Junaid Khan will be seen in a completely new avatar, as he will be
playing a negative character in his latest drama serial “Hania” – set to air on ARY Digital. It is the first time that the audience will see Junaid Khan in a dark persona of an abusive husband to Zoya Nasir. While Junaid has played several characters that have been semi-negative, this will be his first as an antagonist. Junaid Khan is not only playing the part but also hugely looking the part.
While talking to the media about his character, Khan said, “I want to challenge myself in every role I choose, “Hania” is a new turn as I have never played a character that has no grey shades but is completely and blatantly dark and aggressive, with motives that match his personality.”
Khan added by saying, “The story of “Hania” also highlights a common problem that’s deeply rooted in our society, with the girl’s parents not asking about family history and only see a family’s wealth when
they are marrying their daughters off. This is actually turning out to be a major issue that needs to be addressed.”
The drama is directed by Qasim Ali Mureed and written by Door Way entertainment. Other cast members include Osama Tahir, Tanvir Jamal, Marium Mirza, Ghana Ali, Wasim Abbas, Fordous Jamal and Hassan
Meet The Finalists Of Pepsi BOB Season 4
As the most happening musical event of the year, Pepsi Battle OF The Bands was ended two weeks back, its echoes are still surrounding and fans want more to now about the winner and runner-up of the race.
The two-month long journey was an intense competition and hard work, and the final battle was narrowed down to Auj and Aarish.
Auj took home the crown, along with Rs50 lac, an album contract and lifetime royalties of the original songs performed during the course of the season. Aarish, the ever-competitive runner-up, took home Rs25 lac and an album contract.
During the last episode, entire Pakistan voted to make their favourite band to be crowned the Pepsi throne.
Here’s to Auj, Aarish, and most importantly, the rise of original music in Pakistan!
AARISH: The Runner Up
Six teenagers from the city Islamabad formed AARISH, meaning ‘the ray of sun’. According to band, these six fellows loved doing music from their childhood and wanted to do it for the rest of their lives. The current six members of Aarish are Nosherwan Mehmood (Vocalist), Haziq Ali (Lead Guitarist), Ali Sohail (Guitarist), Nehal Azhar (Keyboards), Fahad Sikandar aka Grooveshark (Bassist), Humayun Mir (Drummer), who is also all in one combo and a backbone of the band as he is a singer, guitarist, drummer, bassist, keyboardist at the same time.
Aarish applied in season 2 but got rejected. After that they made their first original and tried their luck in Season 3, but it was hard again. Then they went back and worked harder for the whole year and applied in Season 4 with a little change in line-up.
“So yes, Pepsi has a huge hand in making us what we are today. Pepsi Battle of the Bands came back after 11 years out of nowhere but we saw it as our only chance to shine”, the band says.
When growing up, they all had been following the old western and top Pakistani bands. Each member of the band has different inspiration and when these diverse tastes come together, it creates the sound of AARISH. But, the mutual following of the band is, ‘COLDPLAY’. The band has made its own niche in the genre of Ambiant pop/rock. They have produced six originals out of which five were made in Pepsi BoB. Aarish is also working on a new album.
AUJ: The Winner
Auj was actually formed in between 2008 and 2009 by Nasir Zaka, guitarist and Syed Hasnani Ali, bassist. They both are constant part of the line up since its inception while the other two places/members were changed two times in the 10 years history of the band. The current vocalist of the band is Abdur Rehman Sajid while Muhammad Kashif plays drums. The band initially called it ‘Crackdown’ and then ‘Shabih’ (reflection). The name Auj was given just three years back by their ex drummer Asif Iqbal. The literal meaning of Auj is ‘the top most point anyone can achieve’. According to Nasir, “The name depicts each member’s passion and ambitions for the music”.
Who Are Auj?
Auj is consisted of four members. They are;
Nasir Zaka is lead guitarist and co-founder of Auj. He also works as the lead composer of the band, which means the finished product comes out from his hands. Nasir works more on western influences but a little bit on eastern melodies as well.
Syed Husnain Ali is the bassist and one of the co-founders of Auj. He has a strong and interesting stage presence as well. Hasnain can work on different genres from rock to eastern classic and never let the band stuck anywhere that is why called the backbone of band.
