WHEN DETERMINATION IS THE RULE OF THE GAME
Azfar Rehman is one of those male actors of Pakistan, who because of their director’s actor qualities, become the foremost choice of many projects. Born in Karachi to a Kashmiri family, Azfar started his career as a model when he was 16. After studies, he joined an exclusive English monthly of Pakistan as a journalist. He got his TV break as the host of a celebrity talk show in 2006 called ‘Spotlight with Azfar Rehman’, before turning to acting. Serials like Baityaan, Noor Pur Ki Rani, Dugdugi, Ladies Park, Sitamgar, Bunty I Love You, and most recent Aatish have given him much critical acclaim and praise from the audience. He has also gained label of film star by doing a cameo on ‘Manto’ and a supporting role in ‘Pinjab Nahin Jaongi’ and now playing lead in an upcoming eid release ‘Chhalawa’. He is very content to work with director like Wajahat Rauf and actors like Mehwish Hayat and hope that this family entertainer will compel audience to come to cinema.
Here is the chat with this hardworking actor about his association and expectations from Chhalawa.
Now you are a lead in Chhalawa. Are you excited or nervous?
To be honest, I feel a little nervous with this achievement as I believe I must not disappoint my fans and audience. Audience of film pay first before get entertained. So I think it is my responsibility that I should entertain them to my full efforts.
Have you made some extra efforts to become a film hero?
I have been coming as a hero or main lead in dramas for almost last 10 years, but the concept of a hero in a film is something very different. In film, you have to dance well and do fighting and action sequences. I had to go through a new whole training process for this film.
From trailer, Chhalawa seems to be portraying Punjab. What is your character and have you also spoken Punjabi in film?
My character in the film is of Urdu speaking boy, while both the heroines belong to Punjabi family. I can’t reveal much but there is full Punjabi tarka in the film.
How much you have danced in the film?
I have two songs on me, full with dance. I hope people will like them. I was a bit tense in beginning but I practiced and got extended training of dance. It was a very refreshing experience. Whab Shah was our choreographer. He has done tremendous job.
How was the experience of working with Mehwish Hayat?
Mehwish is an amazing person. We are family friends for last 11 years. So, being friends, our comfort level has worked a lot in this film. It is also a fact that she is much senior than me in experience as Chhalawa is her seventh and mine is third film, but she is very accommodating and supportive. You learn a lot from her. I never felt that I was working with such a big star.
How was working with Wajahat Rauf?
He was the most supportive in the whole team. He almost spoon feed us everything. I found him very distinctive with entirely different sensibility from the rest of the film makers of the country. His style is slightly westernized and mind-set is very open. Even Mehwish found him very different though she has a quite a good experience of working with many directors. She used to say sometimes during shoot that if she was doing film first time.
Do you think that you have done justice to your role?
I think I did that role quite easily as I am almost the same in my real life. So, I didn’t need to act very differently. There were some emotional scenes (like some heart breaker) where I really had to act.
Is there any specific character which Asfar Rehman wants to do in his career?
What I feel that someone (a writer) should think or design a specific character for me. It should be a character which they think that no other actor can do better than me. I think a good character is a team work or combination of writer, director and actor. A writer creates and develops a character, which is carved by a director for screen and an actor put some soul and life in it. Every legendary character in the history of film has these three forces behind it.
In what genre of films you like most to work in?
I want to do a serious love story, which is a little less depressing than Devdas and much more close to Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak and Mien Ne Pyar Kiya. It should be something like a sheer fantasy love story. I want people to come to cinema to enjoy quality entertainment; laugh, get emotional a bit, listen to good music, watch dances and go home with a light and happy heart.
What do you prefer? Television or film. In Pakistan, we can never leave television as there are not many films being made here. So, to keep our regular earnings coming, we have to continue television and in my case I say yes to good scripts
The Man Behind The Maestro
Rahat Fateh Ali Khan produces magical music and without a doubt he’s amongst the most sought-after world artists
Famed Pakistani music maestros Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan’s producer and global manager Salman Ahmed has said that the 3 UK concerts had sold out completely showing the popularity of Pakistani artist across the South Asian communities.
