Monday, January 31, 2011   Safar 26, 1432 A.H    ISSN 1563-9479
 Group Chairman: Mir Javed RahmanFounded by: Mir Khalil-ur-RahmanEditor-in-Chief: Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman 

The Uth gets a platform
A local telecom collaborates with some big-wigs of the music industry and brings 
forward Uth Records!

We knew that Coke Studio would bring about a revolution, except we didn’t imagine it to take this much time. After almost three years since Coke Studio started, there is finally a whole new platform being given to upcoming musicians. The twist folks, the platform is for upcoming musicians, not already well-established ones.

Forums like Koolmuzone and Base Rock Café have proven that we definitely have a lot of talent. Every weekend, at least three to four bands perform at BRC, while Koolmuzone updates its website almost every day with unreleased songs and brand new videos of these underground artists. Where does all this talent get directed to?

Uth Records, an initiative taken by Ufone, attempts to provide some relief to these  musicians, in the form of giving them a chance to come forward with their work. No, they are not a record label (as the name suggests). Instead, it is a youth based music reality television show that provides these musicians a professional platform for their original work to be seen. In a recently held press conference, the entire team behind this project was present to give their thoughts on Uth Records.

To put it down in the words of the producers themselves: “We give you a chance to send us your demos. Our panel will select bands and then give them a chance to record their songs for our show, then this show will be aired all over Pakistan over all the major channels,” is what Louis J Pinto (Gumby) had to say.

 Gumby needs no introduction, being one of the most successful drummers in our industry. Having him as one of the producers really causes a lot of excitement.

What adds to this excitement is another musician who is well known for his dual role as a singer in one band and as a guitarist in another (co-VEN and Mauj respectively) Omran ‘Momo’ Shafique, who is also the producer for Uth Records.

“We had all these kids sending us their demos at LJP Studios, and some of these kids were really really good, and they would ask us keh ab ham kya karein? (What do we do now?). And it was really weird to tell them keh jee sorry agay koi option naheen hai, (there is no option) good luck trying to make it on your own. Now these musicians have an option.” Omran added to Gumby’s description.

Also aiding them in their venture is Zeeshan Pervez, playing the role of the Director for Uth Records, who is yet another well-known personality in the industry: A director, music producer and an acclaimed musician with his band Sajid and Zeeshan. “The vision of Uth Records is to recognize new potential talent, give them a platform so that the ‘Uth’ comes out and tries to do something creative and at the same time have a bit of fun. Uth Records is probably, if not only, amongst the few avenues in Pakistan that is truly promoting youth involvement in music production.”

Sounds similar to Coke Studio? Well not really, it’s a different idea featuring three seasoned players from Coke Sudio - Gumby, Omran Shafique and Zeeshan Parwez. Imagine the possibilities for all the musicians who are struggling to spread their work, and it’s as easy as simply sending demos to the team who will then choose who gets a chance to participate. Also, the first show is just around the corner, as Uth Records will debut nationwide in February 2011 on all leading channels.

The Chief marketing manager of Ufone, Akbar Khan, also added his thoughts on behalf of his company saying: “Ufone has always seen itself as a brand that appeals to the youth. With Uth Records, we wanted to take our connection with the youth a step forward, by not only providing them a convenient means of communicating that speaks directly to them, but also by providing a platform to aspiring musicians, whereby they have an opportunity to showcase their talent to the whole world.”

While we eagerly wait for the first show to come out, we also urge undergrounds bands and musicians to avail this opportunity and make something of it.

Another fashion council for Pakistan: PFC registered!
Aamna Haider Isani

Setting a new record for a country with the most fashion councils is Pakistan as CEO Triple E, Mr Arshad Siddiqui, has registered a council of his own under the title ‘Pakistan Fashion Council’.

“This council will be for all designers of Pakistan as well as people associated with the fashion industry such as stylists, journalists, etc,” Mr Siddiqui spoke to me from Islamabad where he is hosting PFC’s first project, Islamabad Fashion Week. “Some people (established designers) have been treating fashion as their personal jaageer (property) and this is an attempt to make it accessible to all.”

He furthered that Tariq Amin had been appointed CEO of the council for three years and memberships were open for all designers, established and especially upcoming. Providing details, he added that his company Triple E would initially be undertaking all expenses. A jury of foreign fashion experts had currently been set to select the best designer at IFW, who would then be sponsored and sent to show at New York Fashion Week.

It’s interesting to note that the newly formed PFC has registered all rights to the titles Karachi Fashion Week, Islamabad Fashion Week and Lahore Fashion Week and will be hosting fashion weeks in all three cities around the year.

“Lahore Fashion Week will be held in Lahore this June,” Mr Siddiqui confirmed.