Muhammad Kashif is the drummer but also has a grip on various other instruments. He completes band’s groove department along with Hasnain. By groove in music means the overall feel and theme of a song. Kashif also takes inspirations from western bands as drum itself is a very western instrument to play.
Abdur Rehman Sajid is the vocal powerhouse of Auj. The young and talented Abdur Rehman, who is still studying business management at University of Karachi, is the last inclusion to the current line-up of the band. He got all the pressure from the rest of the members of the band at joining but tried hard and gave a unique voice to Auj. He is a versatile and can us his vocal chords to sing like from Robert Plant to Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. Nusrat Saheb is the biggest and all time inspiration of Rehman.
What inspired each member to be in this field?
Auj takes inspirations from all pioneers bands in the history of Pakistan like Vital Signs, Junoon, Karavaan, and Mizraab, and then later in the new millennium from EP and Aaroh.
“We are their fans from our childhood and teenage. These Pakistani bands set the trend of band culture in Pakistan. They all made us to believe that to be a musician is a blessing. Wherever you are, you have to look into the local music first.”, Nasir Zaka says.
How and Why Pepsi Battle Of The Bands
As Auj, they were making music for last 10 years, and producing many songs as well that they put up on different digital forums, but couldn’t find any platform to show and promote their work in big way. “So, when Pepsi Battle Of The Bands Season 2 was announced in 2107, it was a hope for us. We decided to take part in it but two years back our singer Abdur Rehman had just joined us, and we were working with him to create a new sound of the band. It was actually the period of season 3, when we made about 14 songs to get into the Season 4 of Pepsi Battle Of The Bands”. Nasir Zaka tells.
What makes the sound of Auj?
Nasir explains, “As far as the musical inspiration is concerned, the band is heavily influenced by both east and west. Collectively, the band’s sound is locally inspired by Junoon, Vital Signs, Aaroh, and of course Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan while internationally, we are influenced by Metallica, Alice in Chains, U2, Cocubine Tree and some of grunge rock. So, these are the forces which are behind the sound of Auj.”
In which genre the band wants to work most?
“Basically we are defined as a rock band but have added up different other genres as well. It cannot be called fusion but has a touch of classical, pop, a little bit of alternative and hard rock all in a same song or any specific genre dedicated to a whole song. So, root is the rock but is connected with other branches as well. That is how it goes.” Naisr Zaka further explains
The work produced till now?
Auj is currently in studio, recording a lot of stuff. They already have made many songs. “Some of them are almost finished while some are in the middle of completion, but we will select the best from them as our each album will be consisted of 9 or 10 songs. So, stay connected”, concludes Zaka.
In Conversation with Superstar
Mahira Khan is among those luminous stars, who hold a very loyal fan base that never let them lose from their highest place at galaxy. Despite getting too much criticism before the release of her recent films, Mahira is now winning critical acclaims for her acting and dance skills in Superstar and the short but strong presence in Parey Hut Love. After completing her hectic promotional tour for Superstar around the world, she is back in the town and enjoying the result of her hard work and time she put in those projects. We reached to Mahira during her busy schedule, in which she candidly shared her most tough and pleasant moments about her journey through these projects.
You star in two super hit films this eid. How do you own them?
I love and own both. Though, I have a cameo in Parey Hut Love but as it is Asim Raza’s film, its mine as well. Superstar is very close to my heart. I am really attached to the story of superstar.
We are watching you in a bit different role in Superstar? Do you also feel the same?
It is true that this role has something different from what I have done before but seriously, I wanted to do this romantic role very much. The script was with me for so many years and I was eagerly waiting for it to be filmed. I feel that I have lived this role. It is a fact that I tightly get into the shoes of my roles and often take them home with me too, but this one was like my baby that I nurtured with all my love and support.
Bilal Ashraf has worked a lot for this movie like his body transformation and acting training. What did you do something special for this role?
Yes. I did a lot of theatre and worked on voice expressions for this role. Before going to the floor, Bilal and I were put into special setting of theatre to know about the psyche and attitude of a theatre artist, as our characters demand that. Actually, I was preparing myself for this role almost two years before the actual shoot of Superstar. I went to NAPA and spent some time with director Sunil and theatre kids,. That was a really a learning experience for me as I haven’t done theatre in my career.
How was the experience of doing a film with Muhammad Ehteshamuddin after working in a drama ‘Sadqay Tumhare’ five years back?
