Nescafé Basement has brought together 15 aspiring musicians and given them an opportunity to enhance their skills, think outside their own musical boundaries, learn how to treat material that is different from their expertise, and create interesting music. Their mentor Xulfi introduces us to these talented young individuals…


A saxophone player. Saw him performing at a concert three years back and I was instantly surprised and impressed with his skills. He is the only young saxophone player I know of in this country at the moment. I hope more people pick this instrument up after watching him play! He is fond of playing blues and jazz.


He is a student at LUMS and has been regularly performing at his university. His expertise is English vocals. This guy has a vocal range that the classic rock vocalists of the ’80s will be proud of!


A young guitar player and composer. Recently graduated from NCBA. He is one of the few guitarists in Pakistan who is trying to build an expertise specifically in acoustic guitar. He is also the Basement’s official whistle guy!


He is studying at UCP. Plays the mouth organ, flute, harmonium, and guitar. He became a part of the team at a later stage when I had actually given up any hope of finding a young flute player. But once he entered the equation, it added a new dimension to the Basement’s music.


Studying for A Levels at LGS. He is a music producer at the age of 16. Records, writes, plays, composes, and arranges his own music. He is a multitalented guy and has contributed to the Basement as a keyboardist, a vocalist, and sometimes  guitarist too.


A singer and rubab player. He is studying musicology at NCA. This guy has a great voice, something that everyone will easily like, plus his control over his voice is the most remarkable I’ve seen in my career.


Keyboardist, studying at FC College. I have always had difficulty in finding keyboardists who play unconventionally and can adapt to various genres. I was lucky to find Hamza through Alina, his sister, who is another one of the Basement artists.


A guitarist. Studying at LUMS. He is a progressive rock follower as far as his listening is concerned, but he can mould his playing to any genre of music and that’s the special thing about him.


Studying at Pakistan Institute of Fashion Design, Abeir is a female percussion player, and trust me, she is a rare commodity! The best thing about her is that she understands her instrument, the djembe, pretty well and is always willing to learn.


He is a young songwriter and singer who has come from Khanewal to Lahore in order to pursue a career in music. He is one of the most daring songwriters our country has at the moment, and has the God gifted talent of expressing any moment in words.


He is the bass guitarist at Nescafé Basement and is a student at LUMS. He is a passionate musician who understands the instrument that the bass guitar is, and actually shows a maturity far beyond his age in the way he creates the basslines and plays the bass.


The guy plays the tabla, rubab, guitar, and darbuka, and is excellent at each
of them! Currently studying at UCP, Fawad adds a versatile flavour to the Basement. His musical influences range from pure eastern classical to hard and blues rock.


Alina, 16, studies at LGS. I went to a music competition at LGS as a judge. After hearing her sing, it was evident she was the winner of the event, but I personally went up to her to tell her that I am a fan. It’s difficult to find a good female vocalist in our country nowadays, someone who can really sing, but Alina surely can, and you guys will be able to see that.


A graduate from LSE, Mujeeb is a versatile musician and songwriter. A classically trained vocalist, the guy knows exactly how to balance skill with simplicity. He is quite intelligent in that regard and that’s why he never shows off his classical singing skill just for the sake of it.

your comments: