KARACHI: The first female Balochi rapper, Eva B, along with vocalist Wahab Bugti and lead vocalist and lyricist Kaifi Khalil through a beautifully crafted track, Kaana Yari, has defied the odds and pushed the boundaries of Pakistan’s rap culture known to be dominated by Punjabi hits.

The Balochi song is the second track Coke Studio’s new season has offered to music lovers across the world after Abida Perveen and Naseebo Lal’s Tu Jhoom.

Featuring the hijab-wearing rapper from Lyari, Kaana Yari has been among YouTube’s top trending videos with as many as 3.2 million views on the third day of its release. It was released on Wednesday.

The song not only shows cultural diversity with a mix of characters but also fuses traditional and modern sounds. As it has been written in Balochi language, music enthusiasts despite being unable to understand the lyrics enjoyed the music composed by Kaifi Khalil and produced by Xulfi, though subtitles were added later to the video song.

Kaana Yari is a second gem from Coke Studio’s 14th season after Tu Jhoom

“It was Xulfi who thought there’s no reason a Balochi pop song can’t have the same global appeal as a K-Pop song (he calls it B-Pop),” tweeted Abdullah Siddiqui, the electro-pop prodigy who has been working as associate producer for Coke Studio this season, while posting a clip of the song on Twitter.

In the video, the veiled, magnetic Eva B, who enjoys keeping her identity anonymous, is dressed in orange. According to her, the pseudonym makes her feel anonymous yet empowered.

In an earlier interview with Patari, she highlighted the meaning behind her name: Eva is a tribute to the first woman on Earth, Eve, whereas the letter ‘B’ represents her Baloch identity.

Speaking to Coke Studio, the rapper recently shared how she was attracted to rap songs after listening to a number by Eminem. “I was blown away and fascinated by what I had heard. I went on to ask my friends what this music is really about. I never thought that music could be like this,” she said.

Explaining the complexities of love, friendship and betrayal, the song has a direct message for listeners with the oft-repeated line: “They befriend you and then betray you, there is no sign of love here.”

Published in Dawn, January 23rd, 2022

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