Having seen Auj and AARISH, the top two bands competing for the title of winners this season in the last episode through a bevy of songs, the eighth and finale episode unveiled the winners.
The episode opened up with Ali Safina and Hina Altaf introducing the judges Meesha Shafi, Fawad Khan, Bilal Maqsood and Faisal Kapadia.
Winners of Pepsi Battle of the Bands Season 2 & 3, Kashmir and Bayaan returned on the stage. They both surprisingly did not opt for separate performances rather the two groups planned to perform together. They chose the song “Dhaltay Rahay” and told the story behind the song that it is about the process of life that one can not stop. Their performance enthralled the audience and the judges were also seen rooting for them.
Shahi Hasan returned to the stage along with Farid Ayaz and Abu Muhammad. They performed a Qawali originally by Farid Ayaz based on the Raag Behro. Another singer, Maria who predominantly sings in English also joined the trio as a rapper. The performance again was a fusion of genres and emerged as a successful experiment.
Aarish band members (Humayun Mir, Fahad Sikandar, Nehal Azhar, Syed Haziq Ali and Nowsherwan Mehmood) then introduced their families, and their families shared their fun stories and anecdotes. The band members shared their story, as the band formed back in 2010. Vocalist Nowsherwan Mehmood joined the band in 2011 as the band took an ascending glide. They disclosed that they first went for season 2 but realized that they needed a lot of work on their music. Later, they again went for season 3 and cleared the audition round. Finally, they came back in season 4 with full preparation and successfully qualified into the finals. They also said that they felt vulnerable when they were put against E Sharp, but still, they gave their best and emerged as the winners of that battle, eliminating the fan-favorite ‘E Sharp’.
Aarish remarkably gave an energetic performance of the song ‘Pukaar’ and got a standing ovation from the judges. Meesha Shafi thought that this was their most cohesive and solid performance so far, and complimented Nowsherwan on his low notes. Fawad Khan called their show a “tear-jerker” performance. Faisal and Bilal also complimented them.
Meesha Shafi performed her new single “Leela” which is lyrically based upon a conversation between a girl and a moon. In a very sultry, poetic, relaxing vibe, Meesha performed the song. The performance was a show, as Meesha was seen wearing a crown and all white as she started the song with sultry low vocals and later transcended into mid-voice powerful belts.
In the same way as Aarish, AUJ members (Nasir Zaka, Syed Husnain Ali, Muhammad Kashif, and Abdur Rehman Sajid) introduced their families as they shared their musical journey. AUJ performed their song “Aansu” which is lyrically based upon a conversation between a man and his tears. The audience went crazy as AUJ slayed their performance. Bilal Maqsood called their performance “heavy”, and on a lighter note asked the vocalist Abdur Rehman to never wear that jacket again. Meesha called it a rock fusion with an AR Rahman’s vibe. Faisal said that there are two types of artists/band “Live” and “Studio” artists, and he believed that AUJ was the former one and would love to attend their concerts in the future. Fawad also complimented them by saying that he believed in them since day one and was happy to witness their journey.
Then, it was Fawad’s performance. Titled ‘Uth Jaag’ Fawad defined the song as the story of “Time talking to a person and the person responding to the time.” Again, another haunting yet electrifying performance which thrilled the audience. The larger than life musical arrangements and the rock vibes lifted up the song.
Strings came in for the final performance with their original song ‘Hum Aaye’. Dubbed as an anthem for youth, Strings didn’t hold back and gave their all as the audience roared and enjoyed every bit of their outstanding performance. The song had some traditional ‘Strings elements’ fused with the modern sound of the 2010s.
Finally, it was time to announce the winner. Both AUJ and Aarish stood up on stage with confused and nervous faces. Ali Saifna invited Saad Munawar on the stage, the marketing director of Pepsi Cola to announce the winning band of Pepsi Battle of the Bands Season 4. AUJ was announced as the winner of season 4. Judges joined them on stage and Auj was awarded 5,000,000 rupees cash prize, along with a music album deal and concerts throughout the country.
Here’s the reaction of Pakistanis on Twitter:
Great ending to the #PepsiBattleoftheBands Congratulations to Auj, that boy can SING! Powerful performances by the judges and of course Shahi Hasan.I just hope the live music scene gets going again and the new gen experiences it too. Lahori winter's and Live music (Pop/Rock) ♥️🎵
— Haroon Shahid (@HaroonsMusic) August 23, 2019
AUJ deserve it, they won it #PepsiBattleoftheBands
Lafz nhi hain mera pas"
There story was inspiring, made me cry!
— *Zargham Khan* 🇵🇰 (@Zarghammm) August 23, 2019
OHMYGOD. The Song, the Voice, Voice Modulations. Just, MYGOD.
Also this whole look is so damn Fineeeee, boy😭😭💥💥💥♥️
— Manushree♌ (@Fawad_Maniac) August 23, 2019
Greatest music content ever created by @pepsipakistan. @AujTheBand you were my favorite since the beginning. #Raat & #Lafz will always be in my playlist. #PepsiBattleoftheBands really did a fantastic job. Congratulationsto the team. https://t.co/IRylW9S9my @stringsonline
— Saad Anees (@RealSaadAnees) August 24, 2019
I’m still unsure between AUJ and XARB that who is the best band to come out of #PepsiBattleoftheBands after its restart but I’m very sure that there hasn’t been a singer like Abdur Rehman in history of the competition.
He is Eddie Veddar in making. @pepsipakistan
— Raheel (@RaheelRed) August 23, 2019
— Mzk (@MahamZ11) August 23, 2019
— Faraz Athar (@FarazAthar2) August 23, 2019
Watch the full episode here: