Now, that I have your attention, I must say that Nescafe Basement has surprised us all this season. Its not that earlier seasons weren’t good but this season, Zulfi and the team involved have out done themselves with one hit after another.
Generally, what we have seen is that big, monstrous productions are more visible and gather a lot of media space, yet every now and then a spirited, small-budget passion project comes along that surprise everybody and sets new standards for the rest to follow- Nescafe Basement is definitely one such project.
Nescafe Basement has established Zulfi as one of the most ferociously talented music producers in the country working today. His work with his Band “Call” and songs that he has produced otherwise, may have given him initial breakthroughs, but it is Nescafe Basement which showed the world that he is no one-trick pony, and has everyone taken notice of his master craftsmanship.
There are few lessons that one can learn from the project like Nescafe Basement.
• Great concept can outdo low budget.
Yes, music is one of the key passion points in our country but its been done to death. For Nescafe to still use music, as a platform and work with ametures was a brave move especially when other more successful formats were all the rage.
Success of Nescafe Basement is a proof that people are genuinely interested in exploring and listening to fresh ideas. To achieve what NB has accomplished, you have to be an outsider, you can’t play the popular game and are willing to stand your ground – Nescafe has aced all these areas – no flying cars or laser guns required.
• Who needs star power?
Not just in Pakistan but also through out subcontinent, we worship big names and brands rely heavily on their star power to do the magic. Nescafe Basement has done the exact opposite – they are working with literally “nobodies” and are still creating magic.
When I first heard the song “Pyar Diyan Gallan” with all those super kids, it reminded me of the acclaimed composer Mr. Sohail Rana who devoted his life composing songs for children. His programs Kaliyoan Ki Mala, Sung Sung Chalain, Hum Sooraj Chand Sitaray etc. were telecasted from PTV for 19 years and over the years gave us loads of students who went on to make a name for themselves in music, namely Nazia Hasan, Zoheb Hasan, Afshaan Ahmed, Hadiqa Kiyani and Adnan Sami Khan etc.
The lack of familiar faces and the real interaction that NB artists exhibited during the season was contagious – most of these guys are now real-life friends, forming bands and working together. All of this makes the brand and the content relatable and real – something that is very hard to achieve with a commercially driven A-list artist.
• Diversity is good for business
Diversity is all about our origin, our life experiences and how we approach different problems. Since, Strong brands are often an honest reflection of their consumers’ values and belief systems- and by extension, their Culture- such brands focus on communicating diversity both demographically and experientially.
This season Nescafe Basement was all about diversity. we saw talented artists from 6-year-old to 30-year-old who came from all across the country and from different ethnicities. All these artists brought with them their own experiences and the brand seamlessly got them together and created magic. It is imperative that brands see their role in the lives of their consumers as more than just trademarks and logos.
To sum it up, Zulfi, while sharing his emotional journey on Facebook said “I saw kids discussing instruments with each other. The guitarist asking about the sitar from the sitarist. They were discussing scales and music genres. They were discussing more collaborations. A lot of them were even seeing other instruments for the first time. They were even discussing which brands make the best guitars or keyboards and what not. Have we ever witnessed such a day ever? Have I ever? NO. This was as remarkable as it gets. I was teary eyed for most of that day” – should I say more – job well-done!