Music connects people and extends beyond borders – so does the Internet. Through both we are capable of reaching the whole world and enjoying unlimited access to information. We, a group of students, musicologists, and musicians at the Humboldt University of Berlin aimed to reach out to contemporary artists from mostly underground music scenes in Pakistan. Read a portrait on the indie rock band The Tamaashbeens.
Having a Good Time
The way The Tamaashbeens got into music sounds as nimbly as their music itself: «We’re just four great friends, chilling out – having a good time. We decided to try this out one night, and put the music on the Internet, people might like it.» And the people do. Three thousands friends on Facebook and 1.700 users on SoundCloud are already following the band from Lahore. Their indie music does not just mean involving acoustic guitars, ukuleles, sing-along/harmonized vocals and choirs but it holds an inspiration and tangible proximity that produces something which is unique and independent like you were sitting next to them while hearing their music.
The songs always have a live jam session character, not every note is on point, the instruments and singers join in one after the other as they were coming by at random, the whispering of the singer, the dog barking and the singing birds conveying the semblance of something accidental and transports a cosy atmosphere and makes them sound very approachable. The melodies are catchy, sometimes danceable, sometimes they invite you just to relax and dream.
«‹Lighter Machis› is the most ‹typical› Tamaashbeens track», they say. «Mainly because it represents a lot from who we are as artists. From its sound, to its lyrics, and to its individuality, it pretty much shows our creative intellect.»
Representing Pakistan one Day
None of the four guys (Jamal Abbas, Talaal Khan, Ali Hassnain and Shahenshah Bokhari) have learned how to play an instrument in school or through a teacher. Shahenshah, who plays all instruments, just used the Internet to get the skills he needed. The Tamaashbeens are motivated to create the music they want to hear by themselves and use what they have to do it: passion, a balcony for their rehearsals, and a laptop to record their music. «The point is to just stay creative, and feel the creative soul one has.» Especially the fact that they don’t sing in English, because it «just adds more independent, creative vibes to a track when it is sung in Urdu» gives them a very local sound.
And even if they never thought about if it’s important for their music or for them as musicians to be from Pakistan, they can clearly say «if we ever get a chance, we would want to represent Pakistan through our music for sure».
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