Zindagi - Shehzad Roy (1995)

Shehzad Roy has been gaining momentum at his own steady pace. Barely eighteen, this music prodigy of sorts has managed not only to keep himself bouyant in the local music arena but has endeavoured, simultaneously, to polish his inherent talent. And with his debut album "Zindagi" all the hard work seems to have paid-off. A fourteen-track long compilation of diverse musical craft, "Zindagi", reflects the richness of his potentials as a budding composer and a singer. The solo venture is a kaleidoscope of entertaining numbers and there is something to please just about every ear and taste.

The collage-arrangement of folk tunes on "Bewafa" makes the sublime track stand out distinctly, especially with the super imposition of Ustad Salamat Hussain's flute that imparts an almost palpable vibrancy to it. Soul vocalisation on the title track "Zindagi" captures the feel of sentiments reflected in its haunting lyrics and spine-tingling tune. But the techno "Hiriye Ni" is where Shehzad takes his music wizardry into turbo drive. It's keyboard-pounding composition gives the track all the groove and bounce of a dance-floor filler. Crisp vocals remain fully in play which keep the blood pumping and feet thumping.

A more subtle shade of this adolescent fervour is evident in "Pyar Amar Hai". The guitar on this rock number is played with great gusto and though overshadowed by dense keyboard work, gives you enough rumble to tumble. And, as if to show off his talent to the hilt, Shehzad plays the leads on live piano in "Yadon Ka Dia" which makes the number rather atmospheric.

The bhangra number "Dholna" is a bit reminiscent of his own earlier hit "Chahat", but has otherwise the hi-tech texture of a dance-ready tempo. Sabir Zafar's warm and beautiful lyrics on "Hum Hi Jeetenge" go well with the melody in which they are composed and nicely rounded off by Shehzad's clear and resonant voice.

Overall, with this album Shehzad has taken yet one more step towards serious music making. And that with the sales figures, he seems to have made his mark.

Tahir Nadeem
TV Times, Pakistan