Pop culture matters

April 28, 2024

Highlighting significant moments from music, fashion, music and all things entertainment.

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Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy to open Tribeca Film Festival

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harmeen Obaid-Chinoy possesses an exceptional ability to tackle any subject and do justice to it. She is most renowned for her Oscar-winning non-fictional documentaries: Saving Face and A Girl in the River. However, her work as a filmmaker is remarkably diverse and goes beyond her Oscar victories.

From capturing the essence of music to advocating for gender equality, showcasing the resilience of women peacekeepers, delving into the realm of superheroes and science fiction, it seems that there is no subject that she can’t undertake as a director.

This brings us to her most recent accomplishment. She has co-directed (with Trish Dalton) a film on the iconic fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg, which is set to headline the opening night of the 2024 Tribeca Film Festival in New York City. The film titled, Diane von Furstenberg: Woman In Charge, not only chronicles the long and impressive career of Diane von Furstenberg but also features interviews with notable figures such as Oprah Winfrey, Marc Jacobs, and Hillary Rodham Clinton (among others). According to a press statement, the film “dives deep into von Furstenberg’s remarkable career, from the creation of the iconic wrap dress in 1974 – a design that continues to flatter women of all shapes and sizes – to her ongoing role as a cultural icon. ‘Woman in Charge’ promises an unprecedented look at von Furstenberg’s world, capturing both the triumphs and struggles that shaped her journey.”

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Natasha Noorani: a multifaceted musician

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hen you think of singer and songwriter Natasha Noorani, one can’t help but wonder: is there anything she cannot accomplish? The answer is a resounding no; she possesses a versatile skill set that spans the entirety of the music universe. A simple online search for Natasha Noorani will unveil a wealth of her impactful contributions to all facets of music.

A notable example is the music video for her song ‘Raazi’, directed by Hashim Ali, which served as the sixth music video from her debut album, Ronaq. We could delve into the countless merits of this captivating visual masterpiece, but for clarity, let’s shed light on what the accompanying press statement revealed. “The video for ‘Raazi’ revolves around the emblem of the moon. This timely motif is given significance as the different phases of the moon signal important moments across the globe, from the solar eclipse to the sighting of the Eid crescent.

“Noorani traverses through these lunar phases in the video, starting from what is known as the waxing gibbous to the full moon. Viewers are reminded of the moon’s romance as a symbol of love and enlightenment, themes heavily referenced in Urdu poetry.

“The video’s construction by Hashim Ali and his team evokes mystical realms of stars, galaxies, and celestial bodies. At the end of the video, Noorani embodies a celestial body herself.

“South Asian viewers will recognize in the video the significance of the moon in their cultural imagery, from poetry, film, and music. This video is Noorani’s attempt to push this imagery forward, as she has done with the rest of Ronaq, which builds on her work as an ethnomusicologist.”

Spotify x
Coke Studio


s research continues on studying music listening habits during Ramazan 2024 across Pakistan, Spotify, the leading music streaming platform, recently shared data on music consumption during Ramazan 2023. Not surprisingly, even during the holy month, Coke Studio enjoyed remarkable success with 218 percent growth observed in the playlist titled Best of Coke Studio Sufi, stated a press release. It was also revealed that Atif Aslam’s Coke Studio cover of ‘Tajdar-E-Haram’ was the most added track to user-generated playlists.

Further data from Ramazan 2023 revealed that the top streaming moods of Pakistan were ‘patient’, ‘appreciation’ and ‘mystical’ while the top three playlists were Hamd-o-Naat, Ramadaniyat and Salam, with Naat being the most searched term.

Coming back to Coke Studio and Spotify, the latter is the official streaming partner for the most prominent music TV series in Pakistan.

“Spotify is thrilled to continue our partnership as the official music streaming partner of Coke Studio 15,” said Khan FM, Spotify’s Artist and Label Partnerships Manager for Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh. “Building on our past success, we’ve created a unique ‘Coke Studio Pakistan’ destination that offers our more than 600 million active music fans a diverse collection of popular songs from all seasons, including the latest, taking the ‘Sound of the Nation’ to the entire World. We’re committed to bringing the rich tapestry of Pakistani music to our global audience, reaffirming Spotify’s commitment to a diverse and inclusive music experience.”

“This fruitful partnership resulted in an impressive 430 million streams across all 13 tracks of Coke Studio 14 in 2022, surpassing the combined 15 million streams for Coke Studio 12 and 13.

The success of tracks like ‘Pasoori’, with over 330 million streams to date, underscores Spotify’s significance in promoting Pakistani music globally. With its global appeal, ‘Pasoori’ has found its way into more than 3 million user playlists across the globe, with top streaming countries including India, the United States, the United Kingdom, Pakistan, and Canada.

“We’re excited to continue our successful partnership with Spotify for Coke Studio Season 15. This collaboration transcends borders, engaging the universal language of music to connect Pakistani artists and stories with a global audience on Spotify. Together, we aim to foster a deeper appreciation for Pakistani culture and its vibrant music scene,” said Zeeshan Sikander, Senior Coke Studio Manager for Eurasia and Middle East.

Harvey Weinstein 2020 case conviction reversed


n a shocking turn of events, the New York Courts of Appeals has overturned Harvey Weinstein’s 2020 rape conviction, citing the inclusion of testimony from women whose cases were not part of the official trial, leading to concerns about a fair trial. Consequently, the court has ordered a new trial. The decision, made by a 4-3 majority on Thursday, stated that the trial “erroneously admitted testimony of uncharged, alleged prior sexual acts against persons other than the complainants of the underlying crimes.”

Judge Madeline Singas, one of the appellate court judges involved in the ruling, expressed her dissent, criticizing the decision for hindering the progress survivors of sexual violence have fought within the criminal justice system. Despite the reversal, Weinstein, 72, remains incarcerated. It’s worth noting that he was separately convicted on sexual assault charges in Los Angeles.

Manto x summer essentials


anto is among the most thrilling fashion brands to have emerged in recent years, consistently delievering innovative designs that cater to every season with flair. With summer now in full swing, Manto has unveiled its collection of summer essentials. Among them, their cotton unisex Safar and Zeest shirts stand out as our top picks for this season’s must-haves.

“The Safar Shirt illustrates the story of the hare and the tortoise, reminding you that this is your journey. And at the end of the day, how you pace it will determine how your life’s story will unfold,” said the brand on its website.

“The Zeest Shirt reminds you that, much like the cheetah makes time to catch its breath, you too can slow down and rest. Because through these breaks, you will come back stronger, ready to sprint again.”

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Crafted from 100 percent cotton, these loose-fit, button-down unisex shirts feature a Cuban-style collar and half sleeves, offering both comfort and style. Their unique design flatters every shape, size, and individual, making them versatile additions to any summer wardrobe.

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