From Ali Sethi and Shae Gill’s ‘Pasoori’ to Meesha Shafi’s ‘Rajkumari’: Here are our top 15 songs of 2022
In times of trouble, we always turn to music and while in past years we might have gravitated towards international artists, 2022 taught us that Pakistani artists were more than ready to take over our playlists.
This year we saw people vibe with Abida Perveen and Naseebo Lal’s ‘Tu Jhoom’ and groove to Asim Azhar’s ‘Habibi’ and through people and their listening patterns, we discovered a lot of new music too!
Here are our top 15 songs of 2022.
1. Ali Sethi and Shae Gill — ‘Pasoori’
Your grandmother and your next door neighbour knew that this would make it to the top five of our list. We probably don’t even have to explain why it’s number one for you to say ‘same’.
Ali Sethi and Shae Gill’s ‘Pasoori’, part of Coke Studio’s season 14, was and perhaps will remain the game changer for the Pakistani music scene this year. We call it ‘Pasoori-fication’ and even when we don’t want to listen to it, we end up gravitating towards the song regardless of the occasion.
2. Natasha Noorani and Hasan Raheem — ‘Faltu Pyar’
“Teray jhootay alfaaz, don’t be a dhokaybaaz,” by Natasha Noorani and Hasan Raheem became our anthem this year and you really can’t blame us. But more than that, the song is a bop and we’re grateful for its existence.
With its reggaeton-ish beat, Latin guitar samples and Raheem’s big grin, this song isn’t going to leave our playlist any time soon.
3. Meesha Shafi — ‘Rajkumari’
Meesha Shafi dropped ‘Rajkumari’ on International Women’s Day and it has been on our playlist ever since. It’s become an inspiring woman power anthem for us.
The power-packed lyrics hit different when Shafi starts to belt the chorus about women being able to do it all and how the world is at their feet, it only takes strength and trust that they truly can conquer the world.
4. Bilal Maqsood — ‘Naya Naya’
One heartbreak took us all by surprise last year — Strings calling it quits after 33 years of being together as a band. But 2022 brought up new beginnings for Strings with Faisal Kapadia’s song for Coke Studio and soon after, Bilal Maqsood’s solo ‘Naya Naya’.
‘Naya Naya’ took us back to the Strings era, albeit one without Kapadia. The song was filled with all emotions as Maqsood talked about the new chapter in his life.
5. Omar Mukhtar — ‘Mic Drop’
We’re going to be really honest, we found this gem on TikTok and ever since, Omar Mukhtar’s ‘Mic Drop’ has ranked pretty high on our playlist. The peppy music video was the cherry on top.
Our suggestion? You sing your heart out to it while driving alone.
6. Abdul Hannan and Rovalio — ‘Iraaday’
There’s no surprise that Abdul Hannan and Rovalio’s ‘Iraaday’ is on this list.
Since its release, the song has become one of the popular on TikTok and Instagram. It racked up 13 million views in the eight months since its release and rightly so, because the lo-fi tune is all that we need to boost our mood.
7. Eva B — ‘Silsilay’
This year, we’re grateful for Coke Studio and Ms. Marvel’s re-introduction of Eva B, because through her songs ‘Kana Yaari’ and ‘Rozi’ we discovered ‘Silsilay’ Ft SH Haideri.
What makes this song special? Eva B’s rap of course, since it resonates far more than any other rapper we’ve listened to.
8. Asim Azhar — ‘Habibi’
As unexpected as it was when it released, Asim Azhar’s ‘Habibi’ was touted as the “patch-up song” of the season. It turned out to be a TikTok dance hit and we’ve been grooving along ever since its release!
9. Taha G and Aima Baig — ‘Rent Free’
If one song has been living ‘Rent Free’ in our heads this year, it would be Taha G and Aima Baig’s collaboration. It’s desi, it’s peppy but at the same time it gives us a vibe that we’ve never gotten from a Pakistani song before.
10. Annural Khalid — ‘Say My Name’
This is our second girls’ anthem on the list after ‘Rajkumari’. Annural Khalid’s ‘Say My Name’ is about women breaking free from the shackles of a society that limits women. It talks about living your life to the fullest and on your own terms, especially women who tend to put their needs or preferences after other people’s.
11. Maria Unera — ‘Time’
We’re not going to lie, Maria Unera’s ‘Time’ came up on our TikTok suggestions and since then, it has made its way onto our playlist and into our hearts. The song is very different the others on this list but that’s why we love it.
12. Asteria — ‘1:45’
Still having a hard time believing this is Pakistani? Same. The minute we heard this song, it reminded us of a Billie Eilish and Olivia Rodrigo crossover, but in the best possible way.
13. Hassan & Roshaan Ft. Shae Gill — ‘Sukoon’
This song cemented our love for Shae Gill. A song could be as hip as ‘Pasoori’ or as soothing as ‘Sukoon’ but her vocals just hit different. ‘Sukoon’ has a vibe that makes you forget about the world and heal you with the help of music. It really gives you the ‘Sukoon’ that Hassan & Roshaan and Gill are singing about.
14. Kaifi Khalil — ‘Kahani Suno 2.0’
Kaifi Khalil is full of surprises and his song ‘Kahani Suno 2.0’ was something we didn’t see coming. The vocals combined with instrumental music and lyrics in which Khalil talks about love just hit different.
15. Aqdas Asif Ft Ali Mustafa — ‘Khatt’
Ever heard a song that you put on while doing chores or maybe even as background music while you study? That’s what Aqdas Asif’s ‘Khatt’ is for us. It’s a happy song that calms us as we listen to it.
There you have it! Which Pakistani song was your favourite this year?