The popular Pakistani band Junoon have sold 20 million albums and are super stars in Asia. Last week, they arrived in Norway in order to rehearse with Morten Harket, who will be a guest performer at their concert at Oslo Spektrum 5 September.
Preparations for the concert
Junoon and Morten have spent the last days rehearsing the songs they wrote together during the summer. Junoon sing mostly in the Urdu language, in a style which blends Western hard rock with Sindhi and Punjabi folk and Qawwali. It will be very exciting to hear the result of this musical collaboration!
About the reason for this special cooperation, Junoon guitarist Brian O’Connell says:
– We are big fans of a-ha, and have been looking forward to this collaboration with Morten Harket.
The picture to the left is from yesterday’s rehearsal where Salman Ahmad, Junoon’s song writer, and Morten are discussing the arrangements on ‘Piya’, one of the songs they have written together.
Here are some more pictures from the rehearsal last night. The top one shows Morten singing a duet with Ali Azmat while bass player Brian O’Connell is in the back.
Morten will enter the stage during the second half of the concert, and will stay for the rest of the show. Since they are still working on their material together, it is still undecided how many songs they will perform together – but inside sources tell us it will be between three and five songs.
The concert will be multitrack recorded, and Junoon and Morten have also been in the studio together. If they are pleased with the result, they will consider releasing the material. Time will tell…
Junoon with a message
This summer, Junoon have been touring both the US and Asia. Oslo Høyre, a local branch of a political party, which arranges the concert in Oslo Spektrum, invited them to Norway. They have dubbed the event a ‘musical bridge building concert’. It is election time in Norway, and Oslo has quite a large amount of immigrants from Pakistan.
When asked why Junoon offer their support to a political party, singer Salman Ahmad answers:
– The political party is not so important; what we care about is the message. Here the message is building bridges between different cultures, and we support that. We want to spread love, he says.
Junoon have written lyrics about people being harassed by their government and as a result, they were banned from Pakistan for three years. The ban was declared by the government party Pakistani Muslim League (PML), but has now been lifted.
– Rock’n roll did not exist in Pakistan before we arrived on the scene, and we were the first to use our success to state our opinion on prejudice and corruption. The politicians did not like that at all, Salman Ahmad says.
– Now the political climate has changed, and we are content with our new leaders.
The music magazine Q has called Junoon one of the greatest bands in the world, and BBC rewarded them for their contribution to Asian culture.
Oslo Spektrum 5 September
Tickets can be bought through these three different channels:
Phone: +47 815 33 133
The tickets cost 140 NKr.
Junoon’s web site:
Related previous article on a-ha.com: