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In Conversation with Asim Azhar

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Asim Azhar is the son of famous Pakistani pianist Azhar Hussain. He made his debut in 2013 after he covered Ed Sheeran’s song ‘A-Team’ and quickly rose to stardom. 

We talked to him about his latest song ‘Jo Tu Na Mila’ as it crossed 10 million views and is set to release in India.

Asim Azhar is referred to as “Pakistans Beiber”

We heard you song is releasing in India? Tell us about that? 

It has been a really great experience of having the song release in India and Pakistan simultaneously. I have always released my music independently in Pakistan and Universal music India through their platform VYRL Originals is really helping and they have supported original music of artists. I believe this is the beginning of many more to come. 

How hard was it for you to put your feelings into words and sing them out loud?

It is always hard to put your feeling into words but this time as I composed the melody of the song and that is the first thing I usually do when I write a song so it just flowed naturally. The lyricist Kunaal Verma who worked on the song with me, he penned sown the words beautifully and understood the melody and where it came from within me as an artist. He really jelled it well together when we discussed the idea and took his time coming up with words when we started doing it. So it all came out nicely in the end. 

Is this song the most personal piece you’ve ever written, if so how close to your heart is it?

I will be honest! I won’t say this is the most personal piece that I have written  but it definitely is close to my heart. This is the most amount of time I have spent on a song altogether. I had been working on the song for 6 months from scratch to finish. Spending so much time with it definitely has made it special plus all the love I have been getting for it just makes it much more exceptional. 

Over time, how do you think you’ve grown as an artist/singer?

I feel like with time I have grown as a human being also along with an artist and a singer. Growing as a human being is the most important way to go, because if I don’t do that then I won’t be able to grow as an artist. With that aspect, my audience is growing as well. I feel like it all comes down to your listening, whatever listening you have and evolve overtime has a huge impact on what you become as an artist. I don’t know if I have grown as an artist/singer but I definitely have tried and hoping that I will keep growing with time.      

Did you have fun shooting the music video? Was it based on real memories?

We had an amazing team, Yasir Jaswal the director, Iqra Aziz, the stylist Ehtesham Ansari and even my friends who accompanied me to the set made it very fun. I think we all made the video fun for each other actually and it wasn’t based on real memories. It was based on what we all go through and something that could be easily related to. That is why maybe people love it as they can relate to it. 

Do you think that writing songs helps a person move on, because it is an expression of some form that lets out one’s feelings?

There are a lot of things that one can do to move on from a person, something in life or any turn. Having the skill or ability to write songs really does help as it takes the weight away from the soul. People who have this skill I believe are blessed as they can bring their feeling out through art rather than bottling them up inside. 

What’s next for you musically? What do you want to do next and how different will it be from your previous work?

At this point I am really focusing on making good content basically. I am not trying to take anything too seriously to the point where it gets serious more than it needs to be. So I am just trying to keep it very balances and to go with the same nature and strategy with which I make music. I am taking one thing at a time and I always hope that my current work is different from the previous one. Only time can tell that as there are points you learn as you go. I am focused on making music at this point and then see how my team at Universal India can bring it out next. 

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MTV Movie and TV Awards 2019 – The winners

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The MTV Movie & TV Awards celebrated the best on-screen work of the past year this past Monday night. Netflix had a whopping 14 nominations for its TV shows and films, including the award winning “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before,” – Noah Centineo & Lana Condor for “Best Kiss”

“It was a who’s who of Hollywood celebrities – stars like Daniel Levy, Dave Bautista, David Spade, Elisabeth Moss, Jameela Jamil, Kumail Nanjiani, Melissa McCarthy, and Tiffany Haddish were all there.

“Shazam” star Zachary Levi hosted the show. “The Rock” was awarded the Generation Award, and Jada Pinkett Smith was honored with the Trailblazer Award.

  1. Best Movie – “Avengers: Endgame”

2. Best TV Show – “Game of Thrones”

3. Best performance in a movie – Lady Gaga (Ally) – “A Star is Born”

4. Best performance in a show – Elisabeth Moss (June Osborne/Offred) – “The Handmaid’s Tale”

5. Best Hero – Robert Downey Jr. (Tony Stark/Iron Man) – “Avengers: Endgame”

6. Best Villain – Josh Brolin (Thanos) – “Avengers: Endgame”

7. Best Kiss – Noah Centineo & Lana Condor (Peter Kavinsky & Lara Jean) – “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before”

8. Reality Royalty – “Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta”

9. Best Performance – Noah Centineo (Peter Kavinsky) – “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before”

10. Best Fight – “Captain Marvel” – Captain Marvel vs. Minn-Erva

11. Best real life Hero – Ruth Bader Ginsburg – “RBG” 

12. Most frightened performance – Sandra Bullock (Malorie) – “Bird Box”

13. Best Documentary – “Surviving R. Kelly” 

14. Best Host – Nick Cannon – “Wild ‘n Out”

15. Best Meme-able moment – “The Bachelor” – Colton Underwood jumps the fence 

16. Best Musical – A Star is Born – “Shallow”

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NOS4A2 – Bringing the Nosferatu back

