The Aunty Disco Project Tea Party

Underground band Aunty Disco Project's have surfaced with a new video, titled "Nazar". True to ADP style, it is quirky, surreal and – wait for it – commercial!

Omar Bilal Akhtar, the band's singer and songwriter, admits with a laugh, "Yeah, this is our first commercial video." The video itself may be commercial, but it sticks with the spirit of the band, "All we told the director, Umer Adil, was that we wanted it to be funny, which was very important to us," says the singer/songwriter. Although the video is funny, in a surreal way there is more to it than just that.

The track itself is very unlike ADP, a slow graceful number that reflects the band's true essence. "It was a different pace from what we do: hardrock covers, headbanging, but this was a very introspective track, and everybody on the band loves it. And it's quite personal to me."

Omar, or Oba as he is known, sounds much relaxed and calm about the fact that they are now veering into territory they thought they'd never venture into. "This is definitely one of the most easy listening tracks that we have, it's quite commercial." This is from the band that totally scoffed at the idea of anything commercial when they broke out with their self-released album, almost a year ago.

They did name drop a few directors back then, but it was pretty clear that they were steering clear from anything too commercial. Not anymore as Oba states: "Ali Alam's been a great influence on us, not just on our music, but as musicians. He was the one who introduced us to Umer Adil." And what about Alam's involvement in ADP? "We're negotiating at the moment," laughs Oba, "although we're writing songs and helping each other out, we're still touring together as a live act."

Before I can ask him, Oba gets one thing clear, "Imran is not a part of the band anymore." At first, one can assume that the separation was tumultuous, but Oba makes it absolutely clear: "He has his own career now and we have ours, but even with that we're helping each other out all the way through. We remain good friends." Even though they are one less Aunty, the band is adamant they are still ready to Disco it out.

From one Omar to another, Umer Adil, the director, has established himself with niche TV shows, from gardening, cooking to children's programs. Along with his wife, Beenish Waiz, the two of them came up with the concept of the video and presented it to the band. "When I first heard the song," says Umer, "I immediately had the image of the jester figurine [one of the first frames in the video] in my mind." He ran with the entire story of the video and it was pretty clear that they were meticulous with their storytelling. "We then expanded upon the fact that the jester is the storyteller and other nuances, so much that people will actually enjoy watching it over and over again."

The video opens on each band member, individually, from Oba's serenading on the guitar, to Omar Khalid's slumber on the hammock, to Yasir's chess playing. Seemingly each character is not connected, that is until we are introduced to the Tea Lady. Played by a friend of Oba, Natasha portrays a mysterious character, living in the middle of the forest, in what clearly appears to be an allegory to the Hut of Baba Yaga. And upon watching the video for the second time, I was picking up things I had not seen before. "That's the thing," states Umer, "it's open ended enough so that everyone understands it, but at the same time, it is open to interpretation and is multi-layered."

Shot on a farm outside Karachi, the video is one part costume drama and one part tea party satire. In it, the boys appear dressed in costume and get called upon by model Natasha, for tea. But nothing is what it appears to be, subtle hints dropped along the way, blink and you'll miss them moments and especially the twist ending, is what makes this video one to look out for.

The video is now airing on all channels. And now that the work is done both Umer and Oba are quickly getting on to other things. "I'm doing and will do a few documentaries at the moment," says Umer and I ask him about doing more music videos. "If the song is good enough," he replies.

Meanwhile, Oba and the group are busy writing new songs. "We've written quite a few now, they're interesting and different, but we don't want to do the same old songs over again. I think this is going to be a totally fresh start."

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