Speaking to media, the veteran talent promoter and producer said that Rahat Fateh Ali Khan produces magical music and without a doubt he’s amongst the most sought-after world artists.
Salman Ahmed has been managing Rahat Fateh Ali Khan for about 10 years. The music maestro was well known in Pakistan because of his strong vocal skills but Ahmed turned around everything for the artist and had made him a household name in millions of homes in South Asia and beyond. Three months ago, the University of Oxford awarded the music doctorate degree to Khan – a huge personal honour for the musician and for his country of origin.
“When I look back to nearly a decade long association with the maestro, I must admit that what a journey it has been on a global platform, cities across Vancouver all the way to Auckland. Achievements like the Noble Peace Prize Performance conceptualisation, United Nations, Music Room at the Oxford University, Honorary Doctorate for the maestro and hundreds of concerts all over the world. Thank you to all our associates, promoters and most importantly to my PME family who has made this happened with their devotion. I especially thank to our families, who have sacrificed the most perhaps and to all the audiences who have attended our concerts in huge numbers.”
Salman Ahmed said that credit for the success of Khan goes to his entire team who worked hard throughout the year on the shows and on the brand of Rahat Fateh Ali Khan
“Behind every show, there’s sweat, blood and toll. We work hard all the time to maintain the highest of standards in what we promise and produce. Ustad Rahat performs for a few hours on the stage but thousands of hours of hard work are invested in the production of his shows and that hard work has worked to make him a mega hit. As a way of example, for our concerts starting this weekend at Wembley Arena more than 35 band members will be touring with the singer. There is a team separately working in an international office here in London on logistics, concepts, arrangements, production and marketing. Once these shows are over, we will start working on the next round of events. There is no break.”
In North America, due to India and Pakistan tensions at the government level, Salman Ahmed accepted that attendance at Rahat’s shows was slightly less, however he clarified that all the UK concerts were sold out. “You cannot deny that Rahat is loved by Indians, Pakistanis and other ‘Urdu-understanding’ communities. There is no alternative to him.”
Salaman Ahmed is one of the most experienced Asian art promoters, who has been in the field of entertainment from the age of 16 and started his business in London in 1987. By playing a big role in music maestro Rahat’s international success, he has now known as a global promoter and music producer. His alliance with the showbiz commenced some 32 years ago when he started organizing Bhangra nights and small British Asian concerts when British Asian singers had started making their mark. There was no social media and no Asian channels around. The BBC covered one of Salman’s first concerts at that time with a report to showcase how the second generation of British Asians was growing with a fusion of British and Asian culture. Salman was then just a teenager.
So far Salman Ahmed has worked with some of the top Indian artists including, Kumar Sanu, Udit Narayan, Alka Yagnik, Sonu Nigham, Mika Singh as well.
“You should only do what you are good at. You can do excellence only in your job if you are devoted to it with full passion and commitment. I believe in total commitment and nothing else.”
Unlike the maverick ways of some, Ahmed believes in treating his clients as a product. “My clients are my products. I promote products in the market. We invest in our products. We take risks and we inject our life into our products to make them a phenomenal success,” said Salman Ahmed acknowledging that Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan has been the biggest hit for him as a producer.
He says he believes in promoting Pakistani talent before the world and for Rahat’s London shows he is introducing around a dozen Pakistani musicians for the first time. “These are young, educated and dynamic musicians who have been playing at the Basement Café and in the underground scene in Karachi and Lahore. They are doing an outstanding job. For the fusion part of Khan Saheb’s shows these musicians will be used. They will be performing in front of the international audience numbering in the thousands and this will bring a unique kind of confidence in them.”
Salman Ahmed said he was very excited about the latest round of shows because Ustad Rahat Ali Khan will be doing fusion, using instruments and sounds not tried before.
