Book of Sibt – An album worth listening to

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The Pakistani music industry is filled with gems, who are yet to be explored by the entire world – and Sibti is one of these gems. Being nominated twice for 2012 and 2013 for emerging talent and in 2015 for song of the year in Lux Style Awards, this particular musician has made waves in the local music industry. He was also a part of Uth records’ first season with ramlal.

So I had a chance to have a session with Mohammad Fazli – The Sibti behind the book of Sibt. Here is how it went through:

What’s the concept behind this album?

My album ‘Book of Sibt’ has an anti establishment theme to it. It’s a musical shout out to the current industry standard. Pakistan keeps producing generic, recycled music. Songs have the same subject matter, similar lyrics and the compositions are extremely uninteresting. It is the voice of all the independent musicians who have no real platform to display their music and are ‘doing it themselves’. The album cover itself depicts that no matter what happens, the music is going to go on- even if there isn’t a single platform for us to perform and oceans must be parted to create a gig, we will do it. The track Jhumra speaks exactly of this stuff. It is a big ‘funk you’ to the lobby that keeps circulating gigs and opportunities amongst the already established pop artists that have no real talent. The words are saying thank you, we don’t need you Jhumra, Jhumra being the system and I’m sticking it to them.

What’s the inspiration behind the sound of the album?

Book of Sibt is a completely fresh Rock n Roll sound, never before heard in Pakistan or India, for that matter. It contains songs with totally fresh subject matters and themes such as Chicken Karahi, Hayyiah and Naach. These songs speak about the kind of social issues that no one ever speaks about. It’s a social commentary on our society and things that happen in it. The inspiration was mainly drawn from people and my own experiences and feelings.
The credit for the sound of the record goes mainly to my drummer and bass player. Kami Paul played drums on it. He is a power house of accuracy. Sameer Ahmed played bass. He is the most talented and groovy bass player I have come across in Pakistan. Together they created a strong rhythm section making the songs sound as tight as they do.

Where was it recorded?

Most of the album (5 tracks) was recorded at Digital Fidelity Studios in Lahore. 3 other tracks were previously recorded at different studios. The album took 2 years to finish, way longer than it should have; thanks to the lack of availability of the producer, plus unfair dealings in terms of money. My album was kept hostage for a long time before I finally received the files and that too ultimately was a half hearted effort on the producer’s part. Going to this studio was an unpleasant and much expensive experience for me.

Who were the musicians involved?

The album features a lot of great musicians from Lahore and Karachi. As I’ve mentioned, Kami Paul who plays for Noori played drums. Sameer Ahmed from Coven played bass on 5 tracks. Jasir Abro from Karachi played bass on 3 tracks. Rachel Vicajji from Coke Studio, Shahzad Noor from Poor Rich Boy, Seeret Jafri  and Duck featured on backing vocals. Danish khawaja and Mekaal Hassan played a guitar solo each. I have sang and played guitars on all the songs. It was a great mix of some of the most talented people I have had the opportunity of working with.

When was this album released?

It was released in March 2016 on the internet.

Are there any shows lined up for this album?

Not that I know of, but I’d be happy to play them.

Why is there no other song like Peshawar ka Larki in this album?

Because this is a Rock album and Peshawar ka Larki was just a bonus track in it which was previously released as a single in 2012.

Are you working on something similar?

Yes, there’s more where that came from.

Any new singles or albums lined up?

Yes, songs for a new album are lined up. It’s only a matter of getting into a studio and recording them. I shall get to that soon.

Where do you place yourself in the music industry?

On top of it lol. No, right outside.

My Thoughts

So this is one side of the story. Next, let me tell you what I think. Here it goes. First, I think that this album was given more attention in terms of music than the lyrics. Some of the songs like “Chicken Karahi” have the same lyrics repeating over and over again with endless music. Similarly, “Chotay Ko” is a 2 minute and 22 second song out of which the first 45 seconds is only music, though it is quite fun to listen to. For some of the other songs, this is what I think:

Jhumra – Yes this is a good track, it is conceptual and meaningful now that we know exactly what it is based on. Plus the feel to it is quite amazing. It is something that you would want to listen to a couple of times.

Chicken Karahi – I still don’t get this song. Sorry but I still don’t.

Naach – Has a nice ring to it and the variation that the musicians have given in the track and quite remarkable. But then again, there is more music in this and less lyrics.  Something which is quite a common attribute across most of the songs in this album.

For me, the bonus track “Peshawar Ka Larki” is still the best and personally I was expecting more songs like it from this album. However, this album was able to do justice to the music side of things, but in terms of lyrics and the ability to explain the concept via it, is something that still needs to be worked on.

We wish Sibti best of luck in all future endeavors.

You can listen to the complete album here:

Or follow them on their Facebook page:

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