It is surely a matter of concern that instead of integrating, Pakistan’s fashion industry is about to suffer further disintegration and fashion events are about to become messier and more confusing than they already are with multiple functioning (and dysfunctional) fashion weeks at hand. But one has to admit that no one is to blame more than the design fraternity themselves.

Had senior designers shown some unity and maturity at the very beginning of the game, it would not have come to this. What now? Well fashion is a very bankable product these days and it is apparently up for grabs so may the highest bidder win the deal!


And they’ve done it again! A host of Pakistani musicians have once more enchanted the Indian audience to such an extent that they won several nominations at the Mirchi Music Awards and some of them won the awards too.

Mirchi Music Awards, which originate from Radio Mirchi 98.3 FM, is all about recognizing great Indian music. In fact, these awards in India are known as “the Grammys of India.” These awards are also said to be “purely Bollywood awards” which is not a surprise given the lack of a music industry independent of Bollywood in India. They are supported by the Singers Association of India and the Music Composers Association of India.

Unsurprisingly, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan won Best Male Vocalist Of The Year honour for ‘Tere Mast Mast Do Nain’. Rahat was also nominated for ‘Sajda’, under the same category. Shiraz Uppal was named the Best Upcoming Music Director for ‘Rabba’ (Aashayein).

Amanat Ali’s song ‘Thumri’ from his debut album Kohram won Best Indipop Song, beating out  Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Shankar Mahadevan tune ‘Aman Ki Asha’ and Shafqat Amanat Ali’s song ‘Kyun Dooriyan’.

Not stopping at winning just one award, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Shankar Mahadevan’s song for My Name Is Khan, ‘Sajda’ won the title of  Best Sufi Song. Rahat’s song ‘Aas Pass Khuda’ from Anjaana Anjaani was also nominated under the same category.

‘Sajda’ by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Shankar Mahadevan and Richa Sharma from My Name is Khan won an award for the Best Raag Inspired Song Of The Year while ‘Tum Jo Aaye’ by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Tulsi Kumar from Once Upon A Time In Mumbai was nominated for the same award.

Intrerestingly enough, Najam Sheraz won the Best Upcoming Male Vocalist Of The Year award for ‘Tere Bina’ from Shaapit.

While Rahat Fateh Ali and Shafqat Amant Ali are no strangers to fame, fortune and awards in India, it’s nice to see old hands such as Najam Sheraz and Shiraz Uppal being recognized for their talent as well. That Amanat Ali’s tune won over the work of veterans is also pleasantly surprising. More power to Pakistanis making it big outside of the country, we say!


Diddy accused of 9/11 conspiracy by woman

Valerie Joyce Wilson Turks may not be a household name just yet, but she is poised to become famous with a complaint she has filed against P. Diddy in a Manhattan court. Turks is seeking a restraining order and child support from Diddy, whom she claims to have a 23 year old son, Cornelius Wilson with. Turks also believes that Diddy, along with his then girlfriend Kim Porter and a man named Rodney King is responsible for the events of 9/11.

"[Combs] went through Kim Porter and Rodney King and knocked down the WTC and then they all came and knocked my children down,” Turks writes in her complaint form. “Set me up to be on disability and disabled my baby. He put my baby in a wheelchair.”

Not only is Diddy guilty of terrorist acts, according to Turks, she also claims that Diddy  “date raped me 24 years ago and knocked me down him and Kim Porter and Wallace Wright, then Sean Combs and Kim and Wallace came back 18 years later and raped and sexually abused my children and knocked my children down and crushed me and my children daily.”

Turks is seeking $900 billion in child support and $100 billion for "loss of income”. The judge presiding over the matter has scheduled a court hearing for today, January 31.


After flying high, Charlie Sheen goes to rehab

Charlie Sheen is finally listening to dad Martin Sheen and is headed to rehab after what the media has dubbed a 36 hour drug, booze and hooker “binge”, or what Charlie simply refers to as Wednesday. During his elongated party, Charlie had some hernia issues, reportedly triggered by laughing too hard at the TV, which if reports given by his playmates for the day are to be believed, was playing porn, and not Two And A Half Men. As Charlie tried to control his spasms of pain and laughter, somebody in the house had the presence of mind to turn off the Red Hot Chili Peppers karaoke and call Dr Nassif to ask him for his medical advice, who then called 911.

Charlie was rushed to the hospital and all speculations of him having OD’d have been shot down. Shortly thereafter, he decided to go to rehab.

"He is most grateful to all who have expressed their concern," says an official statement by his reps. "Mr. Sheen asks that his privacy be respected at this time and that no additional information will be provided."

A statement issued by CBS Entertainment, Warner Bros. Television and executive producer Chuck Lorre says that production of Two And A Half Men has been halted for the time being.

"We are profoundly concerned for his health and well-being, and support his decision," the statement said.

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