Strings is an internationally acclaimed Pakistani pop band comprising two members. The band was formed when four college students—Bilal Maqsood, Faisal Kapadia, Rafiq Wazir Ali and Kareem Bashir Bhoy—decided to form a band in 1988 in Karachi. In 1992, the quartet disbanded only to make a comeback with two of its members, Bilal and Faisal later in 2000. While the initial band was riding on the new wave of Pakistani pop music, the later formation ushered a new revival in the music industry of Pakistan.
Kapadia and Maqsood followed in the footsteps of Junoon and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and took their act across the border to India only to realise they already were a recognised band in the country as remixes of one of their earliest songs were played in clubs. As ambassadors for Pakistani pop music, the duo set out to conduct concerts all over the world thenceforth.
Acclaimed world over for their stringed rhythms, their songs are praised not only for being melodious but having a strong poetic sense to them. Penned by Anwar Maqsood, Bilal’s father, the lyrics of their songs always carry a deep meaning with them. Anwar has been writing lyrics for the band since its re-formation.
Where Kapadia is the lead vocalist for the band, Maqsood acts as the composer, guitarist and at times does vocals for a few songs. To play live at concerts, both the members have hired Adeel on the lead guitar, Shakir on the bass guitar, Haider on keyboards and Qaiser on drums, an entourage ensemble that travels with them to various international concerts at times.
Strings is one of the few Pakistani bands/singers to achieve international fame. Their popularity is attributed to the significantly different approach to their music and lyrics. Other singers of international repute include the likes of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Junoon, Nazia Hassan and Vital Signs.
Where Fateh Ali Khan was actively promoting Qawwali music and Junoon rock music, Strings approached their music with a little tint of Pakistani pop with classical music and combined with rhythms from stringed instruments. Junoon and Vital Signs had only been famous in the United States of America with a significant following in Europe, whereas String took their gigs to India, all over Asia and the Middle East, and the rest of the world making Pakistani pop music a truly remarkable genre.
Even in areas like Nepal that are dominated by influence from their neighbouring India, Strings proved to be the most favourite band amongst crowds. So were they popular in Asia that they were given an award for being Asia’s most favourite band at the MTV Asia Awards.
Ankur Tewari is a director, writer and musician. Born into a family of engineers and teachers, Ankur Tewari decided to do hotel management and graduated from IHM Bhopal. Almost immediately, he switched to music and theatre. His ‘break’ came with Col. Kapoor as a songwriter/ musician for his TV series Ek aur Fauji.
Agnee is an Indian rock band based in Pune, India. The band's debut album "Agnee" was released on 15 May 2007. Since then, they have released several singles and used an Internet-based free distribution model to gather a large following in the rock music circuit in India. The band continues to extend its reach across India through their 'Create with Agnee' venture in collaboration with Radio Mirchi.
Fuzön is a pop rock band from Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan formed in 2001. The name was derived from fusion, as the former vocalist Shafqat Amanat Ali describes the band as a fusion of Hindustani classical and modern soft rock music blended with the Sufi Style of singing. Fuzön encompasses hybrid styles of pop and rock instrumentation. "Fuzon was one of the innovative bands of the new millennium, as they gave us a timeless album like Saagar.
Ali Azmat is a Pakistani singer-songwriter, musician and actor. He is best known as the lead singer for the influential Sufi Rock band Junoon and for his subsequent solo career. In 2001, he became part of the first Pakistani band ever to perform at the United Nations General Assembly.
Raeth are an Indian-Pakistani sufi pop rock band composed of two member. The band was initially formed by four students — Wajhi Farooki, sunny ghamsham, Mustafa Asad and Former Members Hasan Farabi, in 2006. Their debut single "Bhula Do" became the number one on MTV Top Charts next to Kailash Kher's Song Saaiyan. The band worked on the remake of the film Zanjeer, starring Priyanka Chopra, alongside musical director Chirtan Bhatt.
Jal is a pop rock band from Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan. The band originally consisted of songwriter, vocalist and lead guitarist, Goher Mumtaz and vocalist, Atif Aslam and later joined by bass guitarist Omer Nadeem. Founded in 2002, they first became popular playing in Lahore's underground music scene with the release of their song "Aadat". The band initially achieved commercial success with the release of their music video "Aadat", directed by Umer Anwar, in 2003. After the success of the single, lead vocalist Atif Aslam parted ways with the band, due to differences with lead guitarist Goher Mumtaz, to pursue a career as a solo artist. This led to Mumtaz recruiting musicians Farhan Saeed on vocals and Aamir Tufail aka Shazi on bass guitar. The band's new line-up followed with the release of their début studio album, Aadat, in 2004. The album was declared as the best selling album of 2004 on Geo TV by the record label Sadaf Stereo. Soon afterwards, the band recorded and released their second studio album Boondh in 2007, which topped several music charts in South Asia. The band went on to win the MTV Asia Award for Favorite Artist India in 2006.
Silk Route was a band from India consisting of Mohit Chauhan, Atul Mittal, Kem Trivedi and Kenny Puri. The band is much endeared for the song "Dooba-Dooba" from their acclaimed 1998 debut album, Boondein. Brought to the Indian film industry's notice, the band was then furnished opportunities to score and perform songs for movies such as Kalpana Lajmi's "Kyon", "Lets Enjoy" and "Urf Professor". They confess to such diverse influences as Sting, Simon & Garfunkel and Dire Straits, all of which find their way into the Silk Route sounds. The band always added a distinct touch to their music by using acoustic guitars, talking drums and harmonica and primarily by of the use of Recorder, a 17th-century European folk musical instrument played by Kem Trivedi.
Bilal Maqsood is a member of Strings, a very popular Pakistani pop band. He has also directed a number of music videos. For Bilal and his band Strings, success came in 1992 after the launch of the song Sar Kiye Yeh Pahar, the song was an instant hit and so was Strings. Strings made its entry into the Bollywood music scene in 2006.
Shriram Iyer is an Indian singer who has provided the music for the Bollywood film, Iqbal and also sung the opening theme song for the Zee TV show, Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Challenge 2007. He is lead singer of the fusion band "OM The Fusion Band".
Michael "Mikey" McCleary is an Indian-born New Zealand songwriter, composer, performer, producer and director living in Mumbai, India since 2007. He has worked on a large number of advertisements such as for brands like Levi's, Coca-Cola, Vodafone etc. and films such as Waiting, Margarita with a straw, Shaitan, Shanghai, David, Bombay Velvet, Nautanki Saala, Shaadi Ke Side Effects, Shaandaar etc. Besides his prolific work on soundtracks for ad-films, background scores and songs for Bollywood films, he is also well known for his re-interpretations of old Bollywood songs under the stage name of The Bartender, most notably Khoya Khoya Chand and Hawa Hawai from Shaitan, Neend Na Mujhko Aaye and Eena Meena Deeka from Shaandaar, Fifi from Bombay Velvet, O Lal Meri / Mast Kalandar from David and Dhak Dhak from Nautanki Saala. He has also released a one-of-its-kind album of full-length versions of some of his most popular advertisement jingles called TV Dinners.