Pakistan’s First Girl Pop Band Creates Waves
A Pakistani all-girl pop band – Zeb and Haniya – is creating quite a stir with the Pakistani youth. They recently debuted their first album Chup (“Quiet” in Urdu) much to their delight as it was hailed by all major Pakistani reviewers. Breaking stereotypes, Zeb and Haniya are becoming a living and vivid example of how much more there is to the Pashtun sensibility than the images of gun-toting renegades. Their music is soft with a lot of blues influence and some eclectic pop flavour. That may account for all the hype surrounding Zeb and Haniya, Pakistan’s first all-female music band. Despite the growing threat of Talibanisation across the country, most Pakistanis remain a liberal and tolerant lot. For women it is another matter altogether – raised eyebrows are the least possible obstacle. Some have broken the barrier, none more so than the late Nazia Hassan, who took the sub-continental music scene by storm with her pop music in the early 1980s. But, like all other professions in the country, music remains male-dominated. “Pakistani women do face problems and discrimination, but I think we are strong enough to stand up for ourselves. “As musicians, I think this is especially clear when people get to know we are from Pakistan.” While the girls work as a team when it comes to the music, Zeb says Haniya is the main music writer and sings in a few of the songs on the album. So far they seem to have struck all the right chords as the praise keeps on coming from the media.