No/Yes Love

This is the canonical recording from Dr. aur Billa. For lack of better term, Dr. aur Billa is a comedy band. That term seems to suggest a lack of seriousness, but I consider their comedy to be in fact, very serious. To discount Dr. aur Billa as a joke is to call all Lahori banter a farce.

Let’s just start with the name. If you know anyone from Lahore, chances that they know one person who is a is a Doctor (or is referred to as one), and another referred to as Billa (or as another animal), are quite high. I don’t know why Lahori men nickname each other as animals, but it happens often.

From Hasan Ansari, Ali Raj, and Rafay Mahmood’s Lost Tales:

While studying at the college, Bashir and his fellow batch mates Ahsan Rahim, Ahmed Ibrahim and Faisal Qureshi started a sketch-cum-music show called Video Junction (VJ).

While there was no shortage of musical talent in the country and the show did prove to be a launching pad for several musicians, Bashir recalls how most of the artistes would approach them with run-of-the-mill romantic songs.

Sick of this banality, he penned the lyrics for No Love. “The nights used to be really hot so we used to climb the tanki on the roof and sleep there. One day, while I was lying on the roof, I thought to myself how most of the singers talk about being in love all the time. There has to be someone who has never fallen in love and is at peace,” he narrates.

Dr. aur Billa are interesting because the tone of their music is so fresh to the music industry. But this tone is not new to the culture. In fact, Dr. aur Billa capture this tone perfectly. Characteristic of this tone is over the top expressiveness, and responding to important questions with ridiculousness. It is the only way we know how to survive.

Following the success of No Love, Dr. aur Billa received a bagful of mail, praising them for the single and requesting them to make more music. To the requests, Bashir once joked on TV that they do not have money to make music and will only do so if every fan of theirs sends them Rs1.5 each. “We once again received boris and boris of letters, with Rs1.5 secured safely in each envelope.” Owing to its success, Dr Aur Billa made more singles after No Love, including a sequel titled Yes Love.

Here’s No Love. I also recommend Yes Love.