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Cricket anthems have a storied history in Pakistani music. Of late, new soundtracks to cricket tournaments have been frequently sponsored by cricket bodies, franchise teams, as well as corporations looking to run themed advertising campaigns. Combined with a rising group of electronic producers, rappers and vocalists, this has resulted in a renaissance of sorts for sports music.
In the last few years, these anthems have settled on a template. Most songs include multiple artists. Since the PSL 6’s Groove Mera, at least one of these artists is likely to be female. A rapper is often one of the vocalists. We saw this first with the appearance of Young Desi on the PSL 4 anthem. The hook is often a baja-like jingle. The most-heard version of this is still from Ali Zafar’s early PSL work. But producers today – Talal Qureshi especially comes to mind – will build songs around an instrumental hook. There is likely also to be a loud beat, either danceable or crescendo, or a bit of both. Tayyar Hain by Xulfi et al still stands out for its beat to me.
In this landscape, this latest Jazz soundtrack is a worthy addition. It is not Abdullah Siddiqui’s first sports production, and I think it already shows growth in terms of how to make a song sound big enough for a stadium. Meesha’s voice is perfect for this kind of anthem, and the swift recognition of Eva B in the industry is a heartwarming story. I enjoy Asim Azhar’s presence here as well. For as big as Asim is, it feels that his audience is separate from the audience of everyone else. And seeing him alongside other artists in a major production is refreshing.