SOUNDCHECK: LAUCHER GO – Journal

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It seems that Decemberistan [a local phenomenon in which overseas Paki-stanis return home for a short break, making it the most socially busy month in Pakistan] reveals the cost that this shaadi season coupled with seasonal celebrations [I’m looking at you: New Years’ Eve revellers] a on the collective health of the country. We are at the start of a new wave of Covid-19: the omicron wave.

It’s time to pay close attention, absolutely follow the SOPs, stay home and… listen to new music. Like this single from one of Pakistan’s budding artists trying to make a name for himself, far and under the shadow of his hugely famous brother.

Recently, a video went viral of Danyal Zafar performing his latest single, Chad Gayi, on his birthday. He moves to the rhythm of the music, dances while singing, his guests sway to the rhythm of his music. Danyal lets go and has fun. Nothing more serious. In these difficult times, we could use some of that lightness.

Let me start by saying that Chad Gayi is annoying and upbeat. It’s a very Bieber-sounding North American electronic music (EDM) number, with the Punjabi phrase “Chad Gayi, O ‘Meno Chad Gayiaan” as the main chorus.

Danyal Zafar’s latest song Chad Gayi is about letting go and having fun

The song also showcases Alistair Alvin’s vocal rapping skills. Alvin previously worked with Danyal Zafar’s older brother Ali Zafar on his K-pop-inspired song Game Bun Gayi.

Based in Pakistan and armed with long, long dreadlocks, hissing and quivering all over Chad Gayi’s music video, Alistair Alvin raps most of the English sections of this cute little romantic number. Danyal sings in English and Punjabi to Chad Gayi.

For the Punjabi sections, in particular, he uses this technique where the vocals are recorded in duplicate, or layered, to make his voice bigger and give a deeper and more echoing effect.

Over the past few years, we have seen Daniyal Zafar experience music as if he is trying to understand its sound. So far the direction his music is taking in sounds very inspired by contemporary American electro-pop music, with a bit of desi-infused vocals. It seems to work for him and, more importantly, he seems to really enjoy producing this kind of light, preppy, fun music.

There is a youthful energy that is singularly focused on living in this moment and not taking anything too seriously. In these dark times, we could use some of it to lift ourselves up.

If you are looking for music that will go deep into your soul and prove to be meaningful or revealing in any way, Chad Gayi is not the song for you. If you just want something fun to listen to and dance to in self-imposed isolation, Chad Gayi is exactly the song for you.

Posted in Dawn, ICON, January 9, 2022

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