He is always the same whether it is television or film. I know most people liked my role in Hamsafar and Sheher-e-Zaat but my diehard fans love Shanno of Sadqay Tumhare. And I give its full credit to Ehteshamuddin. Why I admire him most as he always lets me free, whether it is Sadqe or Superstar. He never tied my wings and allows me to fly at my own strength. Here I tell you about the climax scene of Superstar, of which I was very particular, so I asked him to direct me if I was taking it alright, but he was adamant that I had to do it on my own first. So, I went back to the scene and then he came around and said, “Consider it as your last chance and put in all the agony and pain that you can”. That was it. After that I knew clearly what I had to do. He is a true collaborator. I am very grateful that Ehtesham Bhai has directed Superstar.
We have seen your two dance numbers on this eid; More Sayyan and Noori. In which you had to work harder and give more time?
I worked hard for both. Both dances are very different from each other. More Sayyan is pure kathak while Noori is typical thumka style. The only connection between them was their choreographer Nigah Jee, who is a teacher in its true sense. He makes you to work. We had only two days for More Sayyan and I was not feeling well then, but I could make it just because of the determination of Nigah Jee and Asim Raza. I enjoyed both of my dance shoot a lot. It was lot of fun. Actually, I love dancing and pick it very quickly.
So, after these two films, can we say that Mahira Khan also dance at her best besides acting?
I don’t know. People will tell. Moreover, I will not just dance for the sake of dance. It should be fit into film as well. But honestly, I love dancing. I look forward anxiously when it is a dance shoot planned in a film. I really waited impatiently for Noori and More Sayyan.
How Noor is closed to Mahira?
Honestly, in beginning, I didn’t find any connection with Noor but when Azaan and Bilal said that I was lot like her, then I also realized that yes at some points I was. For instance, I too have a very strong faith like Noor of Superstar. I am also a dreamer like her.
Do you believe that Superstar was written for you?
Of course! I feel once an actor has signed a film and starts shooting, it actually becomes his or her film, whether it was written for any other actor in the first place. Jo actor jo film karta hai wo usi ke liyeh likhi hoti hai.
With an Outpour of Reviews for the Movies Released in Pakistan this Eid, Heer Maan Ja Clearly Wins Over the Masses!
Our social media handles have been filled with pictures and videos of Ali Rehman Khan and Hareem Farooq for weeks now and we knew what the hype was all about – the hugely awaited film Heer Maan Ja was ready to hit the cinemas and we couldn’t have been more excited about it.
The film finally got released along with the other two Eid movie releases in Pakistan last week and Heer Maan Ja, despite of being assumed as the underdog among the three, soared through! Even though critics from the film industry had been expecting the other two movies to give it a tough competition, Heer Maan Ja received an overwhelming response from the crowds that was evident with all the reviews that began pouring in all over the internet from the very first night of its release.
Not just the reviews, but the film has also gotten great ratings from different online forums and is clearly taking the lead there. They crossed Rs. 3.5+ crores within three days of the release, and the numbers keep rising each passing day, since the cinema houses are mostly running houseful.
Heer Maan Ja is a project of IRK Films and Arif Lakhani Films and features Ali Rehman Khan and Hareem Farooq in the lead as Heer and Kabeer – the duo that falls in love during their college years but have to separate under the pressure of family and ambitions. However, many years later, and under odd circumstances, they cross each other’s paths again and their reunion is followed by a series of complications that showcase a whole lot of comedy, romance and thrill.
The film also includes Faizan Sheikh as the infamous Wajdaan, the villain in the movie who creates all kinds of problems for the two. Mojiz Hasan plays Jerry, Kabeer’s adorable side-kick who tries his best to make the people around him happy, while Shumayale Khattak has given an intriguing personality to the character of Ramsey.
From the cinematography of the film, the music featured in it, the dresses, makeup and outlook of the characters, to the fantastic storyline, the pacing and script of the film and the way it has been directed and shot – Heer Maan Ja has received multitudes of praises in all aspects and it seems like it has become a incredible success within no time.
Heer Maan Ja has increased industry benchmarks when it comes to Pakistani films. It is a valuable contribution to the local film industry, and it would surely play a huge role in helping it advance further by leaps and bounds.
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