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Vampires have long been depicted in media, from Max Shrek as Count Orlok in “Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens” to Luke Evans as Dracula in “Dracula Untold

Over the years it can be seen that vampires are no longer feared as the creatures of the night by moviegoers or people in general, the image associated with them via adaptations such as “Twilight” and “The Vampire Diaries” have made the vampire more of a creature that is to be envied and coveted after rather than dreaded. However NOS4A2 seeks to change that, this show takes us back to the old days when vampires were old, destitute and creepy, without touching much of their supernatural aspects and the show goes about their story in a different way; while we’re accustomed to view vampires as blood sucking creatures, NOS4A2 gives them a welcomed change.

Featuring the talented Zachary Quinto as Charlie Manx; a hundred year old vampire that feeds on the souls of children, and collects them at a place he calls Christmasland. He cruises around in his Rolls Royce Wraith on the hunt for pre-adolescents, on the opposite side of the spectrum is Victoria McQueen (Ashleigh Cummings) a working class aspiring art student who has the supernatural ability to find lost things, in a strange twist of fate Victoria’s path crosses with Manx’s and she becomes determined to put a stop to his reign of terror. The plot of this show is gripping, it keeps you on the edge of your seats, and concludes on a cliffhanger that’ll leave you wanting more.

So if you’re looking for a show that’s bloodcurdling, interesting, ominous and engaging, NOS4A2 is perfect for you; a wholesome plot complemented by an excellent cast, what more could one wish for.

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Music, Dance and Mehwish are Chhalawa only saving grace

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Rating: 2.5/5

Chhalawa is a story of a very traditional family. Chaudhary Rafaqat (Mehmood Aslam) has two daughters and a son. The elder one is Zoya (Mehwish Hayat) who went to city for higher studies and now wants to marry the love of her life Sameer (Azfar Rehman) whom she met during her studies. His second daughter Haya (Zara Noor Abbas) is a fired up girl, who usually lives in her own fantasy world of films, desperate to fall in love and loves to dance in her room on Lollywood songs. His son Haroon (Ashir Wajahat) is another character, blunt slightly manner less but loves his sisters.

From here, the age-old story begins that Chaudhary wants his daughter Zoya to marry his nephew, as it is a tradition to marry girls in the family, Zoya resists and conflict begins.

The first half of the movie is still bearable where at least some kind of story is developing, after interval; it nosedives and leaves the audience wondering what is happening. For example, first song makes sense but second was there because someone wants it to be. No effort was made to put some sense in it.

The story is simple, it is told several hundred times before, both in Bollywood and in Pakistani Cinema, and then extra level of creativity is required to make it interesting. Unfortunately, that is the biggest issue with Chhalawa. Scenes lasting for several minutes, borderline jokes and most of all, Zoya’s letters to her mother were a big question mark.

With a star like Mehwish Hayat, if the movie is still not able to pull the audience in, then to an extent it is a crime.

Wajahat Rauf’s Chhalawa is particularly disappointing for many, because people considered it a third time charm. Surprisingly, all the actors in the film performed very well despite having a weak script and practically limited room to perform.

The biggest surprise is by far the Zara Noor Abbas who played Haya, Mehwish’s younger sister. Zara turns out to be someone who handles her comic timings well, she is sharp and witty, and yet cute enough to keep the audience engaged. She danced quite well in couples of scenes. Ashir Wajahat also performed better than expected, although his character did not have much to do except for a scene or two.

Although, Azfar Rehman looks good on screen, however I am unable to understand his character, at one time he wants to commit suicide, then he plans to win Zoya’s father heart, then he just runs away when she asked him and without making a scene leaves her when she asked him to do so.

Mehmood Aslam in his role is picture perfect until the climax where he insisted on carrying out his daughter’s Nikah after he was shot.

Mehwish Hayat as usual shines bright even in this very limited role. She did well when she was playing a lover, arguing with her father, running away from home and coming back and again succumbing to her father pressure, but her biggest wins are two songs i.e. ‘Chhalawa’ and ‘Chiriya’ where she danced her heart out. Wahab Shah’s Choreography was engaging and full of fun, that is the only positive that you can come out with in the entire saga of over 2 hours.

Only thing that can save this film is music; Shiraz Uppal did very well giving not one but two already hit songs to Pakistani Cinema.

This is the weakest ever Mehwish Hayatfilm by any standard, with films like Na Maloom Afraad, Actor in Law, Punjab Nahi Jaungi the superstar stumbles at the last ball of the over.

You can opt to watch Chhalawa if you like song and dance numbers and that too from Mehwish Hayat and if you are ready to leave your brain outside the cinema hall.

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