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We recorded ‘Jazba-e-Junoon’ in the studio’s bathroom: Ali Azmat | The Express Tribune

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Hailed as a “national song” by Junoon, Jazba-e-Junoon etched its name in the history of Pakistan’s rock music as one of its best offerings. However, contrary to its iconic trajectory upon release, producing it in the first place was a challenge. 

In a heartfelt interview with host and former cricketer Shoaib Akhtar on his talk show, Junoon’s vocalist Ali Azmat disclosed the unfavourable circumstances that birthed the patriotic anthem. “We have a cottage industry. We’re not run by a big machine,” Azmat offered his perspective on music production in Pakistan. 

The singer furthered on, “We are the sort of people who make music at home. All these songs that you’re bringing up, I recorded in the bathroom.” As per Azmat, the band’s big hits from Sayonee to Jazba-e-Junoon were recorded in their studio’s tiny bathroom that doubly served as a makeshift recording facility. 

“We had a poorly-equipped studio at Tariq Road,” he described the unexpected venue of their artistic process as “a very tight space”. Azmat recounted how the studio’s owner candidly asked the band to use the bathroom to record where they could barely breathe. He explained, “It was this small suffocating bathroom, walls papered with cardboard…That’s where we recorded the vocals for Jazba-e-Junoon and it went on to become a massive hit.” 

Standing as an iconic track, Jazba-e-Junoon was featured as the thirteenth and final placement by the sufi rock band’s album Inquilaab, released by EMI Records in 1996. The song seamlessly blends rock guitars and bluesy vocals with Eastern elements like tablas, raga-inspired melodies, and traditional Pakistani folk music. 

Composed by Sabir Zafar and guitarist Salman Ahmad, Jazba-e-Junoon was an unexpected success for the band in 1996, propelling the entire album on local music charts in an impressive breakthrough. The song became Junoon’s first major hit.

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