Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Zeb & Haniya

These days I am hooked to Zeb & Haniya, the female duo from Kohat in NWFP. Perhaps I am biased because they are from my province or perhaps they really are good... but the thing is that they are damn good! The first I suppose female group of Pakistan (?). Interesting thing is that I was aware of the hype about them for a very long time but had not heard a single song :p The first time I heard them was on a music channel and I thought 'hmm. nice'. Then came Coke Studio and I had the real taste of their music in the form of song 'Paimona'.

Anyways, I could not see all episodes of Coke Studio and now thanks to their website, I now know how much I missed! In this post I will be discussing their songs sung on Coke Studio, as a complete layman of course, or perhaps I would try to explain why I have become their fan!

First up is 'Rona Chorr Dia'. Zeb & Haniya are different not just in the fact that they are a female duo but also because of their lyrics. Instead of usual demure female version of love affair, their lyrics talk of independence.

'The Lost One has found her path (after dejection),
dare stop me!
I do not cry anymore!'

The thing to note in this song is the distinctive guitar playing of Haniya. Jawad Bashir starts the roller coaster and you feel like fastening your seat belts. Then it calms down and Haniya's guitar starts to strum. Zeb, Haniya and Jawad then set an excellent synchronizing act and the rhythm of the song sets in. Jawad seems ready to explode like a soda can, I don't know why he had to make such effort as I am sure he is all capable to handle situations. In contrast, Zeb was subliminal. Gumby, as usual, is best at drums. I have not heard the original number by Zeb and Haniya, in fact, I do not want to because I know Rohail Hayat must have done something really nice to it in Coke Studio.

Next in line is 'Chup'. The true talent of Omran 'momo' Shafique is visible in this number. Very catchy tune made even better by his excellent guitar playing. In fact, Omran seems to set the whole pattern of this song.


Zeb is excellent on vocals. Why does she somewhere remind me of late Nazia Hasan? Hania's guitar playing, distinctive again, can be seen too. Full kudos to Rohail Hayat for that (he is the guy I should be thanking right? the producer?)

The third song is a slow number called 'Chal Diye'. Here again Zeb & Haniya pair up with Jawab Bashir. Do not think this song is no match to their earlier offerings. This one slowly and gradually grows on you and this is the one you'll be humming in the end.

The last number is 'Paimona'. In fact I had written about it when I did a post on Coke Studio. So here I quote myself :p

'' I was in anticipation of their song 'paimona'. I thought it was in Pushto! whereas it was in darri/ persian. At first I could not understand a word of the song as I was trying to figure out pushto words in it :p It was a nice slow number."

hmm. I did not say much I guess :p Well its an excellent fusion of the musical instrument 'rubab'
used mostly in NWFP and the mainstream music scene of Pakistan otherwise you would have had to hear it in local folk. Cant say much about the lyrics as I cant understand them : Unfortunate that after being host for 20+ years for Afghans refugees, I still cant speak Persian. What a loss.

Ok Zeb & Haniya, you have got yourself a new fan. Never knew a Peshawari would be talking of Kohatis like this :p

Good luck.


adeel said...

i like them too. i remained hooked to their facebook page for the longest time when they released their album. replaying the entire thing is over and over.

about paimona, do you know if it's persian or pushto? i played it for my housemate (who's from peshawar), but he didn't seem like he was getting the entire thing.

PostMan said...

Well its in Darri, the Afghani Persian. As I said, I dint have a clue what they were singing as I too thought it was in Pushto.

Sophi said...

I will have a heart attack!! :O :O