Not a newcomer
to music, Khiza has been around in the music business for over 14
years, with various projects with many artistes world over under
his belt. But it is his collaborative effort with Hadiqa that has
put him on the Pakistani music map.
His first proper release in Pakistan, namely Mehr Ma (also the album
name) is an amalgamation of upbeat, catchy and desi, dance numbers.
Even though, the album hasn't fared well in the local music scene,
it is a very decent album to say the least.
Moving onto the album, one finds various artistes who are unknown
on this side of the world. Other than our original pop queen, Hadiqa,
there is Suman, Shahzad Raza and Elephant Man, all of whom have
done well for themselves in the UK Bhangra music scene.
'Mehr Ma', which starts off the album is easily the best track on
it. With Hadiqa showcasing her top-notch vocals and the music, which
remains hip-hopish yet very desi, thanks to the usage of sitar,
tabla makes it an excellent number. Next up is 'Yaad', which features
Master Rakesh on vocals. This is actually the only all-desi anthem
on the album. This is another vibrant number, almost infectious
that makes one want to hit the dance floor. Master Rakesh first
came onto the scene in 2004 and became a hit after releasing a single,
'Kangna' from the album Unda Da Influence.
Even better is 'Jaane-e-Jaanan', where Shahzad Raza's impeachable
vocal range is used to full effect. Then there is absolutely commercial
yet hit number, 'Deewana' from Khiza's previous album, Loyal to
the Game that fits like a perfect piece in a jigsaw puzzle. It made
it big when it was first released and even though, this is a different
album, this song manages to make an impact on the listener.
Disappointment comes in the form of 'Baby I', sung by Ray. The biggest
problem with this number is that it seems heavily inspired from
desi-hit boy Raghav. Sung in English, it is a creative number but
remains a reminder of Raghav and hence, that gives it a minus point.
The only plus point 'Baby I' gets is because of Ray, the singer
who breathes life through his bouncy, playful vocals.
Catering to bhangra lovers is 'Dil Mang Di' which gives Pavan Pali
a chance to showcase her vocal range and she does a fabulous job!
Another bhangra beat comes in the form of 'Fighting Feeling', which
features Joginder on vocals. With a tinge of flute, 'Fighting Feeling'
is a mellow number amongst a plethora of hard-hitting, dance-friendly
Other than 'Mehr Ma', one high point of the album is Khiza's old
mate Suman (her debut album is currently in the making with Khiza
backing up the production work) who is featured on 5 tracks. Suman
is a very talented singer and she establishes this fact by bringing
life to tracks such as 'Desi Tune' where she raps, gasps and ultimately
switches to Punjabi verses with equal power and conviction. She's
sultry at times, very hip-hopish at others and is the one singer
who can Veronica, another favourite in UK music scene a run for
her money. And here it must be said that Khiza's production quality
dominated this tune to the last degree. This is definitely a winner!
Critically speaking, the fact that Veronica's album Theen created
a boom all over was because of the big label it carried and also
the production team with big names like Juggy D, Jay Sean and Rishi
Rich which eventually elevated her to Bollywood (Kya Cool Hai Hum).
With Khiza producing Suman's album, one can expect the same success
for Suman as well.
Speaking of her, another great track is 'Don't You Know', an upbeat
number, whose video was recently released. The video is also a lot
of fun as one see Suman expressing her love for a man via a cell
phone while Khiza advises her and sings, "Dheere Dheere Pass
Anaa/, 'Mene Tujhse Kuch Hai Kehna/Don't You Know That I love You
The interesting thing about this album is that one can see a clear,
cohesive thought behind it. The beats are fun, the melodies are
decent and some are quite addictive. The most important thing about
Mehr Ma is that it doesn't attempt all genres at the same time.
Simply put, it is a desi album that works solely because of its
The production quality of this album surpasses all expectations.
It seems that Khiza has rectified nearly all errors that plagued
his last commercial album, Game Over. Tracks like 'Mehr Ma', 'Don't
You Know', 'Desi Tune' and 'Fighting Feeling' are masterfully produced
and Khiza definitely deserves all the applause. One can see him
nearly matching the standards of some of the big names in production
like DJ Guru, Rishi Rich, RDB and Raghav.
The release of Mehr Ma in a country like Pakistan where UK bhangra
music is still in its birth stages is quite a brave move. Though
it has been gaining popularity in recent times with Canadian-based
band Josh making quite a wave, yet the progress is comparatively
slow if we witness the scene across the border.
An album released in UK reaches Pakistan as late as 3 to 4 months
unless it belongs to the Hindi film genre. Maybe that's the reason
before the album got launched, most of the people were unaware of
even the name of Khiza. In fact even the marketing strategy has
been carried out this way. On the cover, you won't find Khiza anywhere,
which is dominated by the funky looking Hadiqa Kiyani. Market surveys
show that the cd is not doing too well and even the little business
it has done is because the album cover features Hadiqa holding the
microphone. This marketing stint even led to rumours that it was
Hadiqa Kiyani who is finally out with a new album. Folks, that is
definitely not the case!
Mehr Ma contains really marvellous songs and buying this album will
be money well spent!
****Just get it
***Maybe maybe not
the best song
*Forget that this was made