Zohaib Kazi’s Ismail Ka Urdu Sheher

In case you missed it over the holidays, Zohaib Kazi’s album is out in full. The album features a roving cast of Karachi’s best musicians: Jaffer Zaidi, Zoe Viccaji, Sara Haider, Omran Shafique, Abbas Ali Khan among other.

The record was released with an accompanying graphic novel, and is a sketch of space, of the future, of the unchartered – most importantly of something new and different. In its newness the album retains a familiarity of early 2000s Pakistani pop. It has spiritual links to Coke Studio, as it does to Junoon’s Piya and to Vital Signs’ Hum Tum. This is an album of sound-scapes, but it still makes still, for great pop.

Kazi’s journey to this point is quite remarkable, and there is no doubt now that he ranks among the country’s best record producers.

This is Ahmer Naqvi in a profile on Kazi for the National:

In what was the first of many serendipitous moments, a friend noticed that three of the tracks he had made seemed to be hinting at a larger vision, and he encouraged Kazi to pursue it. Those three songs were part of a film soundtrack Zohaib was working on that had only one problem – there wasn’t any film. iphone 5s replacement screen Spurred by his friend’s encouragement, he decided to start writing the story he had wanted to be filmed.

Almost three years later, Kazi mailed a CD with one of his songs to Rohail Hyatt, one of Pakistan’s most acclaimed musicians and, at that time, the producer of the show that would define the last decade of Pakistani music – Coke Studio.


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