Friday, January 06, 2012

Rewind (part ii - Pakistani music in 2011)


Musicians look back at Pakistani music in 2011, and share their plans for this year

Haniya Aslam: Some very exciting music came out last year. We had Uth Records at the beginning of the year, and I had Ramlal’s Naughty Boy on repeat for a couple of months. The soundtrack of Karachi – The Musical blew me away also. And over the past month I heard Natasha Ejaz’s new single Jahaan, Poor Rich Boy’s debut track Alice, and two new tracks from a the new band Fables of Cantt. All very innovative and exciting music. Can’t wait to see what 2012 has in store for us!

Ali Zafar: I think, considering the potential in Pakistan, music was still at the back burner. However thanks to online social networking, one did come across some very interesting stuff. I liked a song Alice by a Pakistani band abroad, and I liked Aalu Anday, too.

Zeeshan Parwez: Music-wise, I’m proud of what was achieved by the bands selected in Uth Records, season one. The likes of Yasir & Jawad, Ramlal, Jumbo Jutt, Athar Sani, Usman Riaz, and Natasha Ejaz were my favourites for this year. It has been a low one for me personally. I was really expecting our album to get [released] last year, but it just kept on getting delayed, because of security conditions and etcetera. We hope the new Sajid and Zeeshan album will surface soon because we don’t want to keep our fans waiting anymore. On the other hand, I’m working on my solo audio project that I plan to release mid of this year, Insha’Allah.

Faakhir Mehmood: Pakistan has immense music talent and as usual music making continued in Pakistan in the year 2011; however Indian produced music grabbed more limelight and attention! Sadly, the economy woes and law and order problems in our country continued to haunt the music based entertainment industry. Pakistani musicians continued to look towards Bollywood for a break and in the process failed to stand up for their fair share on Pakistani airwaves (music and entertainment TV channels), despite PEMRA prescribed percentage that guarantees more airplay and preference to Pakistani music.
My favourite Pakistani track in 2011 was Aalu Anday. I like the overall direction that Pakistani music is taking and feel that it will arrest the decline it’s been facing with its sheer free spiritedness and the strength of its originality. As far as I am concerned, I released a new album, Jee Chaahay, after a lapse of over six years and retained my signature sound. The response has been overwhelming and the tours and concerts have started to take shape. Quite a few music videos are in the pipeline as I will continue to invest in our industry. I am ending this year on a very satisfying note and looking forward to a great new year.

Annie Khalid: My favourite of the year was Neray Aah by Overload; the audio and the video were amazing, and if asked to pick my favourite of the year, I think it would be that. If I have to pick a release for 2011 that I didn’t like, I think it would be Komal Rizvi’s version of Someone Like You, originally by Adele, simply because I think that when you are dealing with such an amazing song like Someone Like You, you automatically expect the artist who is doing a cover or their version of the song to be absolutely spectacular, but it fell short of that. Although I really admire Komal Rizvi and I think she is a really good artist, I feel it was a song she shouldn’t have done. As for me, a few of my videos got released this year and I did many tours. Besides that, I got the opportunity to represent Pakistan on an international platform with the ‘Lebara Norway’ campaign and my collaboration with the international pop band A1. I take things as they come, and I really can’t think of any lowlights. Alhamdulillah, last year was very good for me. About my future projects...well, more collaborations as I have said, a few surprises, and many more tours and videos are in store.

Mustafa Zahid: 2011 [music] scene for me was a lot better in terms of shows and overall, thanks to the country’s security situation that’s getting a bit better. Favourite release was Call’s album Dhoom, and not to forget Overload’s Batti; superb track really. As for Roxen, our new video featuring Bunny was released and we got superb response for that. Looking forward to more collaborations, specially the one we have done with RDB. 2012 will have Roxen written all over it. Tons of music is in the pipeline with a lot of Bollywood music, too. Fingers crossed!

Junaid Khan: The overall music scene in Pakistan is not so well, though I have to give it to the artists who are not losing hope and still continuing to produce good music so that this industry can hold its grounds till it revives again. Also the brands are playing a very important role to support this industry and the artists. Brands like Coke and Ufone and Pepsi have been doing their respective bit in giving a huge international platform for this industry; let’s hope they continue to do so. There are quite a few who are actually doing a great job lately. Out of the latest, I would say Qayas and QB are really talented. We need artists like these in the industry to follow the footsteps of the ones who gave this country a huge name in the world in music. As I mentioned earlier, I like the fact that the artists are still pushing to make their name in the market though there isn’t much support for any new talent, which is a good sign. For me, I think, the career has been a smooth sail, and also for the ones who actually emerged during the 2003 era. Musicians who have emerged from that time have been stable throughout because that was the prime time for this industry, but any new talent emerging now is finding it real hard because focus has shifted from entertainment to news due to wrong decisions on the part of the government to give excessive licenses to news channels. For me, Call launched its new album a few months back by the name Dhoom; we are currently doing shows throughout Pakistan. Other than that, I am also focusing on a few solo tracks apart from Call, which will be released within the next few months. Plus I am doing a few acting projects under the Momal Productions banner; the current one on air is Mujhey Roothney Na Dena, and next is Mataa-e Jaan, set to release at the end of January, Insha’Allah.

- By Sameen Amer

Us Magazine, The News - 6th January, 2012

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