Stories about musician

Just like Elton John, Rocketman is more of a musical fantasy than a conventional biopic

The success of Bohemian Rhapsody seems to have opened the door for biopics about famous rock stars, and the subject of the upcoming film Rocketman is certainly someone who fits the bill. For decades, Elton John has captured the hearts of millions with his flamboyant style and beautiful voice, so it’s only fitting that he finally gets a biopic of his own. The first trailer, which released recently, charts the transformational journey of the singer from a shy piano-playing wunderkind named Reginald Dwight, to an icon of pop and glam rock. The trailer picks up from his childhood, when he ...

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From “New Year, new me” to “New Year, same old me”: 5 resolutions you hear at the start of every year

There’s a lot of talk and literature on the five stages of grief; you may even know them by heart. It’s great if you know; grief is tough to deal with and people should be introduced to its stages and variations. However, there are other things too which recur yearly, that people should be prepared for. Last year, my best friend Seher called me on December 31st, saying: “Maryam, this is it. 2018 is the year.” I immediately recalled our conversation on December 31, 2016, when she revealed to me that 2017 would be the year. But I love that girl to bits, so ...

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A Star Is Born: Tragic, realistic and brilliant

There are so many names engraved on the sidewalk of Hollywood Boulevard, stars that are widely recognised and acknowledged for their exceptional talents. However, the rise to stardom is the tricky part. Many work extremely hard to get to that point, for some it happens rather suddenly or quite unexpectedly. Hollywood’s new release, A Star Is Born, narrates a similar heartwarming story of two musicians; a regular girl who rises to stardom and a celebrity in agony due to his diminishing stardom. Bradley Cooper’s directorial masterpiece and Lady Gaga’s eloquent performances have delivered a lovely story of compassion and solicitude. A Star Is Born ...

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Is it okay to awaken the dead to settle a score with Adnan Sami Khan?

Last Monday, a young writer by the name of Ahsan Mehmood wrote a hypothetical letter  from Adnan Sami Khan’s (ASK) deceased father to his son for a newsblog called The Weekly Pakistan. The letter was written in response to a tweet from Adnan in which he congratulated the Indian armed forces and PM Modi on a “successful surgical strike against terror”. Big Congratulations to @PMOIndia & our brave Armed forces for a brilliant, successful & mature strategic strike against #terrorism ! #Salute — Adnan Sami (@AdnanSamiLive) September 29, 2016 The letter essentially consisted of the father, a decorated PAF officer, talking about ...

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Dancing to the tunes of the Song of Lahore is pure joy

Prepare to be mesmerised by the Song of Lahore, a lovely documentary directed by twice Oscar winner Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy and Andy Shocken. Be ready to be hypnotised, to clap along, hum along and to fall madly in love with the Sachal-Jazz ensemble and their mission to make, according to founder Izzat Majeed “global music that is rooted in Lahore.” In order to preserve Pakistan’s fading musical roots, Majeed established the Sachal recording studio in Lahore and gathered the best of Pakistan’s classically trained instrumentalists, mostly aging men from extremely humble backgrounds, to revive the music he had grown up on. ...

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If Zayn Malik is happy, then so are we

March 25th, 2015; the day the world ended. Or, at least, that is how it felt to all the fans of One Direction around the globe. Ask a Directioner and they will tell you that it felt as though their hearts had been ripped out of their chests and laid bare, quote unquote. But ask their parents and they will sigh deeply and insist that their children are overreacting, being melodramatic, as the entirety of this generation seems to be; and these things happen all the time – remember the Beatles? And really, the drama is comical. Parents and teenagers are completely at odds ...

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Is it too risky to become a Pakistani rock star instead of a banker?

My accounting teacher back in O-level (Grade 11) gave us an example of how conservative and hypocritical our Pakistani society can be. She said there are certain tribal areas in Pakistan that are against the education of women and would oppose it on every front. But when one of the girls from their area would end up becoming a successful doctor they would proudly exclaim, “Ye dekho, humara larki doctor ban gaya hai!” (Look at that, our daughter has become a doctor!) I have realised this attitude is not just restricted to the tribal areas. Pakistanis do not recognise or appreciate good things while they are ...

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On dynastic politics and feudalism: A response to Salman Ahmad

Renowned Pakistan musician Salman Ahmad wrote a piece published in The Express Tribune on December 31, 2012. I have tried in the following paragraphs to rebut his argument by pointing out factual inaccuracies in the piece. Mr Ahmad begins with castigating the ‘feudal elite’ of the country while citing the instance of the chilling murder of Shahzeb Khan, gunned down in Karachi by the ‘sons of corrupt feudal elite that Bilawal represents’. Aside from inherent flaws of inductive reasoning employed by Mr Ahmad, feudalism has come to be a whipping boy when it comes to a simplistic explanation of multifaceted problems ...

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Piracy: What stands between Pakistani music, and greatness

Pakistani music is recognised around the world for its distinct and creative style. The diversities in Pakistani music are there for everyone to hear, with artists coming up with everything from hip hop and rock, all the way to classical eastern music, with some musicians even putting them together. The fact that we don’t have a prestigious film industry helps rather than hurts. Since artists don’t look towards movies to be their main form of advertisement or the medium for people to be exposed to their music, they don’t need to make specific types of tracks to please producers and ...

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Talking music with Malang Party’s Zeeshan Mansoor

I’ve written countless times about how the music scene in Islamabad needs major rejuvenation. Venues, bands and music fans – everything is scarce. Most fans listen to what is popular and ignore lesser known bands because the majority is the authority (and of course, democracy is Islamabad’s middle name). But Malang Party is one band that has continued to make music despite these challenges. And they are doing a darn good job. Recently I caught up with Zeeshan Mansoor (guitarist and songwriter for Malang Party) and discussed the prospects of music, musical evolution and his approach towards music as a guitar player. 1) ...

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