|Origin||Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan|
|Genres||Alternative rock, pop rock, sufi rock|
(on hiatus from 2006-08)
|Labels||Sadaf Stereo, BIY Records|
|Associated acts||co-VEN, Junoon, Zeb and Haniya, Overload, Aaroh, Sajid & Zeeshan, Mizraab|
Muhammad Ali Jafri
Louis J. Pinto (aka Gumby)
|Past members||Salman Albert
Noori (Urdu:نوری, literal English translation: “light”) is a rock band from Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan, formed in 1996. The group was formed by songwriter, lead vocalist and guitarist, Ali Noor, along with his younger brother Ali Hamza, who were soon joined by bassist Muhammad Ali Jafri and drummer Salman Albert as well as by Disc Jokie Junaid Shams (known for JoNi). Since the inception of the band, there had been many changes in the line-up the only consistent members being, brothers, Ali Noor and Ali Hamza. The band are considered as one of the pioneering forces behind what is dubbed at the "21st Century pop revolution of Pakistan".
The band are known for being one of the pioneers of the Pakistani rock music scene. Although, initially the band, formed by the two brothers, Ali Noor and Ali Hamza, the latter left the band to pursue studies at Lahore University of Management Sciences. However, Ali Noor and Muhammad Ali Jafri continued playing for the band and recruited drummer Salman Ahmed, who soon left and was replaced by Farhad Humayun. The band then went on releasing several singles which included, “Jana tha Humne” and “Tum Hans Diyay” after which Humayun also departed. The band recruited Louis J. Pinto (aka Gumby) on drums and Murtaza Jaffar on guitars. Soon afterwards, the band started to work on their debut album Suno Ke Main Hun Jawan (2003) but before the release of the album Ali Hamza joined the band once again on vocals and guitars in place of Jaffar who left the band. Noori took the shape of a four member band and went on releasing their debut album. After two years, the band went on recording and releasing their the critically acclaimed second album Peeli Patti Aur Raja Jani Ki Gol Dunya (2005), after which bassist, Ali Jafri left the band and started his own business. In 2006, drummer Louis J. Pinto (Gumby), also left the band, as he was busy doing side projects with other bands as a session player, apart from the blood brothers, Ali Noor and Ali Hamza. After a 2-month hiatus, the duo made their comeback into the music scene in 2008 by releasing their first ever song written "Do Dil".
In 2009, the band featured at the second season of the musical television show Coke Studio, also performing in the next season the following year. The band then started working on the release of their third studio album. However, in 2011, Louis J. Pinto (Gumby) and Muhammad Ali Jafri rejoin and Noori reunited to its original four-man line up; as it was at the launch of their debut album. In 2013, Gumby parted ways with the brothers again citing personal reasons and Jafri was also no where to be seen in live concerts played by the band.
Early years (1998-2002)
The name of the band, Noori, is not derived from Ali Noor, lead vocalist and guitarist. Noori is a Persian word which means “light” and the concept behind the band was the light which shows you things with a different perspective. Noori’s songs are about young people.
Noori started 7 years before their first album "Suno Ke Main Hun Jawan" which came in 2003. Before Noori, Ali Noor and Muhammad Ali Jaffri worked with co-VEN and released an EP called “Not in your world”. Noori has been famous for their live acts and they performed their very first concert in 1998, at Sacred Heart School, Lahore. Their second album was released in 2005.
Mainstream success (After First Album) (2002-2005)
Noori's debut album, "Suno Ke Main Hun Jawan" had developed a cult following before the album's release in 2003 through leaks on the internet. "Suno Ke Main Hun Jawan" offers a complicated mix of sounds, starting from a folk-like "Manwa Re" that was actually written for a Pakistani film, to hard rock anthems to youth like the title track. Noori’s debut album created whirlwinds across the Urdu speaking community all over the world. A first of its kind, it introduced the genre of pop rock music to the Pakistani mainstream. In addition the album was also a departure from the beaten track of chummy love songs and focused instead on inspiring the youth of Pakistan to take up the responsibility of doing something worthwhile for themselves and others. Thematically with songs urging listeners to change the world, that life is beautiful and professing women empowerment. Their album was about youth, their innocence, their dreams and how they feel about life. After their album release in 2003, they performed a duet, Nayan Jahan, with Anaida which was a success.
Their second album was a follow up on where "Suno Ke Main Hun Jawan" left off. It talks about what happens when the ever so energetic and hopeful youth grows up and faces the realities of the world. The discontentment and suffering which arises in this growing up, creates an indifferent and self-centered individual, who finds escape routes in things like drugs and other short-lived pleasures. Noori's second album, "Peeli Patti Aur Raja Jani Ki Gol Dunya", on the other hand, starts off in a somewhat hopeful mood and then travels through bitter experiences and ends up with resigned despair, peppered with taunts.The album deals with a variety of subjects ranging from the problems and consequences of drug use to the collective apathy we all have descended into as individuals and as a society. Over a span of 6 years the band has put out two albums, they have performed over 400 concerts, self-produced 10 music videos and won 3 major music awards.
