Junoon 25 to feature many great artists

The Express Tribune in an article on Salman Ahmad:

The release of Rhythm in February coincides with the 25th anniversary of Junoon’s music. Salman’s plans for the year include another local film project, alongside Ali Zafar and Humayun Saeed. There is also a new, silver jubilee album being recorded at producer Shahi Hasan’s studio, as part of the Junoon 25 celebrations. “The album features special guests like Ali Zafar, Strings, Outlandish, Peter Gabriel, Morten Harket, Shubha Mudgal, Sunidhi and more,” shared Salman. “It has some of Junoon’s golden hits as well. I am also in talks with AR Rahman — let’s see what happens.”

As is common in the case with stories on Junoon, the article focuses on whether the band will reunite. As great as that will be, there is something to be said about being able to enjoy bands in the time they were together, and being okay with their eventual ends. Most bands stop working together eventually. Most people switch jobs. It’s how we live. Sometimes we fight, sometimes we’re tired, other times we just want to move on. But it doesn’t make our time together any less meaningful.

Regardless of what Brian, Ali and Salman choose to do in the future, their time together, along with their many collaborators (Nusrat Hussain, Fifi Haroon, Samina Ahmad, Sabir Zafar and more) will always be special to us. And while it is heartwarming to see them together when they are so, the solo careers of Junoon’s members have given us many great gems. Arguably it is music that we wouldn’t have received had Junoon remained together.

In fact had Junoon continued to play it is likely that Ali Azmat may never have needed to build a band of his own, a band that would play on Klashinfolk, comprising Omran, Mannu and Gumby, a band that would then form the underpinning of Coke Studio. You can extract countless narratives like this from the end of Junoon.

Point being that as much as I like Junoon in the form that we remember it, I like to see musicians play. And I like to see them at peace with themselves, and if the end of Junoon’s traditional lineup gave them that, that is what they, and we, needed.

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