KARACHI colours: Strings are still alive and kicking
By Khurrum Anis
The Strings’ lead vocalist, Faisal Kapadia, has denied that the band has gone (once again) into “hibernation”.
“I cannot believe people are saying this. It’s simply preposterous. My band is very much in the limelight, and the reason we’re not making many sounds is because we are working on our new album. But that doesn’t mean that we’re sleeping and not doing any work,” said Mr Kapadia.
Strings was very vocal during the days leading up to the recently concluded Cricket World Cup. As the official band of our national team, they teamed up with their sponsors to engage in a full-scale hyping campaign. Television appearances, shows, songs and other public gigs kept the people’s enthusiasm alive about the band.
“We were always in the limelight. Since we launched ‘Sur ki yeh bahar’, we have done our part relatively well where public affairs are concerned,” he commented. Strings, which went into a 10-year hibernation during 1991-92, made an astounding comeback when Faisal and Bilal released “Duur”.
Both boys had quitted the professional circuit back then to complete their studies. And once the degrees were in the bag, they made their professional comeback. With “Duur”, Strings reinitiated an era where both Faisal and Bilal dominated the 2000 scene.
Other groups, which were already established, found it hard to compete with them during that era as their album not only touched the top of the charts in Pakistan but also found a niche in India.
Mr Kapadia said: “We have done lots of concerts so far. After ‘Duur’ we did shows in Pakistan and around the world. Of the most prominent ones, we did the V Channel awards show and we even took part in international music festivals across Europe and the Gulf.”
He justifies his group’s performance saying that they were the most aired and viewed group on any given channel inside Pakistan during the last six months. “The past half a year we had done countless shows around the country, especially in Karachi. In schools, colleges - you name it - all these shows were part of the World Cup build-up hype. And to top it all, we even performed at the Indo-Pakistan World Cup match,” he said.
Asked why the band was not doing shows after that, he said: “We are busy with our new album which, God willing, will be released in July.” He also said that a band’s popularity should not be based on shows only. “There are albums to release, videos to shoot and other technical stuff attached with the entire process that has to be handled as well. Shows are important but they’re not the only thing.”
Mr Kapadia was also of the view that with the recent world happenings, most prominently the September 9/11 incident and the American-led invasion of Iraq, were the main reasons whey shows had taken a backseat. While he supports the idea of “a lot of concerts” he, nevertheless, believes that political and social events should also be taken into consideration for any kind of planning.
“Whether it’s a show or even recording everything has to be properly planned,” he added.