Ask any Pakistani youngster which part of family weddings they find most exciting (apart from food). You’re sure to get one answer: the MEHENDI! Mehendis are nothing without a groovy playlist. This playlist typically comprises of cheesy Bollywood numbers with a few bhangra tracks thrown in. But for those who want to avoid the done-to-death Bollywood tracks and opt for something unique, an all-Pakistani playlist is the way to go. Our rich musical heritage is filled with celebratory songs from the folk, pop and film genres. Choosing some of these tracks will not only set you apart from others, but is also sure to invoke strong sense of pride and nostalgia. So here’s our ultimate all-Pakistani mehendi playlist. Happy dancing!
Pakistan has had a very strong pop music scene since the 80’s. Pop albums were considered to be incomplete without at least one mehendi/dance track. This resulted in a decent number of mehendi tracks that, with a little ingenuity, can be perfect for a really cool dance performance.
1- Munda Shehr Lahore Da (Bhatti Gate remix)- DJ Shahrukh
DJ Shahrukh’s remix of this old Noor Jahan song has all the makings for an edgy mehendi song. This short clip can function as a transition song in a dance medley.
2- Chitta Kukkar Banere Te -Mustafa Zahid & Haroon Shahid
This mellow rendition of a classic Punjabi tappa is sure to get everyone on the bride’s side emotional. Mustafa Zahid of Roxen and Haroon Shahid (of the now disbanded Symt) do a great job of emoting the lyrics. This is the perfect song to play when the bride makes her entrance and walks to the stage.
Here’s Musarrat Nazir singing the same song some time in the 80’s:
3- Josh Naal Pao Bhangra—Josh
Josh have been burning up the dance floor for more than a decade. This Canadian-Pakistani band knows how to make dance-worthy beats. This particular song can make everyone get off their seats and jump on to the dance floor to groove in no time.
4- Desi Thumka – Nouman Khalid (feat. Osama Com Laude)
Another dance-worthy Punjabi track, this song is one that can be choreographed to perfection. The fast beat coupled with rap make Desi Thumka a song that both guys and girls can dance to.
5- Mehndi – Haroon
Haroon Rashid was part of the band Awaz. It was one of the most popular bands of the 90’s. When the band split up, the members Haroon, Faakhir Mehmood and Asad Rehman began their solo careers. Mehndi was part of Haroon’s solo album Lagan. It became an instant hit due to its catchy beat and attractive video.
6- Babia – Sajjad Ali
Ahhhh… Sajjad Ali dancing in his hi-top sneakers at Karachi’s Seaview is a sight no Pakistani kid from the 90’s can forget. Babia was ‘inspired’ by Algerian singer Khaled’s song Didi. The song had an infectious rhythm and is sure to bring on waves of nostalgia.
7- Preeto – Abrar ul Haq
Abrar ul Haq might be famous as a political figure and social worker, but back in the 90’s, he was preaching a different kind of tabdeeli. His debut song Billo de Ghar was massively popular among the masses. In Preeto, the Billo Boy is once again requesting some lass to marry him, but in his typical humorous way. A typical bhangra track for when you just want to get up and move!
8- Uchiyan Majajan- Jawad Ahmed
Way before his solo career, UET grad Jawad Ahmed was singing as lead singer of the Jupiters. Uchiyan Majajan was a mehendi favorite in the early 2000s , owing to its fun beat and the typical chorus of ‘HO HO HO HA’!
9- Nach Punjaban (Punjabi Touch) – Abrar-ul-Haq
Another Abrar ul Haq hit, this song became both famous and controversial. The singer was even summoned to court over the use of ‘Punjaban’. He later had to change the word to ‘majajan’. Nevertheless, the song has a really fun and dance-able rhythm.
10- Aaja Re Moray Saiyaan (Coke Studio Season 9) – Zeb Bangash, Noori
This Noori and Zeb Bangash collaboration won over many music lovers with its fun and peppy beat and romantic lyrics. One of the biggest hits of Coke Studio’s 9th season, Aaja Re Moray Saiyan is a must-listen song for mehendis and mayoons.
11- Turn Up the Music Mr. DJ (Cornetto PopRock Season 2) – Qurram Hussain
Qurram Hussain is half of the band Josh. In this song, he delivers a fun and peppy beat. The video features Hassan Rizvi and Ayesha Omar showing off their moves.
