By Tanvi Kanchan
Have you heard the amazing new cover of British singer John Newman’s chart-topping “Love Me Again” by an all-woman ensemble in Pakistan?
It’s presented by Nescafe Basement – not unlike the Coke Studio music series that brought musicians together for some cool music – an attempt to discover and present upcoming talent in the music industry, spearheaded by Pakistani musician and producer Xulfi. Episode 3 of Season 4 features these ten young female musicians presenting their own cover of the dance-pop hit which extends the original four minute song to a seven-minute jam.
The thing about this cover that catches your ear instantly is the genre-bending that it undertakes. When pianist Maham Riaz begins with her first few sweeps over the keys, you’re convinced you’re in for a slow ballad. But when the powerful, controlled vocals of Anna Salman and Kristin Kanaria come in and build the tempo, and Maria Fatima’s rough, emotive cry brings in the chorus, the vibe changes completely. We see an effortless inclusion of folksy undertones from Jannat Sohail’s ukulele, soaring strings from violinist Amal Nadeem and classical melodies from Arfa Chaudary’s sitar and Sumaira Waris’ tabla (my personal favourite).
It’s a giant glucose dose to see ten female musicians, all with breathtaking command over their instruments. Plus: not one cracks a smile for the camera.
Despite having so much going on, the cover doesn’t feels confused or meandering. It’s a tight production, and the breakdown at the four-minute mark left me with goosebumps. The cover is neat while also being provocative for its capacity to string together so many instruments and genres into a cohesive piece of music.
If you watch only one video today, we recommend you make it this one. More power to you, ladies!