history of pakistani music

A Musical Journey into the Past: Pop & Rock Music of Pakistan (5 of 6) –How Pakistani Music Became Unstoppable in the 2000s

Since we’ve already discussed the 20th century’s Pakistani music, it’s now time to head into the 2000s. This is when Pakistani music became completely unstoppable, especially in the Pop Rock genre. Initially, the genre was started in the 90s, but it wasn’t until the 2000s that it was fully realized. During this decade, new musical talent started to show up on people’s radars. Important bands like Entity Paradigm, Jal, Aaroh. Noori, Mizraab, Fuzon, Mizmaar, Mekaal Hassan Band and many more made their debuts. As a result, there was a surge of quality music being released. The iconic 90s band Junoon broke up, and the 2000s also saw the beginning of Ali Azmat’s solo career. He released the iconic and highly successful Social Circus, his first solo outing. In addition, Pakistani music in the 2000s also saw the emergence of new female singers like Abresham and Ainee Khalid.

The Relationship Between Pakistani Music and Television

We know how big of a role some TV channels and shows played in Pakistani music’s success in the 90s. The 2000s were no different. In fact, many other music focused channels, such as ARY Musik, Play and Aag, followed Indus Music. This was done to promote and expand the musical landscape of Pakistan. Aag TV was Pakistan’s very first youth music channel, which also aired shows talking about issues to make youngsters think. Additionally, iconic music shows like Coke Studio and Pepsi Battle of the Bands also started in the same decade.

Coke Studio’s Contribution to Pakistani Music

In 2022, we are all aware of and absolutely love our Coke Studio. It is easily the biggest national platform that is available to musicians and artists in Pakistan. Furthermore, the show has also gotten massive international traction and has introduced the world to Pakistani music. But everything has to start somewhere, and Coke Studio Pakistan was initiated in 2008 by Rohail Hyatt. Hyatt just understood how to produce quality music and commercialize it as well. What is more reassuring is that he used to be a member of the OG Pakistani band, Vital Signs. Coke Studio was Pakistan’s first ever pop music collaborative venture. And its success has been unmatched. Its first two seasons were released in the last two years of the decade. What made Coke Studio unique was that it gave old Pakistani songs modern twists, producing fusions never heard of before.

Pepsi Battle of the Bands’ Role in Reigniting Band Culture

Moreover, another major television show related to Pakistani music aired on PTV Home in 2002. The Pepsi Battle of the Bands reignited band culture, providing a competitive stage for groups from all over the country. Only the first season was released in the 2000s, after which the show went on hiatus until the late 2010s. But that was enough to kickstart the careers of the winner, Aaroh and the runner up Entity Paradigm. Even the third place, Mekaal Hasan Band, and other bands like Mizmaar became extremely successful because of the competition. Out of 170 applications, 70 were registered, which then led to the Top 20 and Top 10. Besides this, its judges were Shahi Hasan and Rohail Hyatt, both former Vital Signs members, and music critic Fifi Haroon.

Pakistani Music Icons of the 2000s

A new wave of Pakistani music was introduced in the 2000s. And this was mainly owed to the band Jal, which was formed in 2003. Atif Aslam and Goher Mumtaz joined forces to gift us with timeless gems like Aadat and Woh Lamhe. Atif Aslam needs no introduction, and neither does Jal as a collective. Furthermore, popular artists like Ali Zafar and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan also burst through to stardom. Their fame didn’t just stay confined to Pakistan but also made its way into the Indian film industry, namely, Bollywood.

Every decade has had its own involvement in the evolution of Pakistani music. And the 2000s continued to build on that fact. Without this musical era, we wouldn’t have been blessed with so many iconic songs, artists, bands, and shows. Listen to your favorite Pakistani tunes from the 2000s on Sound Crush’s M7. Because of its deep bass and crystal-clear sound, music from that era has never sounded this good. Listening to a song like Atif’s Aadat in the rain just hits different. And the M7’s IPX7 waterproofness makes it the perfect companion. It’s just 18 straight hours of non-stop good music and nostalgic vibes.


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