Published On: Tue, Sep 6th, 2016

Atif Aslam and Ali Zafar’s first-ever collaboration is a tribute to martyrs

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Pakistan’s music scene appears to be on a road to recovery. Granted Coke Studio has been delivering some great tunes ‘season after season’ but there is a lot more going on than just that. Most recently, Karachi got to witness the ‘clash of the generations’, wherein local rock icons Ali Azmat and Umair Jaswal belted out one hit after the other.

And there has been something even bigger cooking in the pot which no one knew about until now. Two of Pakistan’s most prolific pop stars, Ali Zafar and Atif Aslam, have come together for a duet, to celebrate the spirit of Defence Day. And what’s more, the song – titled Yaar Yaaron Se Hon Na Juda – has been composed by renowned musician Sahir Ali Bagga and written by Imran Raza, with Dr Hassan Waqas Rana serving as the director for its video.

Speaking with The Express Tribune, Bagga revealed that it was his idea to bring Zafar and Aslam together on the project. “When the song was commissioned to me by the ISPR, I thought it would be good to bring in two of the biggest names in Pakistani music,” he shared. “Both singers have performed really well on the song and exceeded my expectations.”

What sets the track apart is that it carries the message of patriotism, unity, friendship and, overall, has a nationalistic spirit. “I think it’s high time for such a collaboration to take place, because love songs are produced all the time but this one is about Pakistan,” said Bagga. “It’s about bringing us all together, in the name of love and friendship.”

The composer went on to praise Zafar and Aslam and the experience of working with both of them. “They have shown a lot of love towards the country and I believe our song is going to be one huge hit,” Bagga claimed.

Aslam echoed the sentiments, adding, “We’ve already done a lot in terms of music. I think the time has come for us to use it to pay tribute to our martyrs. After all, if it wasn’t for them, none of us would be here.”

It has indeed taken a while for the duo to come together. When asked if this could be the first of many collaborations with Zafar, the Aadathitmaker responded, “Ali and I actually have performed at a private event together, a few years ago. This song is more of a gift to the audience and a tribute to our martyrs. There is no publicity and marketing involved and as far as future collaborations are concerned, you never know!”

Zafar was always open to working with Aslam. “We often jam together in the studios and think we should definitely do something. But somehow, it never works out, due to schedule conflicts and other things like that,” said the singer-turned-actor. “This time, however, it all came together, thanks to Sahir and the armed forces.”

According to Zafar, Yaar Yaaron Se Hon Na Juda propagates positivity. But one problem that often comes with patriotic songs is that they tend to be riddled with clichés such as soldiers facing enemies. Bagga, however, clarified that the track uses no such narratives. “It’s totally different. When I heard the first line, I thought it was beautiful as it talks about the bonds soldiers develop while living away from their families,” he shared. “It’s about their friendship and how they don’t want to be separated again.”

The song is set to go online on September 6. Zafar and Aslam will also be performing live together, at an annual tribute event in Islamabad.

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Shahid Tariq

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