Latest: Aashir Wajahat, NAYEL and Nehaal Naseem’s viral song | The Express Tribune

Since its February 2 premiere, the song has amassed 3.8 million views on YouTube and has found cross-border fame


You might have heard it in Insta reels. In the backdrop of Rani Mukherjee flaunting a black saree. As a catchy companion to Ayushmann Khurrana’s recent photoshoot montage in an IG Story. And you must have definitely heard this tune if you inhabit the spontaneous corners of TikTok where all life needs a background score.

Speaking from this virality standpoint, the sibling duo Aashir Wajahat and NAYEL’s Sadqay is already a success. A collaboration with Ijazat singer Nehaal Naseem, the roughly three-minute-long track dropped with a polished music video on YouTube on February 2. Since its release, Sadqay has collected an impressive 3.8 million eyeballs while climbing to the top trending on Spotify.

But what is there to love? Courtesy of our multi-platform terminally digital milieu, Sadqay like many other contemporary offerings, has a different race to run on different social media forums. In short-form content, on both TikTok and Instagram, the song mainly courts its success dressed in what you may call a chorus (or a third chorus to denote what follows after the second verse), which finds an unexpected sonic resemblance in Rahat Fateh Ali Khan’s 2016 Shukriya Pakistan.

It’s almost as if the 7-year-old track penned as an homage to Pakistan on its Day of Independence finds a ghostly second life, in the same key, just a different tempo, in a song about love and friend zones. For the streamers, on the other hand, the song’s ambitions extend beyond catchy choruses (or at least they should).

Aashir, Nayel and Nehaal come together to make what could have been just as exciting and novel as the romantic gremlins plaguing the Gen Z. Despite reasonable production choices, the track falls prey to an uninspired composition.

Initially, the song entices with crisp classical guitar-esque chords, hinting at some musical finesse. The eventual intrusion of an electronic beat does not disrupt the delicate equilibrium, even when it feels a little much in the face and imposed over the guitar. While the harmonium’s presence strives to lend a pleasant touch, its melody has some glaring issues to note, but that’s a topic for later.

Vocal performances, on the other hand, feel just alright, executed well enough to carry the weight of the song with some obvious reliance on high-end post-production wizardry. For all their neat presentation, the vocal melodies lack infectious hooks or at least some sense of demarcation that would set it aside from other fish in the sea.

For those more visually inclined, the accompanying music video is not a bad attempt at all. The art direction and set design are genuinely commendable and play out the madness of a lover condemned to the gallows of a friend zone. From a snake let loose to watching his crush romance his friend on a sturdy, old-school television, Nayel’s desperation follows a satisfying editing flow as he pines after Nehaal.

The visual effects, too, feel quite ‘retro’, especially when a wide angle shot morphs into a frame from Dragon Ball Z. The video exceeds the track, a dramatic dip in a bathtub to drown out sorrows turned comedic as Nayel jumps out soaking to take Nehaal’s call. You get it; there’s seldom an end to the delusions of a lovestruck fool.

Of course, those who might pin more precise expectations on a music video might feel compelled to recall an emerging, disappointing trend in contemporary music marketing. Here, emphasis is placed on cinematic spectacle at the cost of musical substance instead of being a visual component of the track, a misstep that Sadqay is most certainly guilty of.

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