A screenshot from Sajni’s video Strings needs no introduction. The band has been entertaining audiences with their music for the past 30 years. With hits like Chaaye Chaaye, Dhaani and Anjane under their belt as well as having their presence felt in the international market with their song Na Jaane Kyun for the 2004 film Spider Man 2 as well as a number of songs in Bollywood, the band has a global fan following. After serving as music producers for the internationally acclaimed Coke Studio for 4 seasons, the band left Coke Studio following the tenth season to concentrate on their own music. After the Coke Studio venture, a number of concerts took place in different metropolitan cities of Pakistan to mark the band’s official return with hints of a new album dropping by soon. On 2nd March 2018, the band finally released a teaser of one of their upcoming songs titled Sajni. Sajni is one of the first eight songs from their upcoming album titled 30 which is a celebration basically of Strings who have existed in the Pakistani music scene for the last 30 years. Strings was originally formed in 1988 with Faisal Kapadia, Bilal Maqsood, Rafiq Wazir Ali and Kareem Bashir Bhoy. The students from the Government College of Commerce and Economics in Karachi gained exposure through Ghaznafar Ali’s show Music Channel Charts. This followed the band being signed with EMI Pakistan having released their first and second album titled Strings and 2 under the label. In 1992 following the music video release of Sar Kiye Pahar which was directed by Bilal Maqsood, the band split up concentrating on their personal lives. However, Sar Kiye Pahar turned out to be a blessing in disguise for the band as it was one of the few Pakistani music videos to get air time on MTV Asia – a big deal at the time. Other Pakistani music videos that appeared on MTV Asia were Awaz’s Janeman and Yatagan’s Bhangra Rap. In 1999, Strings decided to make a comeback but this time with only Faisal Kapadia and Bilal Maqsood. Their first song Duur from the album of the same name was released in 2000 and the music video of the song was directed by Jamshed Mehmood aka Jami. The album Duur was released the same year and it was released at a time when the Pakistani music industry was enjoying its peak with bands like EP, Aaroh, Noori, Call, Mekaal Hasan Band and Mizraab among many others emerging. Duur also received a lot of attention in neighboring India and Strings gained a following there. The band also bagged a number of awards such as The MTV Asia Awards, Lux Style Awards, The Musik Awards and The Indus Music Awards to name a few. For much of the 2000s Strings enjoyed a lot of popularity. From singing world cup anthems such as Hai Koi Hum Jaisa for the 2003 ICC Cricket World Cup and collaborating with Indian band Euphoria for Jeet Lo Dil which was the official anthem for the Indian cricket team’s tour of Pakistan from 2003 to 2004 to singing their songs Zinda and Akhri Alvida for the Bollywood films Zinda and Shootout at Lokhandwala respectively, everything was going in the right direction for the band. The band also bagged a number of awards such as The MTV Asia Awards, Lux Style Awards, The Musik Awards and The Indus Music Awards to name a few. But one of the most remarkable chapters came in the band’s life and to everyone’s surprise – even to Strings themselves – was when the band was asked to do a song for the Indian version of the soundtrack of the 2004 film Spider-man 2. The band chose Najane Kyun from their fourth album Dhaani and it gained the duo more fame than ever before. By 2008, the music industry had gradually become nonexistent due to the security situation in the country as well as the threat of piracy and news channels becoming the new form of entertainment; however, Strings took a risk and released their fifth album Koi Aanay Walay Hai. The album was released by Fire Records in Pakistan and Sony BMG internationally. The music video of the same name starred Bollywood actor John Abraham. Both the music video and the album received positive reviews. Strings was also one of the first bands to be featured on Coke Studio performing renditions of their songs in the first two seasons and collaborating with other artists. Strings took advantage of their popularity and decided to raise awareness among the social issues which Pakistan was faced with and still is. In 2010, they released Ab Khud Kuch Karna Parega, which focused on the violence taking place in Pakistan during that time. The song was nominated for Lux Style Awards the next year. In 2011, they released another single titled Mein Tou Dekhonga which focused on the issue of children’s education in Pakistan. The band also had a busy schedule performing at different venues not only in Pakistan but abroad as well. In 2011, the band became the brand ambassadors for Levi’s Pakistan and released renditions of their songs Mera Bichra Yaar with Zoe Viccaji and Anjane with Zoe Viccaji and Bilal Khan. Both Bilal Khan and Zoe Viccaji were newcomers at the time. In 2013, the band performed two new songs on the short-lived music show Pepsi Smash, produced by Farhad Humayun of Overload. The two songs were Jeevan and Sajni – the latter being the first song to be released from the band’s upcoming album 30. The same year Strings were chosen as judges for the music show Cornetto Music Icons alongside Meesha Shafi, Shahi Hasan, Ali Azmat and Alamgir. The next year, Strings took over the role as music producers of Coke Studio Pakistan following Rohail Hyatt’s departure. The duo served as music producers from Season 7 till Season 10. They then left Coke Studio after the tenth season and decided to concentrate on the band themselves. On 17th March 2018, the band released Sajni accompanied by a music video. The music video is ubiquitous in the sense that it feels like it’s way ahead of its time. At the same time, the use of the props like the dial up phone, and the red car, transports one back to the 1980s – the band’s early days. Sajni is a signature Strings track and is a good start to the band’s 30 year anniversary. Although the song was also performed on Pepsi Smash, this version feels different and is kind of nostalgic because of the way perhaps it was promoted on the band’s social media platforms. Sajni gives a mellow sound because the song is just so soft, but in a perfect sense. The lyrics completely match with the sound of the audio; after all the lyrics are by none other than the legendary Anwar Maqsood. The music video was directed by Yasir Jaswal. Mo Azmi was the director of photography; the production was done by Waqas Hassan, the production stylist was Munib Nawaz, the art director was Tanya Mirza and Muhammad Ishaq Nazir was responsible for the mixing – each adding the right amount of flavour to Sajni to make it a lovely listen. The music video is ubiquitous in the sense that it feels like it’s way ahead of its time. At the same time, the use of the props like the dial up phone, and the red car, transports one back to the 1980s – the band’s early days. Strings currently comprises of Faisal Kapadia, Bilal Maqsood, Ahad Nayani, Haider Ali, Adeel Ali and Bradley D’Souza. With Sajni, the band is off to a strong reboot and one cannot anticipate what Strings have in store for their fans as the other 7 songs, unlike Sajni, are all new and never heard before. The band’s much awaited album 30 will release at the end of this year as confirmed by Strings on their live Facebook chat.