In the midst of Pakistan’s melting pot of musical style exists a fan following of the blues genre. A Lahore-based band which came together with the efforts of Talha Ali Kushvaha, has been around since 2011. In order to cater to a potentially vast domestic audience, BlueSax has used local musical themes, developing the blues sound for Pakistani enthusiasts of the genre.
The band can be seen performing at various social gatherings and corporate events, making its way to stardom gradually. Members include Steve George, who plays the guitar, bassist Salman Majeed, Nadeem Hassan Tafu on the drums, while Kushvaha himself plays the saxophone, and is the vocalist as well.
Kushvaha says his love for the saxophone pulled him towards jazz and blues music. Belonging to its own niche, Kushvaha and his fellow band members have tried to use culturally relevant lyrics to localize his version of the “desi blues.” He believes this genre can get increasingly popular by making it more accessible to the Pakistani audience. Since the 1980s, the artist has been involved in playing music. Living in New York prior to moving back to Pakistan, Kushvava is a Consultant and History teacher, as well.
Kushvaha counts Eddie Vinson, Muddy Waters, Sonny Rollins and Ustad Bare Ghulam Ali Khan as some of his influences. For the past five years, BlueSax has been releasing singles, but they’re currently compiling their first album. The album is called “Babu Blues,” where Babu is a culturally historic character. Stay tuned.