Pepsi’s ‘Battle of the Bands’ to Revive Band Culture with Talented Panel of Judges
‘Pepsi Battle of the Bands’ has returned with a bang after its previous run 15 years ago, which gave us our renowned stars such as Fawad Khan, EP and Aaroh. Today’s version of the show is no doubt a much more modern production which will portray the edge that has crept into the new genres of music we listen to today. The delicacy needed to showcase ones talent will be assessed thoroughly by the star studded panel of judges, which includes Fawad Khan, Atif Aslam and Meesha Shafi. The aim of this revived version of ‘Pepsi Battle of the Bands’ is, according to Aslam, ‘purely going to be about fostering new talent.’ To do this, we must assess the previous and current talents of today’s music.
It is obvious in today’s musical society that new talent has not been showcased in a while and this has led to a downward spiral in Pakistan’s concert culture today. However, ‘Pepsi Battle of the Bands’ could be the answer to this problem. To find out just how talented the contestants are, a panel of equally, if not more, talented judges are needed. A further delve into the musical history of each judge could allow us to assess the effectiveness of this show in ‘fostering new talent.’
Fawad Khan found fame in his passion for music and was originally part of Paradigm. Ahmed Ali Butt’s Entity and Khan’s Paradigm were both active in Lahore’s musical community since the mid 90s, until they worked on a collaboration for Butt’s sitcom ‘Jutt and Bond’. This is where their musical journeys collided to make the widely popular album ‘Irtiqa’ which was met with a great deal of appreciation. Khan had a memorable feature in Coke Studio with EP’s performance of ‘Bolo Bolo’ in the third season of coke studio. However, he was still a relatively unknown part of the music world, and left in 2012 to pursue his acting career, which has plummeted him into the spotlight and truly showcased his many talents. His return to music is an extremely memorable one in ‘Pepsi Battle of the Bands’ where he proved that his musical talents have not diminished in any way since his music career. This is clear in his stellar performance in mash up of ‘Do Pal Ka Jeevan’ and Alamgir’s ‘Dekha Na Tha’ alongside fellow judges Meesha and Atif. He will no doubt bring his A game to every episode.
Meesha Shafi has been a major part of the Coke Studio family for a long time. Originally part of the band ‘Overload’, she left in 2011 and joined Coke studio to perform a collaboration of the song ‘Alif Allah (Jugni)’ with Arif Lohar. After receiving critical acclaim for the song, which is still a classic, she continued to produce extremely popular songs with Coke Studio, many of which featured in popular movies such as Cocktail, Diary of a Butterfly and Jugni. She returned to Coke studio in 2014 to perform ‘Sun Ve Belori’, which once again showcased her raw talent for singing and performance. She also contributed to the soundtrack of 2012 film ‘The Reluctant Fundamentalist’ as well as receiving a supporting role in it. Furthermore, she has lent her voice to several movie soundtracks and joined Pepsi’s Battle of the Bands, clearly well equipped with her own talent and experience to spot fresh talent and transform them into the face of Pakistani music.
Atif Aslam is one whose voice is timeless, still constantly producing instant hits. His extremely successful music career began with his first album Jal Pari, which was an instant hit and critically acclaimed. Songs from this album such as: “Bheegi Yaadein”, “Ehsaas”, “Mahi Ve”, “Ankhon Sey” were majorly popular not only in Pakistan, but in countries across the subcontinent. Bollywood director Mahesh Bhatt provided Aslam with his first major breakthrough with his song ‘Woh Lamhey’ featuring in film ‘Zeher’ as well as a remixed version of the song becoming an instant hit. Aslam produced two more popular albums ‘Doori’ and ‘Meri Kahani’. He has toured across the US and Canada and is an extremely popular solo act, but he has also collaborated with legends such as Shreya Goshal. His presence on Battle of the Bands has no doubt given it an edge that its earlier version did not have.
This seasons’ Battle of the Bands will definitely come out with fresh new talents to represent the face of Pakistani music and revive our somewhat diminished concert culture.