Ali Zafar’s New Anthem: The Battle of Rockstars is On
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Ali Zafar’s New Anthem: The Battle of Rockstars is On

Ali Zafar is all set to release his new anthem for cricket and cricketing fans. Ali Azmat had alleged that Ali Zafar had paid bloggers on his payroll

Pakistan is a land of opportunities, but it seems it has become a land of controversies since the advent of Social Media. Everything under the sun is criticized for one reason or the other and that’s exactly what happened to the official anthem of the Pakistan Super League’s fifth edition – Tayyar Hain. Although it came out as an amalgamation of modern and classic sound, featuring some of the best singers in the country, the Xulfi composition was not given its due for reasons beyond music.

It crossed over 100 K likes on YouTube, they said; but it received 73 K thumbs down on the same medium, nobody said. Knowing Zulfiqar Jabbar Khan, this was something nobody expected because he is one of the most talented music producers in the country, and always has a philosophy behind everything he does. One of the singers to appear in the video Asim Azhar was the first one to realize that so many dislikes meant that they couldn’t fulfil the audience’s expectations, and went on record with his apology.

However, the brain behind the anthem Xulfi didn’t want to go down without a fight. While talking to Instep Today in The News International, one of the leading newspapers in Pakistan, he rightly pointed out that as soon as the song was released, people started bashing it within seconds, as if they were waiting to unload their hatred.

XULFI'S TAKE:

‘I have always been a propagator of positivity, but have learnt that you have to be ready for everything; this song also propagates the same philosophy. What I fail to understand is that when we released the song, within thirty seconds or a minute, we started getting negative comments as if people were waiting for the release.

‘That was strange for me because I expected the listeners to first listen to the song, and then post their comments, which is what logical listener(s) did. In fact, many who loved the track didn’t even understand where the negativity was coming from. We created the song with the right intent; gave it our 100 per cent and tried to present a strong ideology that was the basis of the song.’

One of the first people from the fraternity to appreciate the track was Ali Zafar who sang the anthems of the first three PSL seasons. He came out in defence of the new anthem, urging people to give it a try and be ‘equally appreciable’.

“Dear All, As much as I am thankful for your love and support always, I would urge you all to remain equally appreciable towards efforts by all other artists. We are all one big family. So is PSL. It belongs to Pakistan and so does our music.” AZ #PakistanZindabad #PSL5 #cricket

However, his tweet came too late as matters took the wrong turn after Ali Zafar started trending the day Tayyar Hain was released, with the singer posting about it on the same platform, in his own style.

“Ayesha calls me saying I am trending again. I am like what happened now ? Can someone tell me? :)” Yours truly #alizafar

In a country where all the matches of PSL 5 were being played for the first time, where the spectators were about to have their chance to witness their heroes in action after 11 years, this matter was nothing but just another controversy, until Ali Azmat struck back. The original rockstar blamed a ‘rival singer’ for paying up bloggers to give bad reviews to the PSL Five anthem, just because he wasn’t considered for it. When the anchor asked him to name names, Ali Azmat hesitated and that’s where Waseem Badami took the name, without actually taking it!

The Social Media in Pakistan went crazy after the accusation, mainly because it was laughable for the right reasons. If Ali Zafar can pay bloggers to bash a PSL anthem, why didn’t he use them when he was fighting a Twitter war with Meesha Shafi and many others who were supporting the #MeToo movement? Where were these paid influencers when none of his Teefa In Trouble songs were nominated in the Best Film Songs category at Lux Style awards? Before one could wonder about these questions, out came a video from Ali Zafar that not just heralded his return to Social Media in style, but made him trend again even for a short duration as #BhaeeHazirHai!

Ali Zafar’s hilarious reply to Ali Azmat was not just loved by all, it crossed over 270K views in no time. The way he blames himself for everything bad that happens in the country including the failed opening ceremony, and then asks the off-camera person to stop playing his ‘manhoos’ song is rib-tickling. Afterwards, his team continued to reply in the same mood to all those who supported him with ‘Paise Pohanch Gaye’ and ‘Yaar yeh mat karo’ tweets, that lightened the mood, if you are in the Ali Zafar camp.

And then came the biggest surprise of all - Ali Zafar announcing a new PSL anthem. While talking to Waseem Badami in ARY’s flagship PSL show Har Lamha Purjosh (via phone), Ali Zafar accepted a challenge put forward by the host and announced that if the audience wants him to come up with a PSL anthem of his own, he will try his best. At that time, he wasn’t sure about the idea …

But when a poll was conducted by the channel that aired the interview, the results convinced Ali Zafar. Nearly 70 thousand people voted with more than 80% wanting the rockstar to return with a bang.

However, it didn’t just end there as Twitter folks started asking Asim Azhar how he felt about Ali Zafar’s decision, with one lady going as far as calling it an insult. To which Asim Azhar very gracefully replied, and won everyone’s heart.

The very next day, Ali Zafar put up a video on Social Media where, while sitting in his studio, he confirmed that he was coming up with his song.

That was followed a day later by a teaser where Dhol was played by his musicians to give an idea to the audience that the song will be a mixture of both Eastern and Western music.

And that’s not all, he posted a video later on the same day where he announced that his fans would get a chance to appear in his music video if they send him a dance step that’s identical to the one he displays in the video.

What’s ironic is the email address that he chose for receiving high res videos from his followers – bhaeehazirhai@gmail.com. Call it a conspiracy against the official PSL anthem or a planned attempt from Ali’s marketing team, it was a job well done and now we are all hoping that the unofficial PSL anthem fulfils the expectations as well. Because if it doesn’t, no paid blogger in the country would praise it, for their credibility will be on the line!

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Author

By Omair Alavi
Omair Alavi is a senior film critic from Pakistan who loves Hollywood, Bollywood and Pakistani films in that order. His love for music and books is only trounced by his passion for Sports and he remains a lifelong fan of Jahangir Khan, Shahbaz Ahmed and Rahul Dravid (in that order, again)

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