'A celebration of Pakistani music': Local artists meld EDM, folk and pop music for the Boiler Room

'A celebration of Pakistani music': Local artists meld EDM, folk and pop music for the Boiler Room

The lineup included Ustad Noor Bakhsh, Jaubi, Natasha Noorani, Natasha Ejaz, Ozzie, Malik, Lyla, Kukido B2B TMPST and Tollcrane.
Updated 21 Jun, 2022

London-based online music platform Boiler Room's first-ever broadcast in Pakistan streamed on Monday, 7pm and was a "celebration of Pakistani music". The independent artists brought their individual magic and created a mixture that stitched EDM (electronic dance music) with folk tunes and pop music to one of the largest streaming platforms for live performances in the world.

Natasha Noorani, one of the featured artists, took to Instagram to talk about how vital this moment was for the Pakistani music scene. "I can never fully articulate what it means to be a part of this. To be alongside musicians I've grown up revering and for them to share their knowledge and experience and space with me is the greatest gift I've ever received.

"This moment has been decades in the making. I am so incredibly proud of everyone involved. I can't wait for everyone to witness the celebration of Pakistani music," she wrote.

Boiler Room's Instagram account shared a post and wrote that this broadcast is "a show to celebrate the country's new emergent dance music community and its native heritage of live performance." The event was part-funded by the British Council with support and execution from Dialled In, Karachi Community Radio, Cape Monze Records and Chalo HQ.

The performances were recorded earlier and streamed on Monday night. The diverse lineup, consisting of established and up-and-coming artists, included Ustad Noor Bakhsh, Jaubi, Noorani, Natasha Ejaz, Ozzie, Malik, Lyla, Kukido B2B TMPST and Tollcrane.

The Pakistan edition kicked off its “celebration of its live music heritage” with the first performance by Balochistan’s legendary banjo player, Noor Bakhsh, reported Madeeha Syed in her piece for Dawn. She described his music as "deeply influenced by his environment" as he played his version of old folk tunes. "In between, he would describe how this was the music of the desert, of the mountains and of the birds and the animals that lived there."

'Faltu Pyar' singer Noorani performed songs from her upcoming album Ronaq. During her set, the focus shifted from live instruments to electro-pop, according to Syed, who described Noorani’s performance as "romantic and playful as she peppered it with fun electronic sequences and recordings of quirky dialogues from classic TV programmes and films".

The stage by Jaubi, an instrumental quartet, "shifted the mood, bringing classical-jazz into the mix". The Lahore-based act’s name is a very Punjabi pronunciation of the Urdu Jo bhi [Whatever, whoever], according to Syed. According to Jaubi's website, "they skip around the genres of North Indian Classical music, modal Jazz and Hip-Ho quartet".

The rest of the artists — Malik, Lyla, Kukido B2B TMPST and Tollcrane — stepped in with a very EDM vibe, curating their tunes on the DJ stand as a crowd danced around them, bathed in neon lights.

Netizens were ecstatic about this musical development and the "coverage" Pakistan is getting through it.

Monday made!

Other than Pakistan, Boiler Room will broadcast from Paris for two days on July 8 and 9 with artists from the city. They also have broadcasts scheduled in Vienna, Tbilisi, Warsaw, New York, Los Angeles, Stuttgart, Boston and London.


hassan azad Jun 21, 2022 01:35pm
The artists in Jaubi are Akmal Qadri - classically trained flute player - one of the best flute players of the subcontinent - Kashif Ali Dhani - tabla - Zhaib Hassan - sarangi. All are very well known artists.
Syed Hasni Jun 21, 2022 03:27pm
Natasha Norani got talent !!
Truth Jun 22, 2022 12:54am
Why use Indian instruments for Pakistani music?
paul Jun 22, 2022 08:21am
@hassan azad Have we heard some good music from neighboring country? May be you should try and learn what good music is.
RJ Jun 22, 2022 01:50pm
@hassan azad They started with a raga Behaag then followed that with raga Bairagi and then I was interrupted. Quite nice actually.
Dr. Salaria, Aamir Ahmad Jun 22, 2022 02:42pm
United we stand, divided we fall.
Taj Ahmad-USA Jun 22, 2022 04:30pm
Simply great performance by all artists, guys keep up the good work and bring more fun.
ak4pk Jun 23, 2022 05:49am
@Truth: beg to differ with you, instruments from the subcontinent is the appropriate way to describe them. These instruments are a shared heritage of each and every nation that makes up the subcontinent. India is but a part of the family.