The dawn of brand sponsored music videos and music shows has made the possibilities and influence of music videos seem infinite. God bless Xulfi and his awesomeness, for what always used to be an extra promotional tool, has become a veritable art-form in itself. “Mein” featuring Meesha Shafi in Pepsi Battle of the Bands season 3 finale, meets us right where we are in our struggle for bringing Pakistani music back to life and give us hope for the future. There is originality in the performance. The entire performance for Mein was curated and directed and by Xulfi; and that’s not it, the music for Mein is produced by Xulfi too. Mein is the kind of song that has enough raw vitality to command the attention and even stir your blood.
BIG moments in “MEIN” – what I believe are the ultimate music extraordinaire:
1) THE DHULYA: This is Pakistan’s first I believe. This though looks like a dhol, but is not a dhol.
Xulfi describes Dhulya this way: “This is a variation of the Dhol. Upright on a stand with a smaller diameter (compared to a regular dhol) on the top and open ended from bottom for an attacky yet big sound you often hear in soundtracks all over the world but its sound is very rooted in our own cultural percussive sound. While arranging Meesha’s Mein for the grand finale at Pepsi Battle Of The Bands, I wanted big drums right at the end, but thought that instead of using traditional western or African big drums, why not use your own and then came the idea for “Dhulya”, a new percussive instrument. You can hear how epic it sounds in Mein’s final crescendo when the masked performers play them.”
The instrument was aptly named when Xulfi was discussing what this should be called with Javed Saab, Pakistan’s violin legend.
2) The Singing Bowls/Tibetan Bowls: With very pure tones, close to sine waves, the sound of these bowls is synonym of purity for ears. The soothing tones, with their rich harmonics, are the perfect accompaniment to the swell of emotion you have the minute you hear them.
3) Cello and Violin: If you ask me to name instruments in the string family, the violin and the cello are probably the first two I would think of. These two are probably the only instruments (after the drums) that have fascinated me and have always been a winning combination. The depth of the cello and higher register of the violin was wonderful.
2) THE PERFORMANCE: The wonderful theatrical performance of Mein in Pepsi Battle of the Bands is definitely birthing a new trend in performances for Pakistani music videos.
If you can watch Mein and not love Xulfi, your heart is as cold as the ice you put in your Pepsi.
There’s always a first time for anything and everything, doesn’t matter how big or small. We just need to aim truly and passionately in order to create history. Trust me, honest will surpasses all. – Xulfi