Alam and Arif Lohar: Jugni

Posted on June 10, 2010
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Music, People, TV, Movies & Theatre
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Adil Najam

Let me repeat something I wrote last year: Rohail Hyatt’s Coke Studio is one of the best things that has happened to Pakistan music in a long time. Needless to say, I remain a big fan. Arieb Azhar’s Husn-i-Haqiqi is something that still mesmerizes me every time I listen to it: and I listen to it every time I can. The big hit from this year’s (Season 3) Coke Studio is Arif Lohar’s (with Meesha Shafi) singing Jugni: “Alif Allah Chambay di Booti

This is an absolutely captivating song from Coke Studio. In many ways this may be the ultimate Coke Studio song. Like so many other Coke Studio productions, but maybe more than most others this song would just not have happened this way were it not for Rohail Hyatt and Coke Studio. The fusion is not just in the instrumentation, the composition and the set, it is in every sound and every placement of emphasis of the song. It remains Arif Lohar’s song to its core, but it would just not have been the same without Meesha Shafi. For all of this one has to thank Arif, Meesha, and of course Rohail.

But in some ways, we must also thank – and remember – Alam Lohar with this song. I have been meaning to write about Alam Lohar for a long time (and let me say, that I still owe him that post). In essence, Alam Lohar was the ultimate showman. A giant in a generation of great folk artists (here, here, here). And the Jugni was one of his signature songs.

I must confess that I have never ever heard anyone sing the Jungni without Alam Lohar’s (Arif’s father, for those who may bot have guessed) sound track playing at the back of my head. For those who are unfamiliar with the great showmanship of that soundtrack, here is a dusty glimpse. The quality is not that good – one just wonders what Alam Lohar could have done in Coke Studio! – but the mastery is all too evident.

If Alam Lohar was alive today, I am sure he would agree that his son has done him proud!

37 responses to “Alam and Arif Lohar: Jugni”

  1. Neha Marshall says:

    Thanks for this beautiful post, which seems relevant and amazing even after 7 years!

    Arif Lohar truly carried forward the mission and legacy of his father Alam Lohar. He took over his costumes, his style and his chimta instruments and spread awareness about Punjabi Sufi and Folk kalam to the masses.

    Jugni remains the catchiest song, which can be downloaded at .html, along with other Sufi Punjabi folks tracks as well as a beautiful Naat Sharif.

  2. daveuk says:

    I was born and bred in the UK. My mother is English and Father from Pakistan. One of the few things he did for me was to make sure I spoke Punjabi and Urdu like a native. Although on a personal level I don’t agree with all the lyrics in the song but the combination of traditional and modern instuments is one of the best I have seen. I have a few comments for some of the earlier posters.

    Dr. Azra .S .Haq
    I wouldn,t call it gyrating, it was just a bit of bopping.

    I’m guessing you’re late teens early twenties on a student visa

    ” It is a Yahoodi conspiracy, I tell you… Gumby the drummer and Zoe Viccaji, one of the backing vocalists are both Christian, and Jaffer Zaidi the keyboard player is Shia… coincidence? No! Put two and two together! Also Zaidi is the son of Nayyara Noor, known to gyrate all over the stage in her day ”

    I don’t think you should point out individuals and their religious persuasions. Yahoodi conspiracy is a term used by us to paste over our own shortcomings. We don’t need Yahoodi conspiracy we are doing quite well ourselves.

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