Even early on in Meesha’s career, she was an outspoken pioneer. With Overload, she made the female rock vocal more prominent than it may ever have been in the Pakistani market. Then, in the early years of Coke Studio she modernized a number of eastern melodies with her ability to draw from multiple artistic vocabularies.
In the last 4 years Meesha’s outspokenness has taken a more social bent. The resulting legal battle and gag order meant that it was her art that now, even more so, had to stand up for her emotion. I find it interesting to chart the tonal shift in her music. In 2018 and 19, her songs first became more insular. In 2020, the music became a reflection of imprisoned emotion – frustrated and ready to break free. In 2021 this turned into spunky combativeness. And today it is pure, assured celebration of her feminism.
In those early years of Coke Studio, Meesha’s ability to traverse languages and cultural modes was considered special. Specifically, it was considered notable that someone of seemingly Western sensibility could hold her own adjacent to Punjabi folks singers. Today, her presence with her brother Faris on Coke Studio is further proof that this ability flourishes still, and her entrance into hip hop is exciting to watch.