Pakistan is experiencing a musical boom, and there has never been a better time than now to tune in and enjoy. There are some amazing projects going on, which are not only incubators for artists who want to pursue music, but also channels that are creating mind-blowing music en route.

To begin with, Pepsi Battle of the Bands made a comeback after almost 15 years in hiatus. It roped in Atif Aslam, Meesha Shafi, Fawad Khan and Shahi Hasan as judges, and Ayesha Omer as the host. Eight bands made it to the first set of knockout rounds, with some stupendous performances. Lucky for us, style quotients are also high and we have seen some stellar makeup and wardrobe action on sets, especially on Meesha Shafi.

The show is being aired on local channels in Pakistan, and I watch it online on YouTube. Here’s the official channel if you want to catch up:

There have been some fabulous performances, but due to space constraints and compulsion-to-have-an-opinion, I am sharing below best 3 that you can bookmark and play on repeat:

Then comes Coke Studio Season 10. Produced by Strings, it was launched with accusations of parchi system at the forefront. However, you only need to see the first episode to be reminded that haters gonna hate. Like ANY show out there, there are some hits and a few misses, but the overall production and performances have been a delight to watch. There have been some nostalgic moments, such as Ali Sethi’s Ranjish Hi Sahi, and some refreshing tracks like Tinak Dhin.

Yes, it might not be as exciting or brilliant as BoB, but it is a great step forward for the music industry that was breathing its last until few months ago.

If you haven’t seen much of Coke Studio Season 10 yet, I recommend you start with the following:

And now the project that is my favourite – Patari. It’s a music streaming website and app, which is all about Pakistani music. From chart toppers to music of 80’s and original productions, it is the app that I now use the MOST as far as music is concerned. And it’s not just the resident music library that has me hooked – it is the underlying quirk that will make you love it even more. Subscribe to their newsletter (haftanama) and you will know exactly what I mean.

Pakwired did an extensive piece on Patari, with everything that you might want to know. Or not. Recommended read if you want to know more about Patari.

Hats off to Khalid Bajwa, Humayun Haroon and Iqbal Talaat Bhatti for creating an outlet like Pataari for Pakistani music. The country and we owe you big time!

Image courtesy: Dawn

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