Omran Shafique is presently one of the country’s best music producers and a revered guitar player, who has worked with some of the most iconic artists in the country (across genres) in the last decade or so.
But Shafique’s rise to fame came from a music group called Mauj that he fronted. Founded in 2001 in Houston, Texas, the band playing a blend of funk, rock and reggae, released its first single ‘Khushfehmi’ with a music video directed by Babar Sheikh, in 2004. With the arrival of the second single, ‘Paheliyan’, Mauj quickly cemented a place for itself in the music scene which ultimately culminated in a full-length album, Now in Technicolor, that was released in 2009 with a local record label.
While the debut album line-up featured Omran Shafique, Mohsin Atif and Dennis Harvey, its Pakistan live line-up included Sameer Ahmed, Hamza Jafri and Sikandar Mufti and for some years Mauj fans had a rollicking good time watching them perform when the opportunity presented.
With Omran Shafique leading from the front, the music group Mauj has announced its return, with a different line-up. The 2018 line-up includes Anas Alam Khan and Aziz Kazi, apart from Shafique.
The first glimpse of this emerged when a jam session video was shared on Instagram last year. This was followed by a live performance by Mauj at the recently concluded fourth edition of the Lahore Music Meet that ended with Shafique promising “fans that the band would play new originals at their next gig”.
Living up to that promise, Mauj has joined forces with Salt Arts, a music, art and entertainment agency co-founded by Raania Azam Khan Durrani and Junaid Iqbal, for its next show that will take place in Karachi on January 31 at Cotie Rotie.
The gig is presented by Salt Arts as part of their Salt Soiree series. Previous artists to have played the series include Mirage, Jimmy Khan, The Alycia Dias Ensemble, Ahsan Bari and the South Asia Ensemble, Natasha Beyg, Sara Haider, Natasha Humera Ejaz and Slowspin.
Salt Arts also presented the memorable and nostalgic Strings gig that took place in Karachi this past December and given the amount of effort they put in each show they back, our bet is this upcoming one with Mauj will be delightful. Watch out.
Mauj, in its present incarnation, includes Aziz Kazi, Omran Shafique and Anas Alam Khan.