We changed India's perception of Pakistani music: Strings

By Radhika Bhirani

New Delhi, May 21(IANS) Pakistani band Strings, known for its chartbusters like "Duur" and "Dhaani", feels it has to an extent changed how Indians perceive Pakistani music, and stresses that music, like cricket, goes a long way in bringing the two countries closer together.

"If we talk about the change in the way our (Pakistani) music is perceived in India, yes, we have played a role in it," Faisal Kapadia, the band's lead vocalist, told IANS.

"Ever since our hit album 'Duur' was released in 2000 till now, a lot has changed in terms of Indo-Pak relations and all for the better. There has been a lot of difference in these eight years," he said.

"Earlier, it was films and cricket that used to get the countries closer but now music is also playing a major part," he added.

Kapadia and Bilal Maqsood, composer and guitarist, say the Indian media has been immensely instrumental in creating a larger audience for their music.

"The impact of Indian media is much larger and it has made us more popular across the shores," Kapadia said.

The singer-composer pair finds their inspiration in stalwarts from India like R.D.Burman and Kishore Kumar but feel that Indian music is gradually losing its identity.

"There has always been an awareness about Indian film music. But now, there are so many different genres like rap, rock, hip-hop that are being used and that is causing the loss in the charm," Kapadia explained.

The duo, whose song "Naa Jaane Kyun" from "Dhaani" was included in the soundtrack of the Hindi version of "Spider-Man 2", was in the city to promote their latest album "Koi Aanay Wala Hai"- a compilation of 10 songs, which they claim to be their best ever.

The video of the album's title song features Bollywood hunk John Abraham. The actor has also launched his production company John Abraham Entertainment with this album.

The band members have previously worked with John in Sanjay Gupta's film "Zinda" and their friendship kick-started from there.

"The three of us met together over a meal and we made John hear our new songs for this album. He showed a keen interest in the project and decided to launch his own company with it," Maqsood told IANS.

John plays an angel in the video, which has been shot with a number of special effects and digital simulation.

The album has taken almost two-and-a-half years to be produced and Kapadia says "it is because each of our songs is special and we try to perfect them all the time".

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