Zeb and Haniya in the “Herald Annual Issue: Class of 2008”

January 24, 2009

Zeb and Haniya wrote on January 22, 2009 at 9:03am
Cover story: Class of 2008
New Kids on the Block

Everyone will tell you they think Woody Allen is a genius but few of them will have his films in their film collections. Zeb and Haniya, in that sense, remind one of Woody Allen. Indeed, the press attention this duo had received has been nothing short of extraordinary and in an even more unusual occurrence, the most artistic musicians in the country have lent a hand in producing their music.

However, despite the fact that the press is making them out to be a national phenomenon, that isn’t the case, yet. Their music is too layered, too folksy and too bluesy to be understood by eardrums used to simpler fare. But what beautiful music it is: Zeb has a glorious and powerfully-understated voice and Haniya is a fitting accompaniment with her clean guitar-playing skills.Some of the hype surrounding them distracts from the real beauty in their music. As Pakhtun women, the torch of progress is forced upon them but their origins are incidental. What they need to be seen as is the new creative face that has changed Urdu pop. There was a time when people thought Urdu could not lend itself to rock, but then Junoon came along and changed the rules. With Zeb and Haniya, the same has been done: a new canon of folk rock, jazz-influenced numbers and blues in Urdu has been created. That’s a lot for a debut album. F. Z.

Album review
Zeb and Haniya’s Chup.
It struck a high note with us because: The duo not only created a fresh, distinct sound but also pulled it off with great proficiency. The infusion of jazz with soft rock and Eastern elements has never before been heard in mainstream Pakistani music. The album does more than just live up to the hype built up before the launch. With excellent compositions, arrangements and good vocals, Chup is something to shout about.

Most hummable tracks:
“Chal Diye” and “Aitebar”

Tariq Amin, testimonial: “I enjoyed listening to Zeb and Haniya’s album Chup. They are original and talented artists. With the dearth of female artists in the country, it was refreshing when Zeb and Haniya gained popularity. Their music has a definite and distinct sound and it’s different from the pop music that is prevalent these days.”

Source: Zeb and Haniya’s Facebook