"This time, the focus is on the Balochi language"
Aima Baig and Sahir Ali Bagga have collaborated for their new track ‘Washmallay’.
The song and accompanying music video were released on March 1, 2023.
It is their interpretation of the track, having originally been a folk song.
Listeners will want to dance after hearing the song’s melody, regardless of the version you are listening to.
Traditionally a wedding song, ‘Washmallay’ is sung as a tukhbandi (made by randomly joining verses), but Aima and Sahir’s makeover is bold as it includes lyrics in both Urdu and Punjabi, which overlap with the chorus in Balochi.
Both Aima’s enthusiasm and Sahir’s unique voice are contagious.
Due to the song’s infectious beat, there is little doubt that listeners will press “repeat” when listening to it.
The track exudes good vibes to encourage listeners to feel happy and positive after watching its colourful music video too.
Yet, their improvised poetic style and Balochi pronunciation are somewhat lacking.
Sahir Ali Bagga has previously hailed the song as his most “ambitious project to date” in a press release.
And he was correct; altering a song that is so intrinsically linked to the Balochi way of life is certain to put a lot of strain on the performers, especially if they aren’t Baloch or haven’t hired a translator to interpret the words for them.
The attempt by Aima and Sahir may also be considered cultural appropriation.
The artists have previously stated that their intention is only to “highlight the cultural diversity of Pakistan”.
According to Sahir, ‘Washmallay’ is his “tribute to the Balochi language – compliments of a Punjabi”.
In a statement, Sahir said: “No one can deny that I’ve always been about highlighting all the incredible cultures that reside within our great country.
“I’ve been delivering Punjabi hits for a long time. This time, the focus is on the Balochi language and culture with all the musical sweetness of Punjabi.”
Meanwhile, Aima Baig said: “Fans may think of ‘Washmallay’ as just another wedding number. Believe me, it’s not. ‘Washmallay’ is about all cultural diversity.
“It’s a celebration of the various arts, crafts and cultures.
“And I can’t wait for our fans to share their reactions to the song.”
Director Adnan Qazi relayed what a great honour it has been for him to direct the song’s music video.
He said: “The different colours you are seeing in the video, they represent togetherness.
“The video carries a great message. I’m glad that I got to direct ‘Washmallay’.”