What’s with all the chitter chatter relating to the new season of Nescafe Basement and its first episode? HOW CAN YOU NOT KNOW?! The highlight of the episode, the cover of Haroon’s humongous hit “Mehbooba” has somehow shut the critics and haters, which is quite unusual for the kind of experimental music Nescafe Basement makes. The song hit over 3.2 million views in just the first 2 weeks of its release (Are you friggin kidding me?), another milestone for Xulfi and team.
What makes the song so special? Let’s take a look at the factors
1. The right amount of salt
Here’s something that’s unusual of Nescafe Basement and their experimental music. Their compositions are purposefully meant for music lovers and those who appreciate the progression of music throughout the song instead of the general inclination towards vocals. Their songs are usually associated with face melting guitar solos, breakdowns, and long instrument sections, which at times bug the vocal freaks, but this time around, the amount of salt was just right, for both the parties. A soulful intro, fading into the percussions which then strongly dives into the verse, punching chorus, a little percussion centered instrumental section and the overall Arabian feel that rightfully captures the gist of the song.
2. New talent blended with the old stars
DID YOU NOTICE THE 13-YEAR-OLD DRUMMER? How cool is that?! That kid Sannan sure knows his chops. The new percussionists, vocalists, violinists, and saxophonist all deserve special mentions for their parts throughout the songs. Truly commendable.
A lot of new faces could be seen in the music video. Xulfi is known for his contribution to Pakistani music, the revival of rock music and promotion of new talents and giving them a platform. In this song alone, a lot of new talent was introduced.
Team Zipit got in touch with one of the newly inducted bassists, Waleed Attique, regarding how his experience was on the platform. Waleed has been specifically commended on building the groove of the song and for the percussion blended bass solo.
How was your experience in Mehbooba?
The experience was overwhelming because of all the talented people I got to play with. This song was always going to be fun because of the groove, it something to dance on and it straight up puts a smile on your face. The overall vibe created by all the musicians playing together was also very positive and very new for me, which is why I’m looking forward to the rest of the season.
What was the approach for the cover?
The approach was simply to bring people back their childhood because of which we didn’t try to deviate too much from the original. The basics were the same blended with modern tones. Serving the song was the main purpose, for example, Ali Asghar (The vocalist) was to capture the Arabic feel for the intro and for the pre-chorus, which I believe he did brilliantly. The other two vocalists also did a great job.
We had a lot of options for the song and since the percussion element isn’t much explored in the majority of the music, and since we had the resources and the musicians, we decided to touch that. Also, that portion gave me the room and the liberty to make a groove and build a melody on top of that, once again, the portion of bass playing which isn’t much explored in Pakistan.
Since you’re the new inductee, what part did you think was new and exciting for you?
The song was supposed to be recorded in one take, the audio, and the video. We jammed a lot and the little percussion centered part was finalized on the last day. It was a great challenge to play everything, carry the groove, add the required feel all in one take and I believe that I’m very lucky to have experienced all this. We added a lot to the song, the instruments collaborating gave the song an overall feel of a festival. It was overwhelming.
3. Nostalgic hits for the millennials
It’s the early 2000s, the radio and TV plays music from the pioneers of the Pakistan music industry like Fuzon, Awaz, Jal, Sajjad Ali etc. rings a bell? They were great times, weren’t they?
The feel of the cover hits the spot for millennials and the 90s kids. The verse and “Intal Habibi, Wahdak Naseebi” does the job for most us for the trip back in time. As they say,
“The new song is out and the 90s kids are losing their minds.”
Celebrities extended their support for Nescafe basement especially after the epic fail i.e coke studio 11.
#Nescafebasement has proven to be the best talent showcasing platform in #Pakistan coz when you prefer TALENT & MERIT over social media followers it always has an impact period!!!
Public Serves Message:
Fizzy drinks are bad for health anyways ?
— Mirza Gohar Rasheed (@GoharRsd) February 9, 2019
Here’s the song for those who still haven’t heard it. Get your groove on!