From navigating the bans to becoming one of the most loved entertainment platforms in the country, TikTok’s journey in Pakistan has been nothing short of remarkable.
They announced themselves in style with their sponsorship of the Pakistan Super League and the Australia series, followed by multiple programmes with the likes of Zindagi Trust, LUMS and Edkasa among others – they haven’t looked back since! While there are still many who are skeptical about the platform, there’s no denying that TikTok is slowly but surely becoming a household name in Pakistan.
One industry that has benefited the most is Pakistan’s music industry. Music in Pakistan has gone through its fair share of ups and downs, but thanks to TikTok, there seems to be a big revival on the horizon. TikTok has emerged as the most powerful platform, promoting Pakistani music, rejuvenating veteran singers, and introducing new musical talent to the world. The online platform with more than a billion users worldwide has formed a brand new constellation of music stars and revived a generation of old stars who had faded out of the once buzzing music scene of Pakistan.
The platform has not just revived music in Pakistan but has also taken Pakistani music to the world.
TikTok’s USP of making content available and accessible to millions of fans around the world, belonging to all socioeconomic classes, makes it the perfect platform for the revival of Pakistani music and there’s already been enough evidence of it – Coke Studio’s Pasoori becoming a trending track on TikTok all over the world serves as a classic example!
Whether they are old melodies and blasts from the past or new and trending beats from current and upcoming artists, TikTok has showcased its power of helping music reach out to millions and millions of fans in Pakistan and beyond. Add to that the opportunities for fans to engage with their favourite music stars and vice versa on the platform, and it is the perfect recipe for success! These are the several reasons why TikTok has swiftly become the go-to platform for Pakistani music artists to take their careers to the next level.
Even the Pakistan Super League successfully leveraged TikTok’s popularity by taking them on board as the Entertainment Partner and collaborated with them for last season’s anthem “Aage Dekh” sung by superstars Atif Aslam and Aima Baig. The song garnered millions of views and creations on the platform, while both Atif and Aima hopped on to the TikTok bandwagon and launched their official profiles as well.
Reigniting Pakistan’s most loved music legends
Despite the country enjoying a happening music scene for three decades – from the 1980s to early 2000s – the shift in the mindset of the listeners as well as the musicians wasn’t as smooth as it should have been. Many great singers like Haroon, Shazia Manzoor, and Humaira Arshad faded away with time, depriving the young generation of their melodious voices.
There was also a lack of interest from the young generation towards more classic genres of folk music represented by the likes of Attaullah Khan Esakhelvi and Naseebo Lal. However, with the arrival of TikTok, all of these living legends did not only get a platform to share their vintage music but also came up with new melodies. Even for legendary veterans like them, there is a strong realization that TikTok is the platform to be on.
Songs can rise up organically on TikTok even if they’ve been outside the mainstream music charts for decades. It has the potential to promote both new releases and songs that have been forgotten. This was witnessed when Ali Zafar’s Jhoom went viral on the platform with more than 800,000 videos created on the audio to breathe a new life into it.
Likewise, Mehbooba by Haroon created a buzz as soon as it was re-released on TikTok. Haroon engaged the fans by inviting them to sing along with him using TikTok’s duet feature. He shared his new song in English on the platform which ended up gaining a lot of traction. A compilation of all his nostalgic songs was also shared on his account, which now has a new audience because of the short-video platform.
Bilal Khan is another star name from the music industry who regularly makes duets inviting other content creators on the platform to sing with him. He has made more than 45 song duets up until now. His frequent collaboration with fans has earned him a special place in the hearts of content creators, who would, otherwise, have never imagined performing live with him while being watched by millions of people.
Shazia Manzoor and Humaira Arshad also used TikTok to reach global audiences with their latest originals. The powerhouse of Punjabi music, Shazia Manzoor, soon became an icon after releasing a series of new songs on her TikTok account.
Humaira Arshad, who released her new song last year after a gap of six years, used her originals in TikTok videos and gained more than 827,000 followers and 6.2 million likes. She is gaining popularity, despite being a musician from yesteryears, among the latest artists.
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To its credit, TikTok has promoted all genres of music, helping give the limelight to legendary folk singers like Naseebo Lal and Attaullah Khan Esakhelvi, who are now being loved and celebrated by audiences across the world on TikTok.
Naseebo Lal gained popularity on the platform after the Pakistan Super League Anthem was officially released on TikTok. She has revived her famous singles including ‘Mundiyaa Dupata Chad Mera’, ‘Mera long Gawacha’ and others through TikTok with thousands of fans making duets with her.
On the other hand, Attaullah Khan Esakhelvi has been posting his poetry and all-time classic melodies that are entertaining the young generation on the platform.
From Asim to Hassan, TikTok the go-to platform for the new generation
When it comes to releasing new tracks, TikTok has become the go-to platform for the current generation of exciting Pakistani music stars. With TikTok’s power of disseminating content to hundreds and thousands of users, musicians are now increasingly relying on the platform for the success of their new and upcoming songs.
Recently, Asim Azhar, Bilal Saeed and Shamoon Ismail got the most love and traction for their new releases via TikTok. Habibi by Asim Azhar, Khudaya Vey by Bilal Saeed, and earlier Scars & Screws from Shamoon Ismail became raging hits shortly after releasing on TikTok.
Bohnat mehnat lagti hai 😅 #habibi ayemausam artsylog
Faltu Pyar by Hasan Raheem still tops the music chart. With over 58K followers in no time, Hassan Raheem has set the stage on fire.
#faltupyar Official Video out now youtube. Stream on all streaming platforms.
Aspiring singers find right place to showcase their skills
Owing to TikTok’s popularity in the country, new singers and aspiring artists now choose the platform to showcase their skills, share original tracks, and connect with listeners.
Iraday by Rovalio & Abdul Hannan was an original track that became a love anthem after its release on TikTok. The song has more than 25,000 creator videos on the app. Rovalio also shared the journey of the track in a video inspiring many new song-makers to pursue their passion.
Upcoming artists like Arbaz Khan, Mubeen Butt, Mehmood J, and Hareem Rashid who rose up through the ranks from TikTok have chosen to put forward their original tunes through the platform. It is reflective of the confidence the young singers have in it. Arbaz Khan has done multiple collaborations with different stars to form quality rap songs.
Mubeen Butt has 29.1 million likes and followers who love to vibe on his original tracks. Mehmood J currently has over 79.5 million likes followed by Hareem Rashid with 53.4 million likes. TikTok has not only provided them with a screen but has started to change the aesthetics of the music industry for good.
Kal jo hoga dekh lenge kal💜 IG:Hareemrashidd #tiktokgaga
Considering the popularity of the platform in urban and rural areas of the country, TikTok is also helping promote regional music as budding artists even from countryside regions are using the platform to showcase their talent.
TikTok is now serving as a launchpad for many aspiring musicians all across the world. From the rockstars of the past to the up-and-coming musicians, all of them love sharing their music with their followers on the app because they know the reach and engagement they will get on TikTok is something they most likely won’t get elsewhere.