Tanhai - Fringe Benefits (1995)

You've heard Techno, you've heard Bhangra, you've heard Hip-Hop, but never have you heard these genres from the same artist on the same album. The newest and excitingly diverse addition to the world of popular music is Fringe Benefits. Made up of Mohammad Ali Jawad (keyboards, vocals) and Sheheryar Qureshi (lead vocals), the duo has added a bit of spice to a music scene that had, with a few exceptions, become staid and similar.

Gaining inspiration from England's Pet Shop Boys and Erasure, the group has produced a debut album which is worthy of all the acclaim it is receiving in local music circles. Titled "Tanhai", the album has been in the making for the better part of a year and the result speaks volumes for the talent entrusted in these two musicians.

The lead radio single from the album is titled "Bhangra" and is set to become a monster hit. Based on the popular Bhangra style of Punjabi music and fused with a 90's techno feel, this song is going to put the people on the dance floors in a hurry. "Intezar" is another foot stomping song about a lost love. This is traditional pop music at its best. The third single is a re-release of one of the duo's first hits, "Tanhai", which is a cross between techno-pop and house music. Continuing in the vein of their previous songs, the title track is another instantly likable dance song that has gained the group many fans in the past and is expected to add some more.

They are Pakistan's new sensation. Young girls adore their good looks and teenage boys relate to their music which is aimed at courting and romance. It has been quite some time since the imagination of the nations' youth has been caught up like this. With their hip, upbeat music and positive lyrics, Fringe Benefits is bound for stardom and the album "Tanhai" is not wasting anytime in getting there.

Fringe Benefits' "Tanhai" was released by VCI Records in Karachi on September 27, 1995 and nationwide on September 29, 1995.

Ahsan R. Shami
VCI Records, Pakistan