Electronic song

“Ajnabi” unites Atif Aslam and Mahira Khan after 10 years


KARACHI: Atif Aslam seems to be in the mood enough to experiment these days – to be on TV with Sang-e-Maa, to diversify its musical palette. The singer also seems to be moving towards a more youthful and contemporary approach to his music, as evidenced by his recent videos. The concepts of his clips also seem to follow a particular path. Atif Aslam stars alongside some of the industry’s most famous women in a love song. ‘Rafta Rafta ‘ and ‘Raat ‘, starring Sajal Aly and Syra Yousuf respectively. Now Atif Aslam has released another love song, this time with Mahira Khan.

To listen ‘Ajnabi’ makes you aware of a lot of things. The most important of them being that the song and the music video sound very different from Atif Aslam. The electro-pop track has a strangely young side. The video takes place in what appears to be a club or party where Aslam is the performer and Mahira Khan is the young and beautiful dancing girl in a short dress. The rest of the video is about Islam chasing Khan, spending a few romantic moments together before they become strangers again (ajnabi). Aslam steps out of his comfort zone during romantic scenes. The shot that captures Khan walking over the edge of a wall as Aslam reaches out to him seems to have been chosen from the thousands of teen movies available, and certainly not something that is typical of the music of Islam.

Someone commented that ‘Ajnabi’ sounds like a Shamoon Ismail song and it feels appropriate given the feel of the track. Listeners tend to miss the vocal range of Islam as it sticks to the lower chords of the track which is dominated by electronic beats. But just when one might lose hope in the song, Aslam hits a high note in typical Atif Aslam style and wins the game. It doesn’t matter who made the video or who played it. It’s an Atif Aslam song and it’s hard to hate it.

Aslam is a star and her greatest asset is her voice. The man doesn’t need auto-tuning or the most famous Pakistani actress to play a passive role in his video. He has given us brilliant music over the years and his voice in its purity and rawness is what sets him apart. The fans poured out love ‘Ajnabi’ as they do with all of the singer’s songs. Maybe it’s time for Atif Aslam to bless us with another track that reminds us of why we fell in love with his voice in the first place.


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