My playlist – MY PLAYLIST with Neeq Serene
EXCITING new artist Neeq Serene followed up her 2020 debut The Others with recently released song Fields Of Gold, which has seen her mix up a marvellous melting pot of musical influences, including combining Urdu and English lyrics with beats laid across contrasting genres. The multi-talented British singer, songwriter and musician is hoping to release her debut EP this summer.
Eastern Eye got an exciting new music talent that you will be hearing a lot more about to select 10 songs she loves.
If I Had a Heart by Fever Ray: I absolutely love all the textures of this track. From the moment you hear that pulsating synth, to the depth of the reverberating bass, it just evokes the primal being within you. Brilliant.
Khudi Ka Sirre Nihan by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan: I have so many favourite songs from this artist, in particular those with a more modern twist, featuring artists like Massive Attack and Asian Dub Foundation, but this one is probably the frontrunner. The melody is enchanting, the percussion super hypnotic and the lyrics, just beautiful. I am so taken by the mysticism of Sufism and very grateful to my parents for introducing this music to us from a young age.
Like Spinning Plates by Radiohead: I am a huge Radiohead fan. They have always been so open to exploring different sonic realms and consequently, have kept their fans on their toes. Their music asks us to consider ‘what else’ there is out there. It makes you go beyond. This is a magical piece of music and I really appreciate the political message also. Radiohead are an experience, not just a band.
Horses in My Dreams by PJ Harvey: PJ Harvey possesses such a unique, empowering identity that I find truly inspiring as a female artist. In this track, I love how her tone is raw and honest, and her vocals are so emotive. Coupled with the soundscape upon which they lie, they take you on the most beautiful journey.
Dum Maro Dum by Asha Bhosle: What an amazing track! I was really young when I first heard this song and grew to absolutely love it. The song has a real sultry and psychedelic nature and carries the spirit of revolt, true to the hippie subculture of the time.
Boohey Barian (live version) by Hadiqa Kiani: Hadiqa Kiani has a beautifully unique and powerful tone and I like that she sings in Punjabi, commanding her audience effortlessly. It’s the live version of this song that I really enjoy, featuring the qawwali group. They accent her vocals perfectly and add a whole new dimension.
The Berber of Seville by Bombay Dub Orchestra: Dreamy chill-out vibes! I am always transported to another world when I listen to this song. It has a great east-meets-west fusion, marrying modern electronica with distinctive south Asian instruments to deliver a wonderfully cinematic sound. They are two composers I have a great amount of admiration for.
Wandering Star by Portishead: So many favourites from this band! They blew my mind the moment I heard them. This song is so well produced. I love the lo-fi sound and the dark, hypnotic frequencies. It has everything from the crisp sound of the vinyl, to the repetitive groove, and Beth’s haunting vocals is totally mesmerising. A poetic piece of history for me – I couldn’t fault their music.
Ritual Spirit by Massive Attack Ft. Azekel: Another trip-hop legend that has hugely inspired me! This is a really dynamic and progressive track, and Azekel’s stunning narrative sung in falsetto is so strong and fragile at the same time. I really appreciate the moody synths, trippy percussion and eerie backing vocals. It is so captivating.
Bol Hu by Soch the Band Ft. Hadiya Hashmi: A relatively new find, I was super impressed with this track not only because of the seamless amalgamation of Asian folk with elements of prog-rock, but because of Hadiya Hashmi’s mind-blowing vocal range and tone. And she’s only eight or nine-years-old I think? I would love to see her perform live one day – she is unbelievable.