Stories about singing

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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A Star Is Born: Can Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga continue its 80-year legacy?

Even though this movie has been remade multiple times and every single time it appears as a major awards contender, the excitement and anticipation of filmgoers is unwavering. Once again, we have fallen head over heels in love with the trailer of actor turned director Bradley Cooper and singer turned actress Lady Gaga’s much awaited new version of the famous romantic story – A Star Is Born. The timeless love story’s charm has not faded; in fact, it has enhanced further as the new film preview vows to present Cooper and Gaga in adorable characters. The story revolves around a ...

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Why are places like Espresso and Dolmen Mall so averse to live music?

I’m standing at Alexanderplatz in Berlin, hearing music from three different directions coming from street artists who have set up their hats. One plays under a bridge, another next to a shopping district and a third outside a beer hall. I’m not sure which one to listen to when I get an urgent e-mail from Marium Kamal. Marium is an artist and a fine arts teacher who, in her free time, manages Shikari; a small indie duo who play only original Urdu and English songs in Karachi. I met her and the band quite cosmically at a coffee shop on my ...

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Unity, faith and discipline

Unity, faith, discipline. These three basics I knew, I loved, and I respected. Etched into my heart from Independence Days of the past. These were the principles I’d thrive upon. I didn’t know a lot, and maybe I didn’t know enough but I knew unity and faith and discipline. This year, let’s celebrate our country’s independence. This day is about us, our land, our self-determination, our freedom and everything else we wanted almost seven decades ago. Ever since I was a little girl, my grandparents have been telling me about the struggle they went through to get to this “Independence day”; for themselves, and for ...

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Do we want our children singing and dancing to ‘Baby doll mien sone di’?

At ease, liberals, as this won’t be a furious grandparent’s rant on the corrupting influence of today’s music. This is a critical analysis of the influence of modern “item songs” on young people, without invoking a moralistic argument. Veteran actor, Shabana Azmi, recently rebuked item songs in the following words: “I am saying let it be an informed decision. I am not going to dictate what you should do. But be aware that when you do a song like that it is leading to the sexualisation of children and there are four-year-old girls dancing at all kinds of weddings to really bad songs.” Stating ...

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Dear Advertisers, no, we do not start dancing in the streets when we sip on tea!

A few days back, while I was on my way to college, I came across the road near Expo Centre, where the traffic was choked. Naturally, I flipped my hair and smiled at the people in the neighbouring cars; and what do you know, they smiled back! After that we got out of our respective cars, started dancing in the middle of the street with cups of tea that magically appeared in our hands. We danced and swirled while others clapped and hooted. Then, all of a sudden, the traffic opened up, everyone got back into their cars and drove on ...

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Stop hating on Ayyan’s new song, Pakistan

The ever famous model-turned-singer, Ayyan Ali, released her debut single ‘You and I’ featuring Charm a few days ago. Since then, the 21-year-old supermodel has had to face severe criticism with regard to the music video and her singing abilities (or lack thereof). In my humble opinion, whatever the quality of the song may be, I applaud the young model for doing something she believed in – despite knowing the kind of backlash received by her counterparts earlier. I came across the music video the day it was released, and honestly speaking, I didn’t think it was all that bad. It was, in my opinion, very ...

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Lemon squares with a sprinkle of Ali Zafar please!

Born and bred in good ol’ Lahore, this Lahori munda has done us proud in many fields. His claim to fame is painting, singing, dancing and acting. With his adverts zapped nationwide on billboards and television channels, singing and dancing to his own composition, Ali Zafar goes around painting the town yellow and red. Shuffling between the neighbouring Indian film industry, local adverts and composing albums, he is a busy man, yet he was kind enough to take my call whilst driving back home from his dentist appointment. Given the lack of time and opportunities to meet him, I managed a ‘lightning round’ with him ...

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With Ali as Randy, Bushra as Simon and Hadiqa as Paula, what will Pakistan Idol look like?

After creating much hype and expectation, Pakistan Idol is finally here and it is good to see reality television in Pakistan being done this professionally. Having been an avid follower of American Idol for more than six years, I have to say that the Pakistani team of Idol has done a commendable job; from the pre-launch publicity, the judges, the contestants, the fun and the drama, everything about the show makes it a must-watch! So let’s get down to business. Here is my first impression of the show: The contestants I was pleasantly surprised to see the size of the crowd outside the venue. It was definite ...

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Re-igniting the Independence Day passion with melodies of yesterday

As a schoolgirl, I was probably the most patriotic I’ve ever been. I would participate in all the Independence Day activities – performing in the tableaux and skits, singing mili naghmay and making speeches about my love for Pakistan and our struggle for independence. It came from the heart, pure of any doubts and grudges. Times have changed, and after 9/11, my country and countrymen began to face problems we never thought we would. Last night, I decided to revive that fading enthusiasm to celebrate August 14 by looking at dog-eared photographs of my school days. I would wear no less ...

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