Talent hunt: Rohail Hyatt is looking for minority artists to perform the national anthem

Music producer Rohail Hyatt is on the lookout for suggestions for artists representing Pakistan’s diverse ethnoreligious landscape to sing the country’s national anthem. Taking to Twitter, Hyatt wrote, “I’m looking for singers that best represent their provincial and minority communities in Pakistan. Please share any names and links that come to your mind.”

After a user rescinded with a well-known list of names, including Mai Dhai, Chakwal Group and Akhtar Chanal Zehri, Hyatt clarified that he was looking for more diversity. He wrote, “Looking for representation across the national spectrum to sing the official national anthem. We want to ensure every community gets represented.” 

After a Twitter user urged Hyatt to leave the composition by Ahmed Ghulam Ali Chagla’s unaltered, the producer responded assuring them that “very special consideration” was being given to the original composition.  

The user tweeted in reply to Hyatt’s call for suggestions, “I really hope they don’t destroy the marching rhythm and grand orchestra of Chagla, a great old Pakistani master with equal command over western and Indian classical music. Hafeez Jalandhari’s lyrics are often both debated and lauded, but fewer people talk of Chagla’s genius.”

Hyatt wrote in response, “Chagla sahab was nothing short of genius, indeed. Very special consideration is being given to his original score, which unfortunately is not usually performed exactly as it’s written. The arrangement he has crafted is awe-inspiring. Thank you for your well-placed concern.” 

In March 2021, Hyatt confirmed to The Express Tribune that he had stepped down from producing the upcoming season of Coke Studio, which is now being helmed by Xulfi. 

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