For many many years music in Afghanistan meant singing a religious song or chanting Talibani hymns. Any other form of singing was simply forbidden. Many Afghan families fled the repression to neighbouring countries. And it was here that their kids first heard the sound of an electric guitar, drums and rock music. While most were just happy listening to rock music, three young Afghans had other plans.
Sulyman Qardash, learnt guitar while living in Uzbekhistan, bass guitarist Siddique Ahmed lived in Pakistan and drummer Mujtaba Habibi grew up in Iran. With the Taliban regime collapsed due to the US invasion eight years ago, all three headed back to Afghanistan. Armed with their guitars and drums, they got together to form the country’s first rock band: Kabul Dreams.
And two years since their formation, they have not just managed to appeal to Afghan youth but also to a large South Asian and international audience. Their Facebook page has more than 2500 fans. They’ve managed to tap into a global fanbase because their songs are in English rather than their native Daari or Pashto. And also perhaps because their lyrics, in songs such as Sound of Peace and Love show the world that there’s more to Afghanistan than just bombs, guns and violence.
The members of Kabul Dreams have also become mentors for new bands springing up in the country these days like District Unknown.
Here they are on the third edition of South Asia Beat. Click on the link below and hear what they sound like.