anthem… ‘Uth Jawana’ by Soch band.


  • Bilal
    Feb 8, 2013 - 6:40PM

    Bring rohail and Ali azmat and make it huge


  • xohaib
    Feb 8, 2013 - 8:23PM

    collaborate with Rohail in next Cokestudio season! it ll be great.


  • Feb 8, 2013 - 10:04PM


    Hence the new!


  • Fahim
    Feb 10, 2013 - 1:23PM

    @sensible: That’s a pity you pick on them to exhale your sarcasm and not any other entities like political parties who are much more supposedly stronger and should be held responsible for what you are implying. According to your expectation, people should go to a mochi for a surgery now it that really sensible? If that is the normal way of thinking than that is the biggest fault in that Society.


  • lida
    Feb 11, 2013 - 4:30AM

    @Ali Raza:
    Narendar was joking.


  • Farrukh
    Feb 13, 2013 - 2:13PM

    Please have Shoaib Mansoor as the Director. He will really turn the table.


  • Goli Maar
    Feb 14, 2013 - 8:42PM

    I exactly remember the time when I became a Junooni at the age of 8 :)
    PTV played Junoon’s song SAIEEN daily in the evening back in mid 90s.

    I wish Ali Azmat was also there in this project with his gut ripping vocals. Anyways it was nostolgic for me to hear the promo of naya pakistan… Songs cant change the destiny of a nation but still its good to hear good music just for the sake of it because music these days is just crap.


  • naveed abbas
    Feb 16, 2013 - 7:19AM

    A big yes to JJ. This is a national cause. Vital Junnionans will spellbound world through itz harmonious and melodious voice. God bless Pakistan and I wish a peaceful world.


  • Feb 18, 2013 - 12:20PM

    This is great effort i hope we make a new peacefull pakistan


  • Aviator
    Feb 26, 2013 - 9:18PM

    Sounds abit like Sayooni from junoon album Azadi?


  • hamid
    Feb 26, 2013 - 10:56PM

    Seems like Imran Khan is getting stronger day by day. Harder than you thought.


  • Raja Asif
    Mar 16, 2013 - 3:21AM

    Great contribution in changing minds of ppl of PAK, it will boost IK campaign also


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