Throwback To The Music Of The 90s

In an era where music remakes are the new ‘trend’, let’s take a moment and talk about Pakistan’s original pop era. I’ve been a huge fan of the music that’s produced in our country for a long time but during the 1990s, our music industry peaked and set standards that, even today, serve as an inspiration to every fan and celebrity alike. Perhaps the most refreshing part of listening to these songs today is the lack of a blaring guitar and drum noise in your ears that almost every song today comprises. So enjoy this ode to the 90s music era in Pakistan, comprising the most wholesome, nostalgic, and calming tunes you’ll come across.

Dil Ki Lagi – Nazia Hassan

If we’re talking about Pakistani music, how can we not mention the Queen of Disco herself? A beautiful and wholesome song in the calming voice of Nazia Hassan should definitely be on top of your playlist. Perhaps the most nostalgic part of this song is that it was in the last album, ‘Camera Camera’, the singer produced alongside her brother Zoheb Hassan.

Purani Jeans – Ali Haider

The song every college and university student can relate to and fall in love with. Purani Jeans didn’t just turn the face of Ali Haider’s career but also redefined pop music in Pakistan with its.

Aitebaar – Vital Signs

Featuring the evergreen Junaid Jamshed, Vital Signs is one of the most popular and loved music bands of Pakistan among the likes of Strings, Junoon, EP, and the likes. Their song, Aitebaar, is popular among the old and newer generations. And if you’ve listened to it, you’d know exactly why this song deserves to be part of your playlist.

Sar Kiye Ye Pahar – Strings

The internationally acclaimed and universally loved Strings released Sar Kiye Ye Pahar, which became an instant hit, resulting in making the band popular among the masses; a popularity that never diminished. With this song, the band introduced a new era of pop music in the country.

Billo De Ghar – Abrar-ul-Haq

One can not talk about 90s music without mentioning the timeless Billo De Ghar. Recently, Coke Studio released a remake version of the song featuring the singer, Abrar-ul-Haq. Though it became a hit, nothing can beat the beautifully nostalgic yet innocent feel of the original.

Aye Jawan – Awaz

The phenomenal voices of Haroon and Fakhir were once part of the same band, Awaz, and during that era they released a few of the most loved pop songs of the country. Among them, one song was Aye Jawan, a patriotic and beautifully performed piece that is still one of the most played songs in everyone’s Independence Day playlist.

Hawa Hawa – Hasan Jahangir

Forget the kind-of cringe (at least for me) remake from Bollywood and listen to the original if you haven’t already. With Hawa Hawa, Hasan Jahangir became a hit not just in Pakistan but across the border as well, selling approximately 15 million copies of the song in India to-date. The song is a perfectly blended fusion that deserves all the fame it ever got.

Dekha Na Tha – Alamgir

Alamgir is known as the ‘Elvis of the East’ and not without good reason. The singer has always gained praise for his talent in music, and a small yet very successful part of that praise came after the instant hit of Dekha Na Tha.

Jazba-e-Junoon – Junoon

The Sufi-rock band Junoon’s Jazba-e-Junoon became such a tremendous hit that it turned the popularity game around for the band itself. The melody, released as an ode to cricket, is now known as the national song of Pakistan. Even today it’s a hit among cricket fans.

Tali de Thallay – Nazia Hassan

Another work of pure art from Nazia Hassan in collaboration with her brother Zoheb Hassan. Tali de Thallay is another popular melody from the album ‘Camera Camera’. One could listen to this song the whole day on repeat and still not get tired. Well, that’s what we could say about every Nazia Hassan song to be honest.

Sayonee – Junoon

Setting the tone for future pop music in Pakistan, Sayonee is a classic that anyone with a pinch of a music taste would instantly come to love and get obsessed with. Another must-have song for your playlist, if it isn’t on there already.

Jeetein Gay – Vital Signs

So far we’ve mentioned 2 patriotic songs in this blog, add Jeetein Gay to the list and you have a golden trio of music all cricket lovers and patriots would get behind with ease. Vital Signs peaked previously with the release of ‘Dil Dil Pakistan’ toward the late 80s, and then they went ahead and raised the bar further with the release of Jeetein Gay in the late 90s.

Boohey Barian – Hadiqa Kiani

How can we not mention the singer who, after Nazia Hassan, became the first female singer to release a pop album in Pakistan. Hadiqa Kiani is who you’d call an evergreen artist with a voice and music talent that remains fresh with a touch of nostalgia and a personality that never falters to portray class. And Boohey Barian is proof of her worthiness to be part of this list. The song is a classic that is fitting to the pop culture of Pakistani music that no one can stop from putting on repeat.

That was my ode to 90s Pakistani music. I know it doesn’t cover every classic that got produced in that era, but it’s as close as it gets. Every single artist and song on the list has proved their worth and went on to become legends and inspirations of the music industry of the country. So are these songs on your list? Which other music from the 90s became your favorite? Feel free to comment.

Maha Abdul Rehman

A content writer and a psychology major, I procrastinate for 6 months or write consecutively. And I occasionally watch (see: obsess about) Football.

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