کرکٹ کھڈائیے

This Coke anthem for the T20 World Cup is a big deal because of what it signals for the industry. That Atif joins the established duo of Faris & Talal is remarkable in itself. It speaks primarily to Atif’s continued desire to reinvent himself and explore new genres. I doubt that Coca-Cola, without Atif’s presence, would have given Faris & Talal free reign to produce something of this magnitude.

Lineup aside, the song’s construction should bring many smiles. Talal is one of the few hip hop producers investing in more than ‘sick beats’, and instead constructing distinct section of songs that are held together by synth hooks. This, in particular, makes Talal’s work interesting to musicians even outside the genres of rap and EDM. Faris delivers in typical style, and while Atif’s presence on a hook/chorus could be predicted, his delightful rap verses provide much joy.1

Compared to Pepsi’s Why Not Meri Jaan, it is heartening to see the amount of local spaces (including Gwadar’s cricket ground) and imagery in use in this video. Street cricket features heavily, and the mic used as bails is a particularly lovely touch. Add to that some shameless fun from the three musicians, the result is delightfully celebratory.

Perhaps most importantly, I think this song is proof that we are now in a new era of sporting anthems in this country. Where until just recently, rock anthems in the style of the early 2000s continued to be the go-to for new cricket music, this song shows that the expectation of what will get large crowds behind the team is a new brand of electronic, dance, rap and pop.2 3 It is cause for celebration that large collective experiences in this country have some new cultural imagery to attach itself to, and that kids that watch sport today can find new anthems to sing along with and feel that they too, have some stake in our collective presence.

1

Update Oct 25, 2021 8.52 pm Pakistan time: These verses were written by Maanu, which is even more interesting.

3

Pepsi’s Khel Ja Dil Se (produced by Xulfi), from last year is also innovative in its use of electronic music. The vocalists it utilized however, still inherited from a rock genre, and as a result Cricket Khidaiye seems a bigger move in this new direction.