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One of the most reputed bands from across the border, Strings has always strummed the rights chords with the Indian audience. Here’s Nitin Kalra on the band’s glory on the Indian soil.

More than a decade ago one song had rocked the music markets across the Indian subcontinent. A new voice had emerged from somewhere in the heart of neighboring Pakistan. It was called Strings with four young fellows setting out to make a name for themselves through their music that was no less than brilliant. The song was Sar Kiye Yeh Pahar and the result was millions of fans across the world.

Then came a silent lull of almost eight long years. During this time the band disbanded and came together. But now there were only two guys – Faisal and Bilal - who were ready to take on the mantle of proving to the world that they have their strings intact. They worked on an album titled Durr…the songs Durr and Anjane…the result a super hit. Considered to be one of the best launches any Pakistani album had got in India. Strings’ Durr went on to create history breaking records and barriers, entering the hearts of music lovers across India.

“The album Durr brought us ‘paas’ to the Indian audience. We were amazed at the kind of response, the welcome and the hospitality shown to us by our Indian fans. We traveled to several cities in India and we were zapped. We don’t think Pakistanis would have given this warm welcome to any Indian artist. India and Indian people have really won over us by their sheer goodness and acceptance of our talent and music,” says Faisal.

A super hit album, hundreds of concerts and loads of pressure due to massive expectations, Strings had to take a cautious approach to ensure their follow up album to Durr is on par with its success. Did they do this? “No,” narrates Bilal. “We knew we were headed for times where the pressure is going to mount. But we were never afraid. In fact in between Durr and our new album Dhaani we did an album for the Pakistani cricket team, which was a huge success in Pakistan. The success of that album eased out all pressure. But for our Indian fans Dhaani is a follow up of Durr and so far we have been getting fantastic response wherever we have gone”.

Dhaani for Strings is an effort of over three years, over 40 songs and hundreds of tunes. The band never made an effort to sit down and compose for the album. Whatever has come has been a natural creation. “Whenever we get a new sound, a new tune we just keep it with us. Over the last few years we complied over 40 tunes and when we knew we had our material we short listed some tracks and approached our label to release it,” informs Faisal.

In anyway Dhaani is special. Not only because it carries the sound of Strings forward but also because it boasts of a collaborative song with ghazal great Hariharan. The album has also included the track Pal, which the band recorded with Sagarika for Channel [V]’s Jammin.

So Hariharan was a choice? “We wouldn’t say choice but we would say it was only him and no one else. When we created the song Bolo Bolo Faisal and me instantly said in chorus – Hariharan. We knew what we wanted. The pace and the mood of the song needed Hariharan’s voice and we could not do justice to the song without him. We are honoured that he agreed to sing it with us and also agreed to shoot a video with us for the same,” says Bilal.

You can read the rest of our feature on Strings in the June 2004 issue of The Record Music Magazine available at your local newsagent.

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