New PSL anthem divides internet

As a nation, Pakistan continues to strive forward breaking barriers to identify itself as a country that embraces the different strings of popular culture.

It aims to keep at par to what’s trending globally and in doing so, sometimes talented artisans think outside the box to present projects which deter what’s traditional and advocate for the idiosyncratic.

But does it always sit well with the masses? Are we accepting to something that strays from the usual? The mixed reaction and meme eruption that was led by the launch of the PSL 2021 anthem ‘Groove Mera’ suggests otherwise.

The song is a collaboration between various, distinguished artists of Pakistan, including the legendary songstress ‘Naseebo Lal’, hip and happening ‘Aima Baig’, and the quite impressive ‘Young Stunners’. Considering the very interesting trio of musical talent that was mixed into the blender, it was destined that something different and far from the ordinary would come out.

It definitely did. However, most of the skewed responses depict, it failed to come off as an instant hit. This was further escalated when the likes of Pakistan’s idols like cricket legend ‘Shoaib Akhtar’ unleashed a complete, uncensored fury on this very different take on a cricket anthem. “”Aren’t you ashamed?” he asked the makers of the song. “My kid hasn’t spoken in three days because of this song. The people who sang this song have no idea what groove even means”.

The cricketer/YouTuber went on rant for 9minutes straight in his video, however his far too strong a reaction was also met with complete disapproval by various artists who think bashing and completely demeaning the work of artists isn’t constructive criticism at all.

So where do we draw the line when it comes to just ridiculing or actually providing our honest two-cents on a matter? A progressive Pakistan can only be realized when we begin to take in the views, perspective and opinion of everyone. As a nation, it is downright scary that our claim to fame is based on mockery. Why are we unforgiving in such harsh tones?

Interestingly, Naseebo Lal who has become a household name with her ‘distinctive’ vocal abilities, has taken the backlash in complete humbleness and shared her sheer joy to have been chosen to showcase her singing capabilities in a rather different setting from her usual podium. While some fans have said that Naseebo Lal was a “misfit” for the song as her accent does not suit this specific genre, others were quick to point how her take and performance was such a warm and welcome change. Sharing her enthusiasm, she herself said she was completely overjoyed to have been chosen for this project. “I didn’t know what I was going up against but I really enjoyed it.”

While the singer definitely doesn’t identify with the conventional framework of what is popular and hip, there is no denying that the she definitely brought her own ‘groove’ onto the table. Perhaps we need to widen our window of acceptance to anything which is different; different can pave the way for great things to unravel.

By Mehr Jan

Author is an Associate Editor for a leading weekly Sunday Magazine as well as a freelancer for a range of online publications. She pens with passion and feels there isn’t anything better than expressions through words. She aims to highlight all the good amidst the chaos surrounding us. She is currently residing in Islamabad, Pakistan.
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