Stories about music

Why I am disappointed with Coke Studio season 9

Dear Coke Studio, I thank you for your efforts, for giving us some fine music yet again and bringing together the best talent in Pakistan. You are indeed a platform that makes us proud of our music. There are so many reasons why we love you and eagerly await your season each year. However, despite being a fan of your music, I couldn’t help but feel dissatisfied over the fact that you have completely neglected other provinces and their music in your latest season. Your biased attitude has disgruntled me. And it leaves me as a fan feeling like this gesture was in bad taste. I love Punjabi and Urdu ...

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The faults in PEMRA’s decisions

Pakistan Electronic Media Regulation Authority – or PEMRA as we know it – is the body that aims to regulate and monitor content released in Pakistan on television and broadcasting networks.  This is their mandate: 1. Improve the standards of information, education and entertainment; 2. Enlarge the choice available to the people of Pakistan in the media for news, current affairs, religious knowledge, art, culture, science, technology, economic development, social sector concerns, music, sports, drama and other subjects of public and national interest; 3. Facilitate the devolution of responsibility and power to the grass roots by improving the access of the people to ...

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Four reasons why Coke Studio’s Afreen Afreen is my new favourite

Coke Studio’s second episode went on air on August 19, 2016, and Afreen Afreen, sung by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Momina Mustehsan, stole the limelight – rightfully so. While some loved it and others hated it – for me, Afreen Afreen encompassed exactly what Coke Studio is all about. Coke Studio started nine years ago, and succeeded in bringing famous Pakistani singers together on a platform in order to recreate some of the most legendary songs of the past. When I say recreate, it should be made clear that recreation does not mean singing it again, as it is, rather it means creating something new, with the essence of ...

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Pakistan and India: Friends abroad always, enemies at home always always

As someone who had been raised in the United States by Pakistani immigrants, I have always found it difficult to fathom the animosity between Pakistanis and Indians living in South Asia. All the aspects of life that bring the two groups together – from music and food, to values and mannerisms – get clouded out by the venomous politics between the countries’ governments. During this time of celebration for the 69th year of independence of Pakistan and India, I strongly believe that the only way forward is for the citizens of both these countries to recognise their shared experiences ...

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Pop-up in the Park: Reclaiming public spaces in Karachi

Spoken Stage, in collaboration with Girls at Dhabas, hosted an event coined “Pop-up in the Park” at Frere Hall this Saturday in order to reclaim the public spaces in Karachi. Spoken Stage is an organisation that fosters the growth of individual expression through the projection of spoken word poetry and prose. Girls at Dhabas was created with the intention of enabling women to claim public spaces, and is quickly gaining influence as women all over South Asia are using the hashtag #girlsatdhabas. The event took place at Frere Hall with the intention of reclaiming public spaces.Photo: ...

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Is the Lahore Metro more important than Nusrat Fateh Ali’s legacy?

The Lahore Metro, a project first proposed in the early 1990’s, has finally been set in motion after overcoming many of its obstacles regarding funding. After construction had begun, the Lahore High Court intervened and suspended the activity till the Orange Line was rerouted to protect 11 heritage sites from being impacted. These heritage sites include the Shalimar Gardens, Chauburji monuments, St Andrews Church, the tomb of Mehrunnisa and the tomb of Mauj Darya Bukhari. This intervention has calmed the uproar of the masses as it protects the symbols of our culture and history. To most of us what would ...

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Is education killing creativity?

This one TED-talk made me rethink my concept of education. Education for me had always been about rote learning and grades. I mean, if I could repeat the day’s lesson verbatim I was one of the most intelligent students. But if that logic applies, then a parrot can repeat things perfectly too so it is probably the most intelligent of all life forms. But parrots aren’t educated. Do you see my conundrum? Education should be about more than just about becoming literate, it should also facilitate creativity and originality. In my opinion, formal education is producing a workforce conditioned to be conformist; ...

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11 things we learnt from Ho Mann Jahaan

“Ho Mann Jahaan”, apparently among Pakistan’s most anticipated films, released recently to packed houses and rave reviews. While there’s enough in the film to keep you glued to the seats, Pakistan has definitely seen better films lately. An amazing soundtrack, a boisterous star-cast, decent acting, ample use of flashy colours, spectacular cinematography and some great locales are some of the film’s strong points. However, there’s more to the film; and far more shades of grey that go well in one flick. So here’s a round-up of the deeper meanings and greater life lessons from “Ho Mann Jahaan”. No spoilers ...

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Noori awakens the music industry with ‘Begum Gul Bakaoli Sarfarosh’

Recently, the highly acclaimed Pakistani music band, Noori, held album preview sessions in Lahore, Islamabad, and Karachi for the public on a first come basis. That was the first uncut and instrumental public performance of their upcoming new album, “Begum Gul Bakaoli Sarfarosh”. Being a Noori fan myself and having attended the album preview held in Lahore, I can safely say the band members, Ali Noor and Ali Hamza, have not given up on the music industry in Pakistan just yet. They made an attempt to bond with their loyal fan base and discussed the ideas and concepts behind the album in ...

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Aik Tha Badshah: Is Noori declaring war on Pakistan’s rock bands?

Noori is back! After 10 years of crappy commercial songs and a few good coke studio productions, after 10 years of dormancy, Noori is back. Noori, for me, is synonymous with nostalgia. It reminds of the long drives on GT Road travelling between cities. It reminds of riding my bicycle late at night while playing chor-police in the neighbourhood. It reminds me of the heavy torrential rains of Punjab that used to wet the earth for weeks on end (Oh God, let it rain in Karachi). It reminds me of the all-nighters I pulled off during my matriculation exams where every inch of my existence would pull ...

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