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Hear Ali Suhail’s Crafty New Single ‘Bubbleboi’

The track is off the Karachi-based musician’s forthcoming album ‘White Flag’

David Britto Jul 14, 2020

Karachi-based singer-songwriter Ali Suhail. Photo: Courtesy of the artist

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Over the past decade, Karachi-based singer-songwriter Ali Suhail has been involved heavily in Pakistan’s burgeoning independent music scene. The musician has spent time in bands such as Jumbo Jutt and Sikandar Ka Mandar, produced singer-songwriter Natasha Noorani‘s 2018 debut album Munasib and has also released three solo albums and two EPs. “I’ve been working on the album I’m currently releasing for the past two years and now I’m putting that out,” he says of the forthcoming nine-track White Flag. However, before the record is released, Suhail offers us the LP’s lead single in the shape of the refreshing “Bubbleboi.”

Suhail explains that he tends to get bored quite quickly with chord progressions and keeps trying to add musical movements to keep things interesting. But for “Bubbleboi” Suhail decided “to be simple.” He says, “There’s one progression for the most part that runs throughout the song based on two chords. I think it’s harder to keep things interesting that way and I guess I wanted to challenge myself.” Sonically the song is very fluid and flows seamlessly with the musician’s flavorful vocals over crafty guitar parts, a solid bass groove and clever drumming by Yusuf Ramay.

On the track’s lyrics, Suhail says, “To me, it’s about how a mother near the end of her wits feels when the sick child that she’s been caring for throws a tantrum about their treatment.”

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Although Suhail produced and recorded “Bubbleboi” himself except for drums played by Yusuf Ramay, he tells us that White Flag is the most collaborative body of work he’s ever done. Alongside Ramay, the album will feature a host of Pakistani musicians including Saif Abbas, Ibrahim Imdad, Shehzad Noor and more. “I can’t really pin a genre to it [the album], but I can promise that it sounds weird in a very cool way,” says Suhail.

The singer-songwriter admits that he’s a fan of India’s independent music scene and that he would love to perform in the country someday. “There are so many more avenues there. Plus the independent scene is so diverse and almost never-ending,” he says. According to Suhail, Pakistan’s indie music scene is “fragmented.” He says, “But in terms of the quality of music and musicians, it keeps getting better every day.”

Like most places, the performing arts have taken a big hit in Pakistan due to the coronavirus pandemic which is one of the reasons Suhail hasn’t attached a release date to his album. “It’s a little tougher than other places because at least other places have things like Paypal so you can still monetize things online. That convenience isn’t really available here, so the majority is really just people who do it because they love it,” he says.

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Watch the music video for “Bubbleboi” below and click here to stream the song.

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