“If music be the food of love play on…”
Taher Shah rather took to heart, mind and soul, what Duke Orsino of Shakespeare’s play, Twelfth Night once said. Taher Shah is the emerging pop sensation. He is a Pakistani, born in Sindh. In case you just found out who he is, don’t trust his official website because while it says that he is a businessman by profession, it claims 3 world record titles to his name. Most important, the data dates back to 2013, when he had the sole debut release entitled Eye to Eye (2013). I was an undergraduate then, when I heard the song and I thought maybe I am immature and so this all pleasing white, the wild haired man, his smile, his sensational eyes, his diction, his lyrics, his white shoes that step onscreen as the music plays in the background score, his white suit, his broche and his repeatedly projected features that flash on and off went beyond my comprehension!
Years later, with another colourful release, Angel (2016), Taher Shah has come back to the popular imagination. I switched on the video, the cyber world has recognised him well within these years for the first content after the search option was Taher Shah’s Angel, clouds float in the sky, white against the blue, and down below in the greens, amidst the passage walks someone in a purple robe, stiff silver wings tied to the person’s shoulder.
And I am surprised, what repetition during the song eye to eye… this eye… That eye… my eye… Her eyes… eyes… eyes went on for 4:57 seconds, was simply replaced with a little different diction by angel… angel… little, big… mankind’s angel… his angel, her angel.. and the angel, the smaller angel and a lady angel kept trodding on the green grass in shades of purple, blue and white with tiaras on their head, and a wand in the hand for 5;44 seconds!
After the confusion and amazement in my mind stormed me, I thought to check what the world around me feels for this emerging sensation, and I could not stop laughing at the comments that followed the video. Everywhere on twitter, Facebook and YouTube, Taher Shah keeps flooding, people mock at his over confidence, his attire, his English and his profile, everything about him is so unusual. But then, it takes courage to dress up and aesthetically adorn the so called English lyrics with external colours and setting. His songs conceal within them the deep philosophies, which Shah explains on his official site. The otherwise bizarre English and unusual costume gets a rationale when Tahir Shah tries to explain the whatsoever philosophy of pure love and pure soul. Tweets about him come from a very wide domain of celebrities, stars and mango people listen to him alike, deciphering the sense in between the lines that he sings, while Twinkle Khanna calls him, “purple bomb”. Ranveer Singh dubsmashed his video eye to eye, wearing the same dress and the same lock with a similar backdrop! People in Pakistan feel contended to have something other than terrorist attacks and violence as the current identity trend of their nation. Before associating music with art and Shah’s English song to the purpose it might dictate, one thing that is clear is his music begins the era of non-sense lyrics, vacate your mind, numb your sensation for now we have the emerging non-sensical music to greet…
First of all, there has to be an acknowledgement of the fact that he is a successful businessman. The way he projects himself in this video is not the way he actually is. Why does he do it then? While it is not very clear, Taher Shah’s popularity on the social media (including jokes portraying him as the epitome of confidence) does say something about our society. A whole new realm of affect has been inaugurated by the domain of new media to challenge earlier notions of scrutiny and judgement before publication. From this affect, one can only abstract the idea of ‘proclivity’ and claim that it is the new ‘cool’.
(Image Courtesy: Flickr)