Lightingale Records: Ali Zafar Launches Record Label for Youngsters
Ali Zafar needs no introduction when it comes to performing arts in sub continent. Started his career as sketch artist in late 90s and then came as an actor and finally a vocalist with outstanding skills, releasing numerous hit singles and albums Ali has always managed to keep his job stable and thriving even during the most difficult times of his life.
Considering music is his first love, Ali Zafar has recently announced his record label, Lightingale Records, under which he aims to promote new musicians and artists.
In his recent instagram post, Ali explaining the reason of starting this label, said, “Our land is ripe with talent waiting for the slightest of opportunity to flourish. However, due to lack of understanding of the importance of the Arts and Humanities in our society, we have been unable to develop a culture where talent can be nurtured, groomed and guided to reach its true potential, nor build an industry.”
He further said, “During all these years as a performing artist, I have had the great fortune of learning about different aspects of the music industry. As artists or human beings in general, we are intrinsically prone to become self-indulgent or internally focused, but that is the mistake that most of us make. I feel the only thing that carries on beyond our existence, is the honesty in our work and the sincerity of our intentions. An artist leaves a legacy, and surely that should not just be about him or her. In an era where we are bombarded with tools that bring out the vanity in us, I think it’s important to see the beauty and talent in others and help them achieve their goals and dreams also. Become a part of their struggle and journey and help them in any way you can. As I said before – “you are not a star if you can’t shine for others.” Let’s shine for each other and share the light.”
At the end of the post, Ali announced the launching “Lightingale records” and said that through this endeavour; he would personally mentor, produce, record and showcase talent of young and upcoming artists.
He further explained that their goal is to bring to light at least 10 new artists this year and give people some great songs to cherish.
He also asked his fans and followers to share more ideas for his initiative, “If you have any ideas that can augment this venture, do share. Stay tuned.”
Our Favorite Fashion Divas that have Evolved Over Time
While reading the title, you must be thinking about the acting skills and how these ladies have made their name in the drama and film industry. But no, here we are talking about the fashion game of these actresses that have taken us all by surprise. Perking up their style statement and emerging as few of the finest actresses in terms of being glamorous and presentable, they have absolutely conquered the fashion world.
These are our favorite Divas who have proved that working on oneself is never a selfish thing and this hard work can eventually help you in the long run.
Starting from soaps and not so glamorous dramas, we never saw Saboor Aly dressing up as impressively as she does now. Probably, this is the social fashion awareness that some choose to pick and some don’t. And, we have to say that Saboor is doing quite well with her dress sense while earning a huge fan following at a great pace. She is one of those finest actresses who keep us hooked to their gram-game as something cool and happening just pops up out of nowhere anytime and any occasion.
Our fancy-pants; Nausheen Shah has instantly beefed up her fashion game and we cannot stop admiring her taste and style in whatever she wears. She has definitely come a long way. Also known for carrying bold statements just like in a recent awards show, her hairstyle was quite eccentric perfectly aligning with a blingy Hussain Rehar attire.
Her vibrant tops, glowing face and quirky pants have got our attention and we, indisputably, give her the award of being the most stylish actress among the lot. This was never the scenario from the day she joined the Entertainment industry so, she came this far and has definitely grown into a woman who keeps herself up-to-date in every trend and fashion.
Our recent favorite bride, Iqra has polished herself over time and we love how effortlessly she carries every outfit in sheer grace and pizzazz. Recently, she has been appointed as the face of Al-Karam and this was all a result of gradual progress and immense effort she has put into building her powerful aura and strong-headed personality that beautifully harmonizes with her chic and classic sense of styling.
If Sonya had a synonym, it would be the word “grace”. We love her for her impactful persona, the way she dresses up and the way she owns everything she wears with undying confidence. There are very few celebrities who have evolved to be steezy and sassy in a way that they know what they should actually wear. Unlike some who do not even know their body type. Sonya Hussyn proves that style is always within, you can improve with time but class remains constant.