Local Artists Are Catching Up With The Retro Pop Music Trend And Here’s How It’s Going For Them – Music

Retro pop has taken the world by storm in recent years.

This is evidenced by the fact that, this year, legendary Norwegian pop group A-ha became the only other band from the 1980s to see a video reach one billion views on YouTube – for a song they released some time ago. almost 35 years: take on me.

The only other video from the 1980s to hit the billion mark is that of Guns N’ Roses Sweet Child O Mine. According to reports, take on mewhich won more than six MTV Music Awards in 1986, averaged 480,000 hits a day.

And then you have artists like The Weekend (blinding lights) and Lady Gaga (stupid love) in the retro pop train. It is not surprising that the current trend has also spread to Pakistan with, in particular, Shamoon Ismail (Echelon) and Abdullah Siddiqui (telescope heart) tackle it with enthusiasm.

We can now add two more songs to this list and just in time for the holiday season and wedding season – although I doubt there will be much gathering and rejoicing during the corona period, but can maybe we can party on Zoom with friends.

There are Kyun Chal Diye by newcomer Zoha Zuberi who has a very strong retro pop vibe, but the artist experiments with it in her own way. And then there’s a traditional retro pop track straight out of the 1980s with a rich sound That’s why I wrote to you by Saba Jaswal. Both songs make you want to take out your dancing shoes.


Kyun Chal Diye is a bilingual electro-pop track with only the chorus in Urdu. The singer sings Urdu with a sort of affected accent that a lot of underground acts who started covering western pop rock music sing; when they [try to] switch to urdu. It’s understated, especially considering they’re designs that put a ‘gora’ spin on their own local language. Na idhar ke rahay, na udhar ke.

That aside, Kyun Chal Diye is a well-produced danceable track that plays on the retro-pop vibe but gives it a modern electronic twist, making the sound very trendy. The song deals with issues of romantic abandonment, which is evident from its title. The pre-chorus is when the song speeds up dramatically, then slows down just as quickly.

“And I keep falling/This rainbow-colored floor/All these voices around/Wonder if I’m going to drown,” the pre-chorus continues.

While the main chorus is “Kyun chal diye/ Yun chhorr ke mujhey/ Kyun chal diye/ Mun morr ke mujhse/ Kyun chal diye/ Saanson ko loot ke/ Kyun chal diye/ You keep me losing hope/ Kyun chal diye

Kyun Chal Diye gives a fresh new sound to the electro-pop music genre in Pakistan. In a music scene still today dominated by men, Zoha Zuberi is a voice and an artist to watch.

On the other hand, Saba Jaswal That’s why I wrote to you sounds like a song straight out of the 1980s. It comes from a family of popular creative music and video personalities. She is married to director and video producer Yasir Jaswal and her two brothers-in-law, Umair and Uzair Jaswal, are well-known artists in the music industry.

It is therefore not surprising that That’s why I wrote to you is also an impeccably produced track. Former bandmates with Umair Jaswal in rock band Qayaas, Sarmad Ghafoor – who produced Umair Jaswal’s recently released soul track Rabba — also produced That’s why I wrote to you.

That’s why I wrote to you reminiscent of 80s synth-pop bands, when they began experimenting with sequenced drums and pre-programmed beats. And of course, Sarmad Ghafoor would have understood the sound of the 80s well, he is part of the generation that grew up at that time.

The song has that punchy drum sound and closed reverb from the days of its channeling. The main synth riff and overall sound, however, sounds suspiciously like another 80s-inspired song, Kaun Hai Woh, by RockLite, another Islamabad-based band. While they both play up the retro pop vibe, one is more rock, while the other is more of an electronic version of the song’s same opening and main riffs.

In That’s why I wrote to you, Saba’s deep voice describes the anxieties of a recurring romantic relationship. The pre-chorus and chorus say, “Wanna be a star and stay tonight / Let me make your favorite drink fine / Dim the lights and play your dearest game / But may I be the one [x3]/ Say goodbye this time.

Compared to Kyun Chal Diyethe overall sound in That’s why I wrote to you is richer and stays true to its roots. It’s retro pop done right.

This story first appeared in Dawn, ICON, November 15, 2020