Celebrating Pakistan's first cricket World Cup win over India on Sunday, Coke Studio, a Pakistani music platform known for featuring the best talent in the country, has released a new Punjabi rap song, Cricket Khidaiye, featuring Atif Aslam, Faris Shafi and Talal Qureshi.
Atif Aslam dabbles in rap for the first time in the new song and lends his dynamic vocals to an anthem that became an instant hit online while fans celebrated the country's win at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup held in Dubai.
The Pakistani stars performed with a relentless spirit over high-energy, adrenalin-pumping beats in the new music video, which was shot in a stadium with fireworks in the background and visuals of a vintage car racing through the desert.
Omer Ahmed, Aslam's manager, wrote the lyrics for the star's rap debut.
“The first day I went to the studio to see him, I was a bit late,” he recalls, and added that the crew was done for the day. “Nothing was written, it was just the melody.”
Following dawn prayers the next day, he asked God to bless him “in [his] use of expressions and words”, calling to mind “these words from the Quran, which translate to 'help from Allah and a near victory'".
“So, I went to the studio with the same thoughts in my mind and wrote two versions of the track and Coke Studio approved one,” Mr Ahmed said.
The uplifting track aimed to encourage players and stir up Pakistani audiences watching the T20 World Cup around the world.
Cricket fans poured on to the streets across Dubai after the win, chanting national slogans to celebrate their team's rout of India at the World Cup.
“Pakistan sealed the first World Cup win over [neighbouring] India,” said Amaan Akram, a Pakistani national living in Dubai.
“This called for an anthem and none other than my favourite singer Atif Aslam and the brilliant rappers Faris and Talal. It's iconic and an instant hit among Pakistanis worldwide.”
Launched in 2008, Coke Studio Pakistan is an international music franchise that highlights the nation's diversity through collaborations between renowned and emerging talent while also paying homage to the classics and creating fusions and new genres.