Mehwish Hayat is the one, who we can say is ruling our recent film industry. She has given five hit films to Pakistani cinema as well as many super hit television dramas. Be it her films like Namaloom Afrad, Pujanb Nahin Jaungi and Load Wedding or her dramas like Man Jali and Dil Lagi, she has mesmerized the audience with her perfect looks and acting skills. Recently, she has been awarded a civil award, tamgha-e-imtiaz by the state of Pakistan for her contribution to Pakistani entertainment industry. Amidst this success and excitement, Hayat is facing too much trolling and bullying on her achievement from a section of society. We talked to this talented lady who openly expresses her feelings about getting this award and the negative propaganda that surrounds it. But here, we must clear a misunderstanding of confusing the civil decorations of Pakistan with other awards. The civil decorations and awards are given by the state of Pakistan mostly to citizen (civilians) of Pakistan for their notable work for the country in different fields, like arts, literature, sports, journalism, science, medical, social work etc. Mehwish Hayat is one of many who have been awarded in the category of arts.
How much this award has boosted your morale?
I am very excited and honoured to get this award. I have 10 years of career. I never thought I would be recognized and awarded this medal so soon. It is for my contribution to drama, theatre, music and the revival of cinema in Pakistan. When your services are recognised at State level, it is beyond explanation. Those were most memorable moments of my life and this is just the beginning. I have a long way to go. I must say that with this award comes more responsibility to do better and bring pride for my nation
With this celebration and success, a section of society is very critical and against this award given to you. What would you say on this?
Being a public figure, we are always exposed to the criticism. It is not necessary that everyone, praise you every time. But when it comes to your private life, where people start attacking on your personality and character, I think, there we have to draw the line. You can’t bash and troll someone on social media; it comes into the cyber bullying. That is why I use my Twitter to tell that one can criticize my work but not my character.
Who has given you this right when you don’t even know me?
Artists are the assets of a society. They represent their country in whole world. They entertain you; make you smile and all this need a hard work behind. We have a very small community with limited resources and we are working very hard to establish it as an industry. All we need is acceptance and respect.
What do you think should be done to stop this?
I think from here we can start this debate that what we can and should do next to protect the sanctity of our community. If social media give you access to reach to others, it doesn’t mean that you have got the right to malign anybody on these forums. People are committing suicides due to this cyber bullying. This has become a serious issue now on which we have to take measures accordingly on government level as well. I am not the first one, who is facing all this bullying. Many other prominent personalities also have been facing this baseless criticism. The only reason of all this is trolling is to put a certain person in negative light.
How so far you have got the strength during all this negative propaganda?
Despite all this negativity from certain section, the positive thing is that that my family, my friends, my fans, my colleagues and overall industry is by my side and supporting me. It makes me relief and happy and I am thankful to them for this.
You have worked in almost every genre of performing art like film, drama, theatre and even music. What do you think you have been awarded this medal on?
My work is everything for me. It is my passion. I love to perform all kind of art form, be it film, drama, theatre music or any other performance. I enjoy doing all. Every medium has its own charm. But I would rate theatre first because you have to perform everything live before audience and get their reaction instantly. That first hand response is amazing. Films? Of course! Every actor loves to be on big screen. It has its own magic. Singing has its own magic. So I can’t rate any single field. State has not given me this award just on my acting. It is my overall body of work of my 10 years career that includes my contribution to the Pakistani cinema, the drama industry.
What this achievement has a place in your career?
This medal is reward of my hard work and contribution to my country and how I have represented my country in the world. I have worked throughout my career in Pakistan. My films have generated revenue of 160 crores rupees overall at box office. No Pakistan actress has ever garnered his amount in films till now. So this is a milestone in itself for the industry as well. Similarly, my five blockbuster films have contributed a lot in the revival of Pakistani cinema. I am proud to be a part of this revival. It is wonderful that in return my work has been appreciated. Today, when there is a tamgha-e-imtiaz is with my name, it’s an honour for me and my fans. I am not the only and last one to get this award. I wish others will also get this for their hard work and performance.
ENCOUNTER SCENTS LAUNCHED AT A VIRTUAL EVENT
US-based brand Encounter Scents under the aegis of Dua Fragrances held its Virtual Launch event orchestrated by Catwalk Event Management & Productions last week with strict Covid SOPs in place.
Hosts Mahsam Raza, CEO of Dua Fragrances and Encounter Scents along with Partner/Board Director, actor, television host and Producer Faysal Quraishi invited guests to a cool ambience comply with socially distanced white benches.
The stage also followed the white theme with a hefty design of the Encounter Scents bottle. On its sides two large screens show-reeled a 90 second promo film and congratulatory shout outs from gift box recipients.
On a corner, an elegant flower-filled barrow fragrance counter held samples of the five existing Encounter Scents For Him and For Her fragrances including COMPLIMENT, CONFIDENCE, ROMANTIC, SEDUCTION & IN THE CLUB.
Guests included members from the entertainment industry including actors; Shahzad Nawaz, Aijaz Aslam, Nabeel Zafar, Naveed Raza, Haroon Shahid, Zain Afzal, Faizan Shaikh, Aadi Adeal Amjad and actress and model Dur-e-Fishan Saleem as well entrepreneur and designer Asim Jofa, and publicist Rasik Ismail. The media, comprising leading bloggers, Vloggers, digital broadcasters and contestants from the game show ‘Khush Raho Pakistan’ which Faisal Quraishi hosts were also present.
