Wednesday, December 12, 2007

‘Strings’ Rock Chennnai at 'Amaze 06'

‘Strings’ Rock Chennnai at 'Amaze 06'
syed Ali Mujtaba

Chennai, March 29, 2006: `Mein teri tu mera jane saare Hindustan', the Indian audience shot back `mein teri tu mera jane saare Pakistan' screaming to pop group Strings' performance at Amaze '06 organized by Indian Institute of Planning and Management here in the city.

Strings performing

Strings duo Bilal Maqsood and Faisal Kapadia rocked the music loving chennai crowd and was ably supported by Shakir and Adeel on the guitar, and Quaras on the drums.

“Pakistan may be a bus ride away from India but it’s a long journey from this south Indian port town... all about Pakistan is twinkle twinkle little stars,” said 21 year old Sujata Krishnan, who had come to watch the performance of the musical sensation from across the border.

‘I have been seeing these guys on the TV and it's the first time I am able to see them on stage, this is something unbelievable,’ said another college girl Aparna about Faisal and Bilal the lead pair of Strings.

When asked if the Pakistani crowd would react the same way as did the Chennai crowd, Faisal quipped ‘Why not, it's a people to people interaction, and they are the ones who are going to take it forward. We are just interested in reaching out to them with our music," he added.

"A Pakistani crowd would cheer just as loudly for India,” said Bilal reminding about the cricket match at Lahore where Pakistani youth were out on the streets waving Indian flags.

Strings team Faisal said that music scene in Pakistan has really changed for good. “Gone are the days of early 90s when many music channels were banned and rock stars were banned, we couldn't play music at will and there were restrictions even on our hair.”

All these are things of past, there is flood of musical activities going on in Pakistan. Junoon, Fuzoon, Jal, Ali Zaffar, Shahzad Roy and many others are in business today, said Faisal.

Talking about their present India tour, Bilal says this is not our first visit, we have been many times here before and every time it's fun making new friends and meeting people. This time we were in Hyderabad two days before Chennai, and then we go to Mumbai to meet a Bollywood producer and finally return home."

All the touring means delay in the next Strings album. Bilal promises it to be a quickie this time. "We are going back to our roots, doing the kind of music that we did in the beginning in the 80s. It includes a few tunes we composed when we started out. We are doing songs that we couldn't really do full justice to then, either due to lack of technology or musical knowledge," says Bilal.

Strings' last album "Dhaani" was a huge hit in India so was its `Na Jaane Kyun' for "Spiderman 2.” The band won the Favorite Artist Award at MTV Asia Awards 2005 held in Bangkok, Thailand last year.

Strings tour to US is aptly titled "ZINDA HOON 2006." It is scheduled to begin this summer with their first concert being held on April 29 in Houston, Texas.

More on Strings:

Strings is a popular Pakistani Pop Band - new wave of Pakistani Pop Music which surfaced on the local media beachhead, post-Nazia and Zoheb, post-Alamgir and post-Muhammad Ali Shehki.

Strings started with four college students (Bilal, Faisal, and two friends) in 1990, when they came out with their album "Strings". After "Strings 2" in 1992, the band was dismembered. Eight years later, Bilal and Faisal reformed Strings, coming out with their album "Duur" and then "Dhaani". In 2005, Strings won MTV Asia's best artist award and sang "Ye hai meri kahani" for the Indian movie "Zinda".

The original soundtrack of the movie Spiderman 2 includes a song by Strings titled Na jaane kyun (I don't know why). The band was approached by Columbia Pictures after they had signed a contract with Sony Music. Although the song has been credited in various places to be in Hindi, in reality it is in Urdu.


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