Meet Peshawar’s latest offering, The Pukhtunez, an underground collective that is bound to spice up your musical palate with their genre-bending production and witty lyrics. Hailing from suburban Peshawar, these guys have a deeply ingrained bond with the city. “Pukhtunez” is a portmanteau word fusing “Pukhtoons” and “tunes”, a reflection of their musical personas. Consisting of rapper Syed Babar Shah who performs under the alias of “The XGeek”, rapper/producer Alam Khan who mostly prefers his real name but sometimes goes under the pseudonym of “Le Ruski”, singers Zeeshan Ahmad and Syed Badar Shah and manager/producer Danyal Ahmad.
The Pukhtunez started its humble beginnings in the room of the elusive and ever so reclusive Alam Khan, the person who coined the name. An ardent aficionado of Hip-Hop, Alam’s fascination with the genre goes way back to the time when he heard Coolio’s ’95 hit “Gangster’s Paradise” as a kid and the single really spoke out to him. He met his best friend and partner-in-crime Danyal Ahmad in Fazaia Degree College while attending the 8th grade. Danyal was responsible for further fueling his enthusiasm for the craft which eventually led him to start producing as well. They spent many a class writing amateur rhymes to amateur beats. His lyrical inspiration came from Big L, Biggie Smalls and recently fresh blood in the industry like J. Cole, Childish Gambino, XV, Drake among others. His production incorporates an ethnic vibe that was hugely inspired from Scott Storch, Timbaland and Danja. He also cites J. Dilla, Nottz, Kanye West, Hit-Boi and Boi- 1da as influences on his production. As he evolved, people started noticing his flair for music.
Syed Babar Shah, a raucous and passionate youth who is fervently pursuing his ambition to make it big on Peshawar’s music scene. He started penning rhymes in junior high. He often cites Mike Shinoda’s track “Remember the Name” as a huge inspiration and that it spurred him to make people “remember his name”. He started performing in high school talent shows and other events.The Story about his gig name "The XGeek" remains a mystery uptill now. Babar was introduced to Alam through a mutual friend (Danyal Ahmad) and he was impressed from his lyrical and production prowess. Babar landed them their first gig which was a party on new year’s eve. Being the coy guy that he is, Alam was reluctant about the whole affair. But his friends forced him to perform alongside Babar and the response was overwhelmingly good. Since then, they have performed together at many gigs all over the city. They recently won the first prize and the title of “Best Rap Act” in ’12 FAST M.E.T.A.L. Musica.
Zeeshan Ahmad, elder brother of Danyal, is a recent addition to the group. Boasting a warm and mellow voice, he has a very promising future as a solo artist. Not a stranger to performing live, he recently debuted as an affiliate of The Pukhtunez at a fund-raiser concert for a local NGO which the people lauded and appreciated very much. He has also performed on national television.
Syed Badar Shah, the ever cheerful twin of Babar, is a spunky young guy who loves to dance as well as croon in English. Among the many things he does, he is a stand-up comedian and quite an accomplished songwriter.
Danyal Ahmad, a quiet and mysterious dude, is the brains behind the whole group. He spends most of the time managing The Pukhtunez but on occasions also serves as an additional producer with Alam with a knack of churning out infectiously catchy tunes.
The group is currently working with a very prominent musician (name not yet disclosed) for their debut single.
Follow them on Facebook: Pukhtunez