Coke Studio brings together Grammy-nominated artist Arooj Aftab and musician Asfar Husain. The duo will perform Mehram the fourth track in Season 14.
Local folklore tells of a bird who is forever in the quest for a moon that isn’t able to show itself. The longing of Chaand or Chakor was the inspiration for the Production Director Hashim Ali in Season 14’s Mehram.
It’s an excellent source for this sonic and visually stunning track composed by Asfar Hussain as well as Arooj Aftab. Mehram explores the emotional turmoil that is caused by loss and is helped by a haunting drone effect that winds throughout the track. The pairing of Asfar and Arooj’s voices creates a dark aural cushion, making you feel what Associate Music Producer Abdullah Siddiqui describes as “collapse-on-the-ground-earth-shatteringly-devastated.”
The Xulfi song was evident that Coke Studio season 14 needed this. He stated “I wanted a song that’s heart-wrenchingly beautiful. For me, Asfar Hussain’s writing is exactly that. I called him and explained to him a story that I had in mind. That day we both broke down talking about the narrative and I knew we were onto something honest and magical. Arooj came into the picture while we were looking for a voice that just tells the story of abandonment, conflicting yet heartfelt points of view, along with Asfar in an intense yet calming and sort of a visual kind of way. It’s as if you can see every word that’s sung. Arooj was perfect for it; she added her musical sensibilities to Mehram. Abdullah Siddiqui has done a remarkable job carving a unique musical personality for this song. I honestly can’t be happier with the result, though the song put me in a sad trance throughout the creation process.”
Asfar makes use of the term “mahram” in its truest meaning: a person you completely trust. The song was described by him to be “a vessel of thoughts, where you start to think; what was life like before you knew and trusted this person? And what is life like after this person is no longer in your life?”
Film Director Murtaza Niaz places the artists in rooms that have been neglected. Furniture falls over, while books and photos collect dust, with the memories of love hidden in the. As the creatives finally get together the environment is not a source of relief.
Mehram is a testimony to the connection that marks its footprint in a way that is never-ending deep; a stunning display of feelings, loss, and heartfelt, yet conflicting conversations that will never truly let us go.