Zahra Paracha is a guitarist, music producer and an audio post production engineer, not to mention the co-founder of Pakistan’s biggest music festival, the Lahore Music Meet which ran for its 5th instalment in 2020 (a month before Pakistan enforced a nationwide lockdown in the face of the coronavirus pandemic).
We reached out Zahra P to talk about her fresh track and the music video; while talking about the process, she said, ‘I started writing the song 2 years ago, it’s been a while, it’s been a long time.’
Be-Khudi has three phases, shares Zahra, the first one explores childlike anger and emotions, moving on to teenager-like angst and finally evolving into acceptance and moving on.
Zahra co-wrote the song with musician Rehman Afshar, aka Maanu. ‘I was already working with Maanu at the time and once I got done with the chorus, I thought why shouldn’t we work together? He’s so good with his words. I was very close to the situation I was writing the song about, so it was hard to get the lyrics out once the chorus was done,’ says Zahra, adding that Maanu helped her overcome writer’s block and finish the song.
‘Be-Khudi is about knowing that no matter how unresolvable a situation is at the moment, you do find a way out, even if the solution is unlikely. Sometimes horrible things happen and there’s no reason for them, but if they’re over then you have to be willing to accept that. You have to move on, to make sure that you don’t lose yourself the way you already have.’
Be-Khudi’s music video has an all female cast, with women tending to road-side fruit stalls, flower shops and street food carts. A young version of Zahra is seen finding her way in the first half of the video, joining up to the singer’s present towards the end. The adult version of the singer smiles when she sees a bunch of yellow balloons, that Zahra’s younger version let go in childhood, bringing the video full circle.