By: Saira Agha
When Pakistan’s 2013 pre-election anthem “Insha Allah Naya Pakistan” came out, all music lovers cum patriots thought the junooni songs were back. However, the realisation did not last similarly as the naya Pakistan plan got lost somewhere. However, the very well strategised and practical music band Laal, known for its revolutionary melodic outbursts and the very upfront lyrics well meant, has this time around come up with their version of legendary musician Eddie Grant’s ‘80s anti-apartheid reggae anthem “Gimme Hope Joanna” called “Malala Gives Me Hope.”
A song, which pays an affective tribute to the phenomenon and source of pride that Malala Yousafzai is now, gets the message across without sounding daunt or assertive and playfully disseminates Laal’s take on the current political and extremist scenario in a fun and engaging way.
Aiming particularly for the youth to stand up and take an action against the unjust values of oppressors and hostile restrictions of rulers amalgamated and brought forth by extremists, Laal the band, focuses on telling untold stories with confidence and fearlessness, garnering humongous support and appreciation along the way. The best thing of “Malala Gives Me Hope” is its honest lyrics that depict open secrets of Taliban’s communication with political heads and the clandestine donors, topped with a very confident and talented Mahvash Waqar on vocals.
“They have supporters in higher places, Who turn their heads to the city sun, And they give them the fancy money, To tempt anyone who come” goes one part, which pretty much sheds light on the vested interests of authority figures with Taliban’s agenda.
Laal, comprising of Taimur Rahman, Mahvash and Haider Rahman, was the first band to cross borders for a ‘support the freedom of the people of Afghanistan from the twin menace of imperialism and Taliban’ mission to Kabul, Afghanistan. Laal’s ideology of lending their props to ventures like these add another distinct feature to what the band aims to achieve. Coming back from India only recently, which lead vocalist and guitarist Taimur says was “one of our most successful tours to date” saw the band performing and jazzing away at BBC India during their live interview, Jawaharlal Nehru University and many other venues makes us all the more proud.
With politicians, journalists, artists, prominent dignitaries and the entire nation lending support to Malala via newspaper write-ups, social and electronic media, Laal’s tribute to Malala’s bravery and willpower remains the best form of encouragement and admiration. Having said that, not just the suppressed region feels hope but the Pakistani music industry can now experience a revival, which is not just subjected to Coke Studio.