Describing themselves as a classic example of a ‘network’ coming together to execute, Pakistani band Tamaasha is all about living loudly.
The band made its presence known to the Pakistani audience when it performed a cover of Raag Neela, originally by Aaroh, at the auditions of Pepsi Battle of the Bands.
With a rowdy and energetic sound, the band had originally paraded around in Karachi’s underground circuit as “The Psychonauts”.
Come 2018 and Battle of the Bands, the name Tamaasha was on everyone’s tongue as the band reinvented itself for the singing competition.
“For us making music was all about bringing the audience an energetic performance that ranged from metal to rock to classic funk/blues,” said vocalist Bilal Ahmed.
And that they did.
Karachi’s underground circuit which is already vibrant with metal and rock bands was handed a dose of Tamaasha who brought their showmanship to the table.
The band was formed in early 2013 when Ahmed and guitarist Anas Lutfi met while studying at the Institute of Business Management. They were soon joined by drummer Hyder Ali and bassist Ali Raza with guitarist Zahid Qureshi soon joining the band as they revamped their sound from their university days to what the audience came to know and love now.
Striking the right balance
Influenced by Junoon, Mauj, Rage Against the Machine, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Audioslave, the band has not been afraid to experiment and bring something new.
However, it has not been an easy ride for them.
“Our biggest challenge has definitely been the acceptance of our sound on a commercial, mainstream level and the translation of it in a Pakistani context,” said Lutfi.
“Pakistan listeners are attuned to easy listening and that becomes an obstacle for,” he added.
Tamaasha wowed the judges with their performance of Sajna, Is Parcham Ke Saaye Talay and their original song Roshni among others during the ongoing third season of the Battle of the Bands, each performance garnering them a standing ovation from the judges.
“We tried to strike the right balance of staying true to our influences, and injecting it with enough appeal so that a layman understands it too,” guitarist Qureshi added.
“Understanding a band and developing a market takes time, and that’s a vision that we plan on achieving steadily,” he continued.