After 33 years of giving iconic pop and rock hits to the Pakistani music industry, Strings finally called it quits in 2018. The news of their breakup came as a shock to me, who had been a huge fan of the band not only for their songs but also for their persona and the strong bond they seemed to share.
I remember their single Sir Kiye Ye Pahar, the video was low-budget, and the attire was straight out of the college-day closet, but the song was an instant hit. And so were they. From there on, the band faded away – for studies, as revealed by Faisal Kapadia and Bilal Maqsood later – but when they came back, they came back big!
It was the early 2000s when Strings rose to fame with their album Duur. The title song was of the same name, which was a massive hit in Pakistan as well as neighboring India. Other iconic songs include Zinda, Aankhein, Anjane, Kahani Mohabbat Ki, and Mera Bichra Yar.
When the band was rising, I was in my teens. I remember being in awe of their music and how they managed to perfectly reflect the realities of our lives, be it heartbreak, unrequited love or social issues. I used to wear a dress shirt over my t-shirt just like Faisal Kapadia, and never buttoned the sleeves like Bilal Maqsood. They were truly an inspiration for me and many other Strings fans.
The Strings Evolution
As their music career progressed, the duo in the band was visibly evolving. From a teenage brotherhood bond, they had now turned into full-grown men with families of their own. Faisal Kapadia got married in 2006 and Bilal Maqsood in 2010. This is also the time when Strings started experimenting with their sound, and their songwriting took on a more personal tone.
The 2010s were Strings’ most creative decade. They released some of their best work yet, be it in the form of singles, albums, or soundtracks for movies. In 2013, they collaborated with Strings for the Coke Studio project and gave us timeless classics, such as Naina, Sohni Dharti, and Tajdar-e-Haram. The same year, they also released their seventh studio album, 30.
The Heartbreaking Breakup
It was around this time that the rumors of Strings breaking up started doing the rounds. The band had been on a hiatus for quite some time, and their social media activity had also ceased. This only led to more speculations, and finally, in 2018, Strings announced their split.
The reason for their breakup is still not clear. In an interview, Faisal Kapadia said that it was a mutual decision and that there was no bad blood between the two. However, Bilal Maqsood later said in an interview that he was the one who wanted to quit as he thought it was time to move on with life.
The Legacy of the Band
I loved the Pakistani music industry and the music it gave in the 2000s and the early 2010s. I always admired bands like Vital Signs, Junoon, Fuzon, and Mekal Hassan – to name a few – and Strings was no different. They are the ones who brought pop and rock music to the Pakistani mainstream and inspired a whole generation of musicians. And for that, I will always be grateful to them.
But gradually, all of these big names started fading away, and Strings’ breakup was the final nail in the coffin. I don’t think I will ever see a band like them again, and that is truly heartbreaking. I saw the news on my Facebook, and it seemed like a bad dream. Strings were one of the last few Pakistani bands that I loved, and their breakup has left me feeling empty.
I know I am not alone in this. Strings have a huge fan following, and I am sure many of them are feeling the same way. The band might have broken up, but their music will live on forever – albeit not on the stage but on YouTube, Soundcloud, or Spotify. And I think that’s the best we can hope for.
Leaving you with one of my personal favorites by Strings