Abdullah Siddiqui’s career continues to skyrocket with Joyland

May 01, 2022

Abdullah Siddiqui can do no wrong. His latest accomplishment providing music for a film which has gone to the prestigious Cannes Film Festival. The film, Joyland, is co-produced by Sarmad Khoosat...

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Abdullah Siddiqui can do no wrong. His latest accomplishment providing music for a film which has gone to the prestigious Cannes Film Festival. The film, Joyland, is co-produced by Sarmad Khoosat and directed by Saim Sadiq. When news broke of the film heading to Cannes, a genuinely humble Abdullah Siddiqui noted on social media, “I’ve always wanted to do music for a film but I never thought I’d be lucky enough to get to do the music for what is (a) I think the best Pakistani film ever and (b) the first Pakistani film ever to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival.”

He went onto thank the director of the film and added, “Saim Sadiq you are a once-in-a-generation genius and I cannot thank you enough for letting me be a part of your masterpiece.”

The prodigious young singer-songwriter, composer, producer has worked with every major and independent artist at this point. He was the associate producer for Coke Studio 14, and in that capacity was involved with most, if not all, the songs. He was also part of the think tank Xulfi had created which also included Natasha Noorani.

The youngest artist to produce an opening anthem for Pakistan Super League, he has routinely worked with Meesha Shafi. His collaborations include big-league names like Fawad Khan, Aima Baig, and Atif Aslam, to indie movement cohorts including Shamoon Ismail, Faris Shafi and Altamash Server. Some of his music videos have featured the likes of Mahira Khan, the country’s biggest female star. At the same time, not willing to compromise on his musical identity, Abdullah has dropped four albums and plans to release the fifth later this year, not forgetting his musical roots of raw electronic ideas, continuing to build upon them.

Natasha Noorani on Peshkash Music

Within the last decade alone, no one seems to have done more for music than Natasha Noorani. The co-founder of Lahore Music Meet (with Zahra Paracha), where independent artists like Abdullah Siddiqui, Takatak and many others found a platform, Natasha Noorani is also an artist with beautiful music to her credit. She is also an ethnomusicologist who has worked with the likes of Strings (when they were together) and lent her voice to film soundtrack.

But Natasha Noorani has another project that is, in a sense, an archival, looking at Pakistani music in a postcolonial era.

During an interview with Border Movement, Natasha spoke about the project and explained her point of view: “ ‘the haphazard curation of Pakistani music in the last two decades is due to cultural bodies being unable to keep up with archiving and distribution trends, and subsequently dropping the ball.

Natasha tells me over email, ‘what has followed is an erasure of important cultural moments and with it, a serious dent in the practice of active listening’.”

She admitted at another point, “ ‘As a researcher and musician, I’m always keen to find neglected sounds and voices. Recently, I find that I am looking towards my own past for inspiration’.”

Said the article, “Besides contextualizing these bygone sounds on radio mixes, Noorani is presently digitizing Peshkash and developing long-form content for the next year. Scaling it sustainably, she wants to be able to keep Peshkash as is – not-for-profit and open; a space for people with a shared interest to “develop their ideas, share notes and listen to more Pakistani music.” For Noorani, all conversation on Peshkash begins and ends there. To learn more, head to peshkashmusic and learn more about the past and the ever-changing present of Pakistani music. A necessary project, it is a facet of her musician’s personality how music intrigues Natasha. -Natasha Noorani Image by Goethe Scholarship Programme

Kendrick Lamar confirms new album

Kendrick Lamar is the only rapper in history to receive a Pulitzer Prize in Music for his album, Damn. From Eminem to Dr. Dre to iconic producers like Rick Rubin to the press, all agree he is the greatest rapper of all-time.

However, after first making his mainstream debut with Good Kid, M.A.A.D City (2012), To Pimp a Butterfly (2015), Untitled Unmastered (2016), Damn (2017) and Black Panther soundtrack/curation (2018), Kendrick Lamar won a couple of Grammys and disappeared from the limelight. He did appear during the last Super Bowl as part of a larger crew and dropped a collaboration with cousin Baby Keem called ‘Family Ties’ but fans wondered when Kendrick Lamar would announce a new album. That question has finally been answered.

Apart from doing one last album with Top Dawg Entertainment, a partnership that is a landmark because no hip-hop artist has stayed with one label the way Kendrick has, the rapper has unveiled some concrete details.

After his last album, Kendrick is looking to create his own space for music, art and culture. But while that dream of his emerges, Lamar has announced that his new album will be called Mr. Morale and the Big Steppers. Announcing on his website, Lamar noted, “I feel joy to have been a part of such a cultural imprint after 17 years. The Struggles. The Success. And most importantly, the Brotherhood. May the Most High continue to use Top Dawg as a vessel for candid creators. As I continue to pursue my life’s calling.”

Scheduled to release on May 13, 2022, it may be a very different record as the confirmation came from Kendrick and he signed it as Oklama. Though Kendrick did collaborate with artists and crashed Coachella, this confirmation coming from Kendrick can also put all the rumours about his retirement to rest.

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