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From ‘Pasoori’ to ‘Yeh Mera Dil’: The grooviest South Asian music featured on ‘Ms Marvel’

The Marvel show features some terrific old and new desi tracks

Ujjainee Roy | Published 07.07.22, 02:51 PM
Riz Ahmed’s ‘Deal With It’ and Tesher’s ‘Jalebi Baby’ are featured on the MCU show

Riz Ahmed’s ‘Deal With It’ and Tesher’s ‘Jalebi Baby’ are featured on the MCU show

Say what you will about MCU, but Ms Marvel passes the desi-vibe-check pretty hard — the show references every cult South Asian favourite, from Baazigar and Coke Studio hits, to Talal Qureshi, Ritviz and even retro Bollywood covers.

The six-episode series follows the origin story of Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani), a 16-year-old Pakistani-American superhero living with her family in New Jersey. The show was recently lauded for spotlighting the trauma of Partition and also for authentic representation of the South Asian experience. 

Ms Marvel’s new episode also had the Internet in a tizzy when it introduced Fawad Khan as Hasan. Twitter also can’t get enough of the SRK references, the big fat desi wedding playlist and Kamala’s relatable love for biryani. While Ms Marvel’s soundtrack features some global biggies like Jon Bon Jovi and The Weeknd, the South Asian music – be it retro Punjabi hits, Bollywood covers, indie pop or desi rap – is what’s really stealing the show. Here are the best South Asian tracks featured on the show:

‘Disco Deewane’ by Nazia Hassan

The late Pakistani singer Nazia Hassan’s landmark hit Disco Deewane gets a prime spot on season 4 of Ms Marvel when Kamala is on her way to meet Waleed. Hassan made her music debut with the song Aap Jaisa Koi from the 1980 Bollywood film Qurbani and also won the Filmfare Award at the age of 15. Her debut album, Disco Deewane, also included the English single Dreamer Deewane, which made her the first Pakistani singer to make it to the British charts.

‘Pasoori’ by Ali Sethi and Shae Gill

Of course, Pasoori found its way to Ms Marvel’s soundtrack. The song plays for about 17 seconds when Kamala and her cousins enter the party. Shae Gill and Ali Sethi’s pop number became a global hit when it debuted in season 14 of Coke Studio Pakistan, early this year. The song was lauded for melding old-school elements with modern sounds and also for its usage of Punjabi and Urdu lyrics. 

‘Deal with It’ by Riz Ahmed

Swet Shop Boys featuring Riz Ahmed (or Riz MC) and Heems get a loving mention in the first episode of the show as Kamala and her friends listen to the band in the car. The song titled Deal with It featured on Riz Ahmed’s second studio album The Long Goodbye, which was accompanied by an 11-minute short film of the same name, which won Best Live Action Short Film at the 94th Academy Awards in 2021.

‘Jalebi Baby’ by Tesher

Tesher is thrilled about how Ms Marvel used his trending track Jalebi Baby on the show. The song plays in the second episode when Kamala sees her crush Kamran take a dive in the pool, during a party. 

“It’s no secret that I’m a big Marvel fan, so being Kamala Khan’s mental thirst soundtrack is an absolute dream come true for me. The best part of all this, however, is that I can officially say that I exist in the MCU. #TesherIsCanon,” the Canadian rapper wrote on Instagram.

‘Peechay Hutt’ by Hasan Raheem and Justin Bibis feat. Talal Qureshi

Hasan Raheem, Talal Qureshi and the Justin Bibis’ Coke Studio dance track mixes groovy beats with some mumble rap and a dynamic chorus by the Bibis. The song plays during the end credits of the second episode and definitely merits a repeat watch.

‘Thandi Hawa’ by Ritviz

Ritviz’s pandemic single Thandi Hawa gets a brief feature during a wedding sequence on the show. Another of Ritviz’s tracks, titled Sage, plays in the background during a cute moment in the second episode when Kamala sees Kaman outside her school.

‘Oh Nanba’ by S. P. Balasubrahmanyam and Aaryan Dinesh Kanagaratham

Desi Twitter is justifiably freaking out after spotting a Rajinikanth song on Ms Marvel. Oh Nanba, composed by A. R. Rahman, which was a part of the 2014 film Lingaa, played during the opening title sequence of the very first episode and it was pretty on point.

‘Mera Laung Gawacha’ by Musarrat Nazir

At Kamala’s home, her father watches TV highlights of old cricket matches while old Punjabi and Pakistani tracks play on the vintage record player, like the cover of the 1966 Pakistani pop song, Ko Ko Korina or Musarrat Nazir’s Mera Laung Gawacha. The popular song has been revamped umpteen times but the show plays the original track when Muneeba and Sana are shown cleaning a room. 

‘Yeh Mera Dil’ by Asha Bhosle

Amir-Tyesha’s wedding on the show was basically a Bollywood appreciation moment and featured Khanvict’s remix of Tere Bina, Hum Apke Hain Kaun’s Joote Do Paise Lo and Asha Bhosle’s Yeh Mera Dil from Don

Amitabh Bachchan himself couldn’t keep calm when he spotted the song and took to Twitter to share the moment with his fans.

‘Babia’ by Sajjid Ali

Fans spotted an acoustic Urdu cover of Algerian singer Khaled’s famous hit Didi during the beach bonfire scene. The track titled Babia is not technically a cover but was a heavily-inspired rendition of Didi, sung by Pakistani singer Sajjad Ali. Despite the stellar vocals, what really stole the show in the scene was the biryani in plastic baggies!

Last updated on 07.07.22, 02:51 PM

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