Fifteen years after its first season premiered in 2002, renowned music platform Pepsi Battle of the Bands returned to the limelight in 2017. During those fifteen years, it was noted that the music band culture had lost its essence and the return battle marked the re-emergence of pop culture in the country.
Of course, we, the fans, audiences and critics, are nothing but ecstatic.
Over the years, the competition has provided a plethora of talented bands with the platform to make their way into the music industry. Unfortunately, after the first season concluded, the competition suffered a setback in the early 2000s due to the security situation in the country.
Pepsi BoB has given us some amazing talent in its first and second season and as the third season is underway, it is no surprise that despite the tough competition, a lot of great talent has surfaced since the beginning of the battle.
Before the finale of the third season, let’s take a rundown of the 4 bands that the competition gave us in its previous seasons
1 – Aaroh
Aaroh, an alternative rock band hailing from Karachi was formed in 1998 and named by Shoaib Mansoor. The band was founded by keyboardist Kamran Khan and lead guitarist Nabeel Nihal who were joined by, vocalist Farooq Ahmed, bassist Khalid Khan and drummer Adnan Hussain. The band achieved fame through Pepsi BoB as they performed on songs like Sawaal, Aag Ki Tarhan and also covering the Vital Signs song, Ajnabi.
In September 2003, Aaroh released their debut album Sawaal, with Jason Anthony on drums. In 2006, they released their second studio album Raag Neela, followed by a new single Mera Pyar in 2013.
In August 2017, Aaroh released a teaser of their new track titled Jeet Banjae Apna Nishaan which was released on February 2018 titled as Jeet and was a tribute to the Pakistan Super League.
Here is a performance by Aaroh during the BoB.
2 – Entity Paradigm (EP)
EP is an alternative metal band from Lahore and was formed in 2000. The band was founded by Zulfiqar J Khan (Xulfi), Fawad Khan and Ahmed Ali Butt who were soon joined by Salman Albert on guitars, Abid Khan on drums, Hassaan Khalid on rhythm guitars and Waqar Ahmed on drums. The band is one of the pioneering mainstream rock bands in the Pakistani music industry.
They released their debut album Irtiqa in 2003. However, in 2007, much to their fans disappointment, EP announced that the band members have decided to part ways as the members were aiming to pursue different projects. Their songs including Kahan Hai Tu, Humein Aazama and Waqt remain popular to date.
In 2009, the band announced their official comeback with Fawad Khan and Ahmed Ali Butt in leading positions. However, two of the main members of the band, Zulfiqar J Khan and Sajjad A Khan were unable to be part of the comeback due to other commitments.
In 2017 during the Pepsi BoB season 2 finale, the band came together to perform Kahan Hai Tu and left the audience wanting more.
3 – Kashmir
Kashmir is an alternative rock band from Karachi and winners of Pepsi BoB Season 2.
Formed in 2012, the band played for various shows across the country prior to the competition. Their stage presence was one of the best among all bands. The band consists of Bilal Ali (vocalist), Vais Khan (lead guitarist), Usman Siddiqui (bass guitarist), Shane J Anthoney (drummer), Zair Zaki (rhythm guitarist), and Ali Raza (keyboardist).
They also won the Lux Style Award for Best Emerging Talent (Music) 2017 for their song Kaaghaz Ka Jahaaz.
After winning the Pepsi Battle of the Bands, Kashmir released Pareshaaniyan and Khwab on their YouTube and SoundCloud channel. Moreover, they have been associated with mainstream brands like Outfitters and Pepsi itself for various campaigns.
4 – Badnaam
Though Badnaam as a band has existed for more than a decade now, they only catapulted into the limelight after their participation in Pepsi BoB Season 2. The name was inspired from Bulleh Shah’s poetry, “Apay hoeyo badnaam, jinnay pita Ishq da jam”.
The members include Ahmed Jilani on vocals/guitar, Raheem Shahbaz on bass and Lala Ahsan on drums
The sufi-rock band gained popularity because of their unique way of performing along with the inclusion of strong vocals.
This band holds the drive of early Skillet numbers and their blend of modern rock with sufiana kalaam has managed to help them gain popularity. Their rendition of Kaala Jora, Alif Allah and originals like Khawaja Ki Deewani have delighted their fans and audiences.
They recently launched their debut album and continue to dominate the music industry with their unique way of music.
As the third season nears its finale, we can only hope for the best team to win, because if its up to us to pick one, they’d all be winners.