February 21, 2021

Meesha Shafi among several artists who defend Naseebo Lal over ‘Groove Mera’ response

In one of the greatest books ever written, The Great Gatsby, the author F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote: “Whenever you feel like criticising anyone, just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.”

However, that very idea has been lost on internet trolls, who criticised the hell out of ‘Groove Mera’, the anthem for Pakistan Super League (PSL 6). In fact, most of the attack was directed towards Naseebo Lal even as the song also features Aima Baig and Young Stunners and is produced by Zulfiqar Jabbar Khan and Adnan Dhool.

Many chose not to spare her, including former cricketers and at least one politician. All this trolling didn’t keep the terrific song from gaining 9 million hits (at last count), a barometer for success in this day and age.

Thankfully, not all forgot to employ a modicum of decency for the likes of the amazing Naseebo Lal. Among them were stars such as Adnan Siddiqui, Anoushey Ashraf, Farhan Saeed and Meesha Shafi, with the latter hitting the nail on the head - with her analysis of such disparaging remarks.

Slamming critics of the newest song, Meesha wrote on social media, “Groove Mera isn’t just a musical win, it’s a win over classism.” Shafi further reiterated, “Over post-colonial inferiority complex and a rigid system that favours only a selective few repeatedly,” before concluding, “a shame that we deny ourselves a legendary talent like Naseebo Lal over these hang-ups. Kudos to the whole team.”

The venom spewed against Naseebo Lal is not only a reflection of classism but is also sexist and elitist. The only good news is that Naseebo Lal is not on social media, so she may not have read all the horrifying remarks. As for the video of Naseebo that emerged online in which she is crying is not about the trolling, according to our sources, but the positive response she received and how grateful she is for it. For those who still doubt her range should listen to ‘Aag’ that features Naseebo Lal with young guns Shamoon Ismail and Talal Qureshi in the mix.

Ali Zafar pays tribute to Muhammad Ali Sadpara

Ali Zafar, singer-songwriter, actor, writer and producer, wears many hats. For some time, he has been releasing music via his label, Lightingale Records. His most recent release is a tribute to legendary mountaineer Muhammad Ali Sadpara, who has been missing since February 9th while climbing the treacherous K2.

While the original song, ‘Pahoran Ki Qasam’ was first sung by Kamal Masood, Ali Zafar has made an effort to keep the sanctity of the original intact. Set against the glorious, picturesque mountains as Ali sings, “Tum Chalay Ao Pahaaron Ki Qasam,” it is clear that the effort is genuine to remember an iconic, inspiring figure.

As a press statement noted, “Muhammad Ali Sadpara is the only Pakistani to have climbed eighth of the world’s fourteen highest mountains, and he made the first ever winter ascent of the world’s ninth highest peak, Nanga Parbat. Notable achievements of Ali Sadpara are: Gasherbrum II in 2006, Nanga Parbat four times (2008, 2009, 2016, first winter ascent - and 2017), GI in 2010, Broad Peak Fore summit in 2012, Broad Peak in 2017, K2 in 2018, and Lhotse Makalu and Manaslu in 2019.

The statement further noted, “The song itself is a tribute to heroism and courage of Ali Sadpara and Ali Zafar was thoroughly disturbed when he learned that that the mountaineer had gone missing.

Ali Zafar released his version of the same song that Sadpara was singing with his mates.”

Said Ali Zafar, “This is the least I could do: sing for an unsung hero so that he is etched into our memories for as long as there is music.”

Silent Roar Productions behind several releases

As Spotify officially gears up for its presence in Pakistan in the coming weeks, it is good to see the emergence of several names willing to publish songs that will be available on all major streaming sites.

While Patari did manage to be a monopoly for some time, that case may be ending soon, it seems. Apart from A for Aleph Records (that dropped drummer Aziz Kazi’s debut EP) among other names as well as the more prolific Rearts Records, another major player in the business is Silent Roar Productions (SRP).

SRP, run by Waqas Almas, is not only about distributing music but also monetization, artist tour management, artist visas, curation and music programming, copyrights and royalties, merchandise and creative design.

SRP has in, recent days, released several works by the likes of Ali Hamza, Zeb Bangash and Komal Rizvi. Each is as diverse as the next. ‘Kuch To Kataygi’ by Zeb Bangash and Saad Sultan is very pleasing to the ears.

Ali Hamza’s ‘Sar Buland’ particularly shines for its concept, music video (about a father being proud of his daughter and the beauty of a girl-child) with a geared up Hamza, who is scheduled to release a solo album (hopefully this year). Hamza’s other releases include ‘Rabba Meray Haal Da Mehrem Tuu’n’ and ‘Marre Kakkya’.

Some of Silent Roar Production’s previous releases include Wajd - Volume I by Hadiqa Kiani, Jilawatan by Call, Fareed Ayaz and Abu Mohammad Qawwal (Live at T2F), Almost Tuesday by Poor Rich Boy and several others.

It’s good to see them get back into the music ecosystem, because if there’s one subject that needs to be looked into, it is copyrights and royalties.