Mai Hoon Shahid Afridi’s soundtrack: Lollywood in the garb of Bollywood

Why copy the Bollywood formula, when Pakistan does it so much better?.

Rafay Mahmood July 30, 2013
It seems the composers were given a heavy dose of AR Rahman and Lagaan music for inspiration. PHOTO: PUBLICITY


Lollywood soundtracks with their deafening vocals and jhankaar beats better brace themselves. The music of new-age films is crisp and fresh and will definitely give them a run for their money.

The stir that was caused by Shoaib Mansoor’s Khuda Kay Liye (KKL) in 2007 changed the face (and genre) of ‘Lollywood music’ to one that moves within the range of pop, rock and mellow tunes. KKL’s original and distinctive music album became a chartbuster not only in Pakistan, but also in India with album copies selling in equal numbers in both countries.

Six years down the lane, the soundtrack of one of the most expensive Pakistani film’s in our cinema’s history, Main Hoon Shahid Afridi, has been released. But while the music of actor-turned-film-maker Humayun Saeed’s film is not your run-of-the-mill dose of Lolly beats, it could have been better.

Main Hoon Shahid Afridi’s soundtrack, has some catchy numbers but even those are repetitive. PHOTO: PUBLICITY

Like the entertainment-packed film, the soundtrack is also heavily inspired by Bollywood. While it’s Bollywood-inspired trailers and storyline will attract hordes to theatres, the music suffers as it  follows the same-old formulaic treatment, making one feel that although the songs are catchy, the tune is repetitive.

The album consists of five songs. Jera Vi Hai Aanday has been written by Shani and Nadeem Asad, while Malal, Teri Hi Kami and a cocktail of two songs Angreja and Beautiful Night have been written by Sabir Zafar. An undisclosed item song Teri Hi Kami is also on the soundtrack. The music has been composed by the young Pakistani duo Kami and Shani.

Judging by the one item song (Teri Hi Kami), the soulful ballad in the voice of Rahat Fateh Ali Khan (Malal) and the upbeat, motivational/ patriotic song (Jera Vi Hai Aanday) by Shafqat Amanat Ali Khan which is sure to give you an adrenaline rush, the film’s music has everything to make it a hit but nothing as such to make it memorable. There is no denying that apart from Beautiful Night (which is lacklustre), Kami and Shani have created music which is as good if not better than the music of any Bollywood film. Having said that, there is nothing awe-inspiring about the MHSA soundtrack. It is good for Bollywood, but average by Pakistani standards — we have always made better and original music.

Main Hoon Shahid Afridi’s soundtrack, has some catchy numbers but even those are repetitive. PHOTO: PUBLICITY

Our inclination towards Bollywood music is rather shocking. It seems that the composers were given a heavy dose of AR Rahman and Lagaan music as inspiration, which is reflected in the safe and orthodox song writing. Khuda Kay Liye, Bol and even Chambaili had the signature Pakistani sound, which is why they stood out and this will be considered an extension of the Bollywood music we hear every day.

Where Angreja has the groove, rebelliousness and punch to be blared from car woofers — courtesy of Punjabi lyrics —  Beautiful Night, an English song based on the same groove and mood released separately is rather irritating and quite exaggerated. Club music, it seems, is strictly a no-go area for a country that grew up singing and listening to mehendi songs. Artists need to confront this reality and get over it because so far, all attempts at making English-desi club music have been pretentious.

Owing to its catchy melody and lyrics that suit the music of a rebellious theme for a cricket loving nation, Jera Vi Hai Aanday remains to be our favourite.  Lines like “mae ki jaanaa tuk tuk karna, mae tae yaar lapetaan (I don’t know how to play tuk tuk but I can hit the ball hard)” not only address the ongoing Misbah-Afridi competition, but also encompass our sentimentality as a nation.


Published in The Express Tribune, July 31st, 2013.

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shahbano | 8 years ago | Reply

I think all the critics of the movie should be ashamed they call them selves Pakistanis so they should watch and support thr own content ,Atleast we should be happy that we have at last started to make some of our own stuff, I thing the music is good ,Rahat has given Indian cinema its best which made thr flopped movies music a Hit, We need to stop pointing fingers on our people .Its easy to say that our Lollywood sucks rather doing sumthing about it, Our television dramas are the best they are way better then others. Its time to make ur cinema Lollywood industry grow by young generation ,Mahnoor maybe is 53 but she looks stunning than anyother indian actresses ,She acts Far better than Katrina kaif which is just a 'Chiiti Cream" a British face. Its a start people stop pointing fingers Promote ur cinema spread the word ,People who are talking about Islam here ,What happens when u watch Sheila ki Jawani and Munni Badnaam or any Indian songs, ?What happens when u watch there vulgar movies,?Apnay cinema ko Promote kartay huay, Apnay Artist and industry ko grow karta daikh kar ap kay andhar ka Maulvi jag jata hai !!! Its better to watch ur movies and improve ur industry so that our lollywood becomes a huge investment of our country and Pakistan makes money rather then giving ur neighbors money by promoting thr stuff, Do sumthing for ur country .Music ia really good admit it ,If we dance on honey singh Angreaji beat on Mehindis Why not dance on Angreaja teri ??? Who cares If we are copying Bollywood all movies are copies of Hollywood, Atleast our industry will grown and Inshallah be huge in sum years .Give It a Start ,Well done Hamuyun and the Cast ,Go Green Go Pakistan!!!

Sorry | 8 years ago | Reply

@LUMS: She's still 53.

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