12- Mehndi Ki Raat – Vital Signs
A catchy tune that was also later copied across the border. This is one of Vital Signs’ few dance/bhangra songs. A huge throwback to Junaid Jamshed’s pre-beard days, this song is best for a dandiya or luddi performance.
13- Mai Na Manu Haar – Awaz
This was one of the first Pakistani pop songs to have an Arabian/Rajasthani melody. The extravagant visuals and engaging storyline made the song a crowd favorite in the early 90’s. This song’s chorus is especially dance-able.
14- Kabhi Payal Baje Chan – Rahim Shah
This was Rahim lala’s first dance/wedding song. He was previously known for his slow and sad songs like the jilted lover’s anthem Pehle to kabhi kabhi ghum tha. With Kabhi Payal Baje Chan, Rahim Shah proved that his music music went beyond rona dhona!
15- Cham Cham Ye Kudiyaan Nachain – Raheem Shah
This time, Rahim lala got a little help from a popular supari brand… as evident from the obvious product placement. But despite the blatant sponsorship, the song is a good choice if you want to do a boys and girls group dance.
16- Patangbaz Sajna – Fariha Pervez
Back in the days when celebrating basant wasn’t considered devil worship, this song was all over the music scene. It was initially released as a basant song, but soon became a mehendi favorite as well. Fariha Pervez’s another song Thora Thora Pyar is also a good choice if you find Patangbaz Sajna too mainstream for your musical taste.
17– Hawa Hawa – Hassan Jahangir
This song remains a classic, despite getting old. And we can very confidently say that it is many notches above the frankly substandard copy that Bollywood has attempted. Hawa Hawa is the very entertaining Hassan Jahangir at his best.
18- Maine Tumhari Gagar Se – Alamgir
Another legend of Pakistani pop, Alamgir sang this song based on a folk tune. It is a catchy number, prefect for dhandiya dance.
19- Dilber Jaania – Ali Haider
Ali Haider was considered a versatile singer who dabbled in many genres. Dilber Jania had a colorful music video and a slight Pashto touch in the melody. A really happy, upbeat song.
20- Jinna Kar Lo Ge Pyar – Shehzad Roy and Sukhbir
Not strictly a Pakistani song, since it features Indian bhangra singer Sukhbir a.k.a the ‘Prince of Bhangra’. Still, it was made in Pakistan, so we get first dibs on it. The song has Shehzad Roy singing in Punjabi and is over all a bhangra-ready song.
It is true that Lollywood hasn’t churned out the same (or even close to same) number of mehendi/wedding hits. But as they say, Rome was not built in a day. The Pakistani movie industry is slowly and gradually getting there. Especially since movie makers have realized the crowd pulling power of dance numbers and upbeat music. So here is a list of mehendi/dance songs straight from our very own Lollywood.
1- Zara Dholki Bajao Goriyo – Sargam
This movie featured the (then) real life couple Zeba Bakhtiar and Adnan Sami Khan as the main leads. Since the movie centered around music, a good musical soundtrack was sort of expected… and delivered. Zara Dholki Bajao Goriyo has the typical larka vs larki lyrics. The tune is also quite refreshing and easy to dance to.
2- Shakar Wandan – Ho Mann Jahan
Originally featured in Season 7 of Coke Studio Pakistan, this song was included in Ho Mann Jahan’s OST with a few changes. The lovely visuals, easy dance moves and catchy rhythm made this song an instant hit.
3- Balley Balley – Bin Roye
Like Shakar Wandan, this song also featured Mahira Khan and Adeel Hussain as the lead pair. This one is more mellow than Shakar Wandaan, though its still quite easy to dance to.
4- Actor In Law – Actor in Law
The video of this song showcases Fahad Mustafa’s dancing skills. It’s not filmed in a wedding situation, yet the lyrics and beat are a quite catchy. It’s a good choice for the groom’s performance. Especially if you can somehow get the DJ/ Sound Engineer to change the ‘actor’ to ‘son’!
5- Kaala Doriyan – Dekh Magar Pyar Se
Another remix of an old Punjabi song. This version has a much groovier and more modern sound than the typical one.
So, here we conclude the first part of the Pakistani mehendi playlist. Be sure to read part two for some more Lollywood and folk mehendi tracks!