Meesha Shafi’s new single Hot Mango Chutney Sauce is a blend of electropop, sarcasm and over-the-top visuals. And if anyone thought she was down and out, they were wrong. The Queen has returned with a lesson: art is the best revenge.
Hot Mango Chutney Sauce brings together Eman Suleman, Zara Peerzada, Rubab Ali, Baemisaal, Abdullah Siddiqui, Hashim Ali and anonymous content creator Swineryy.
With this electropop number, Meesha reflects on our petty obsessions and inability to identify with the world beyond material possessions.
“The idea of writing this song came out of a period of reflection on the rat race we often find ourselves in, where much of the focus is on what people own instead of who they are,” Meesha stated in a press release. “It’s a pitfall that is particularly hard to avoid in an industry literally called showbiz, so coming to this realisation has been fascinating.”
The song features Urdu, Punjabi and English lyrics written by Meesha herself.
Like its snappy lyrics and a different composition, the music video is too a departure from what musicians usually come up with in Pakistan. Wild outfits, a disco-themed dhaba, and a truck full of mangoes bedecked with rave lights make for a visual treat. The video brings back in style bobbing parandas, bright eyeshadows, maang tikkas and denim jackets with exaggerated detailing.
It may remind you of your childhood as well with an old-fashioned sewing machine and a television.
Producer Abdullah Siddiqui, who is an emerging electropop artist, shared his experience of working on Hot Mango Chutney Sauce:
“The themes Meesha was working with on this song really resonated with me because I’ve personally begun to feel like culturally there’s an obsession with keeping up appearances, and sacrificing authenticity in the process.
Abdullah said he was excited by the lyrics because they are in contrast to the kind of “introspective and sombre” work that Meesha is known for.
"I had the time of my life producing this track to reflect the spirit in which Meesha wrote it; brash, maximalist, super-charged and unapologetically fun,” Abdullah remarked.
Perhaps the best part of the video is the self-referential Swineryy Aunty character who is miffed Meesha didn't do the song in more English. She had thought she would be appearing in an English song and not a Punjabi one. Someone needs to teach you about consent, she scolds.
Hot Mango Chutney Sauce was released on September 10, Friday, on YouTube.