dailypeghamKARACHI: If recent trends are anything to go by then things are definitely looking up for the Pakistani music industry. Live performances gradually seem to be making a welcome comeback, albeit through music festivals. However, it is the emergence of music streaming portals that have been the real game-changers. Only 10 days after its release, Abrar Ul Haq’s latest album Aithay Rakh has already garnered over a million streams on Taazi.

Talking to The Express Tribune, Taazi founder and former Awaz vocalist Haroon said, “This is a new record for Taazi. Even though the Coke Studio [Season 8] album crossed a million streams on our platform, it took three months to do so.”

Abrar Ul Haq is back with a bangra

He added that Aithay Rakh achieved the feat in record time, becoming the fastest studio album to reach the milestone on the portal. “This is great news, not just for platforms like Taazi or Patari, but for the entire music industry,” he said, adding, “There was this belief that audiences weren’t interested in Pakistani music anymore but this is proves the notion wrong.”

Sharing some more statistics, Haroon explained that Aithay Rakh has been downloaded over 20,000 times and is currently featured on different charts on the portal. Four songs from the 10-track album are in the Top 10 of Taazi’s Daily charts, with the single, Billo 2, leading the list.

Time for Taazi’s baazi

According to Haroon, the album actually benefited from a change in strategy. “We knew that in order to make an impact we would have to think outside the box and shake things up a bit. For the album launch, we entered in a media partnership with a TV network and the resulting publicity made a massive difference.”

Despite being released on multiple international platforms, the album performed exceedingly well on the local music portal. “Aithay Rakh was also released on Spotify, iTunes and Saavn. While they have streams in the thousands, Taazi has over a million plays.”

As is the case with most music streaming portals, Abrar will benefit from the stream count in the form of royalty payments. Elaborating on how the musician will be remunerated, Haroon said, “He [Abrar] will be paid for both downloads as well as the streams.

Making music-streaming mainstream

In an earlier interview, Abrar had shared why he decided to release an album after nearly a decade. “My songs are my identity and I am proud of the fact that they reflect my love for my country,” said the Billo singer. “Pakistan has a rich culture but it is indeed a tragedy to see other languages slowly replace our own. There is a strong influence of Hindi on our people; I’ve come across common people frequently using Hindi words in their conversation without realising it.”

The musician considers his latest album a service to the different languages spoken in the country and hopes that people will acknowledge his effort.