After Second Album (2005-2012)
In 2005 Muhammad Ali Jafri, who was playing bass guitar for Noori, left the band and started his own business. In 2006, Noori parted ways with Louis J. Pinto (Gumby), the band's drummer, as he was busy doing side projects with other bands as a session player, and unable to give much time to Noori. For now on Noori has two band members and they are both blood brothers, Ali Noor and Ali Hamza.
In 2008, after a hiatus of almost 2 years Noori came back with their new single "Do Dil". It is the first song ever composed by the band. In fact it is this song after which the brothers decided to start the band. The video is directed by Mandana Zaidi. It begins with the actual footage from 1996, of the first attempt to record the song. The video has clips of some of those that have been a part of the Noori's journey in one way or the other.
In 2009, they performed at the Coke Studio Sessions along with artists like Atif Aslam, Zeb and Haniya, Ali Zafar, Saeen Zahoor and many other successful musicians. They performed a duet with Saeen Zahoor, "Aik Alif", a sufi rock song which was huge success. They also performed in the third episode of Coke Studio Sessions with their song "Jo Meray" which was performed in the format as it was originally composed by Ali Hamza in 2000. They performed "Sari Raat Jaga" on the fourth Coke Studio Session. On 14 August 2009, Noori performed "Kedaar" from their upcoming album at the last Coke Studio Session.
On May 15, 2010, the lineup for Coke Studio confirmed that Noori will feature in the third season along with many well known artists and bands like Entity Paradigm, Aunty Disco Project, Karavan, Abida Parveen and many other successful musicians. On June 20, 2010, Noori performed a duet "Tann Dolay" with Zeb & Haniya at Coke Studio third season the second session, 'Will'. On July 10, 2010, Noori released the studio version of the single "Tann Dolay" which also featured Zeb & Haniya. On July 18, 2010, Ali Noor and Ali Hamza did a live interview with Abdul Rauf and Maria Memon the weekly morning show, 'Geo Pakistan', on Geo News. On July 26, 2010, the Noori brothers did a collaboration at the fourth Coke Studio session 'Form' for the song "Hor Vi Neevan Ho" with their mother, Noor Zehra Kazim, an accomplished player of the Sagar Veena, an instrument developed by her father, Raza Kazim at the Sanjan Nagar Institute for Philosophy and Arts.
Noori has contributed their famous song with Saieen Zahoor for the latest BBC production "West is West" starring Om Puri. The Film is a sequel of now cult film, East is East made ten years ago by the same team.
On February 14, 2011, Noori performed a live cover of Vital Signs song "Teray Liye" through their video blog for their fans on Valentine's Day. On May 6, Louis J. Pinto (Gumby) and Muhammad Ali Jafri officially made their return to the band after performing in Karachi at a concert with the other two members of the band.
After Third Album (2012-Present)
First Single Taaron sa Agay released on 13 February 2012 after reuniting in May 2011. The band goes back to its roots and shares another youth anthem about emancipation, about freedom and this time, instead for reaching out for the stars, they talk about going beyond the stars.
- Studio albums
- Current members
- Ali Noor - vocals, backing vocals, lead guitar (1996–present)
- Ali Hamza - vocals, backing vocals, rhythm guitar (1996–present)
- Muhammad Ali Jafri - bass guitar (1996–2005, 2011–2011)
- Junaid Shams - disc jockey, musician (2012–present)
- Former members
- Louis J. Pinto (aka Gumby) - drums (2003–2006, 2011–2013)
- Salman Albert – drums, backing vocals (1996–1999)
- Farhad Humayun – drums (2000–2002)
- Murtaza Jaffar – rhythm guitar (2003)
- Hisham Malik- bass guitar (2001)
- Live concert (additional members 2012)
- Faraz Anwar - Lead guitar
- Zeeshan Pervez
- Awais Jaffery - Bass & Lead Guitar (Performance in Ottawa, Canada)
- Noori won the Award for the Best Rock Song for "Do Dil" at MTV Music Awards in 2009.
- Noori was selected as "Picked Artist Of The Month" on the Pakistani music channel called "The Musik" in June 2006.
- Noori has won the Best Rock Song Category Award for "Nishaan" in Indus Music Awards 2006.
- nooriworld.net Suno Ke Mein Hun Jawan Review Retrieved July 14, 2009
- nooriworld.net Peeli Patti Aur Raja Jani Ki Gol Dunya Review Retrieved July 14, 2009
- Noori at Coke Studio Retrieved July 14, 2009
- Coke Studio Aik Alif Video Retrieved July 14, 2009
- Aik Alif Review Retrieved July 14, 2009
- nooriworld.net Jo Meray Review Retrieved July 14, 2009
- Jo Meray Video Retrieved July 14, 2009
- Coke Studio Saari Raat Jaga Video Retrieved on July 26, 2009.
- Kedaar Video Retrieved on August 15, 2009
- Lineup of Coke Studio Season 3 (Complete) Retrieved on May 16, 2010.
- Episode 4 Form Retrieved on August 01, 2010.
- Jaffery, Awais. "Performance in Ottawa". DesiVibe.com. Retrieved 18 April 2012.