Dino Ali conducted the red carpet and stage event and queried from guests about their favourite Encounter fragrance. Some celebrity guests were tested during a blindfold game in which they were asked to try and guess any of the 10 existing scents.
On stage Faysal Quraishi reminisced about his struggling days during which he would still make saving up to buy fragrances a priority, highlighting his lifelong passion for scents.
“When you meet someone something that is indelibly remembered and lingers on after the encounter is the fragrance that the other person was wearing,” Faisal said, adding that he and partner Mahsam had a similar passion for perfume and that there was “a story behind each of the Encounter Scents fragrances.”
Mahsam Raza reiterated this fact when he explained the genesis of one of the fragrances, Confidence for Him.
“Each ingredient was cherry picked according to all the fragrance notes my father liked” adding that all the ingredients used in Encounter Scents are derived straight from the source without a middleman.”
Mahsam went on to speak and enthuse about the brand’s philosophy: “Encounter Scents is dedicated to providing its loyal customers with an assortment of high quality fragrances for all of life’s special moments according to different preferences.”
Mahsam and Faysal also spoke about their focus on establishing the fragrances in Pakistan and “working on many other plans and developing other products.”
Encounter Scents is currently developing another set of six additional fragrances to the line; three for men and three for women.
Encounter Scents fragrances will initially be available only online in Pakistan on the brand’s website with payment made through Shopify. The ordinarily PKR 13,500 fragrances will be offered at an introductory sale price of PKR 10,000 each, accessible through the company’s website www.encounterscents.pk.
Spotify Premium Launches New Offers for Free
Summertime, a holiday season, and people consume more music than usual that is why the world’s biggest music streaming service Spotify launches its summer plans for melody lovers.
This summer, Spotify Premium is offering three months free to the eligible and first time-users for its Individual Premium Plan. Moreover, those users, who have cancelled their Individual Premium plan for any reason, can also get them back in just 299 PKR for three months. Both offers are available for the Individual Premium Plan till June 22. To be eligible for the 299 PKR offer, subscribers must have cancelled their plan on or before April 26.
Spotify Premium gives subscribers an audio streaming experience with ad-free music listening, and on-demand audio anytime. On Spotify, users get access to more than 70 million tracks and four billion playlists right at their fingertips. So whether one is away from home or sitting at the cosy home, Spotify covers it. The service makes it easier for its users to find their favourite music and check out their very own personalized playlists like Discover Weekly, Spotify Mixes, Time Capsule and more.
For details, head to Spotify.com/Premium to sign up.
Our Society Has Not Accepted Music As A Profession: Muhammad Ali Shyhaki
Mohammed Ali Shyhaki is a well-known name in Pakistan entertainment industry. He is among the ones who introduced the genre of pop and rock music in Pakistan. Started his music career in the 1970s, Shyhaki earned a name and fame as ace star in Pakistani pop music and as a playback singer.
His patriotic song ‘Main Bi Pakistan Hoon’ and folk song ‘Teray Ishq Mein Jo Bhi Doob Gaya’, with famous folk singer Allan Fakir are still popular among masses.
Shyhaki also acted in a few films. Some of his films achieved success at the box office but the industry was already on the decline, so he left films. His film Choron ka Badshah (1988) celebrated platinum jubilee.
His family name ‘Shyhaki’ comes from his Iranian father who used to work at the Iranian Consulate in Karachi. After graduating from NED University of Engineering and Technology, Karachi, Pakistan, he made a short-lived career in aviation but could not find him fit for the profession and got back to his passion, music.
The government of Pakistan recently awarded him the ‘Pride of Performance’ for his services to the music industry of Pakistan.
Daily Paperazzi reached to this legend and talked about his recent achievement and current activities.
Don’t you think that you must’ve have got this award a long time ago?
Yes. It seems true. But I leave things to God. He can better decide what is and when is something better for us. We can only work hard which I think I did to my best.
Your fans see you very seldom these days. Why?
There was a time when we (musicians of his generation) were everywhere and all the time on television. Then policies changed and channels started to give more priority to current affairs and politics on their screens. People were also enjoying them. Ratings got higher and ultimately these channels started to get more advertisements for political talk shows rather than entertainment. They might decide why to spend money on musicians (and their tantrums) and other entertainment programs with less profit in return. Instead they just set up studios, hired a host, and called two politicians, and then a hot debate started. It cost them much less but earned more.
What do you do to satisfy the artist inside you?
I do private shows. I always go and perform when someone calls me with respect. Moreover, I have established a registered YouTube channel where I put up short durations programs and shows along with my radio show which I do every week on FM 100. The program also goes live on the channel’s Facebook page. I have a right to download it, edit it and upload on my official channel so anyone can watch and enjoy it.
You have studied civil engineering. So how did you come into the field of showbiz and music?
I thought I was not fit for the job of an engineer. I didn’t realise it when studying but when it came to be a professional I could not implement it.
In meantime, to my surprise, I met many who could not even write a single sentence but passed the exams and got the job. I also got the job but I could not sustain it for more than 6 months as my boss had a laid back attitude and was not ready to take any responsibility for his work. He also asked me to do the same. I thought it was not just to get earnings without taking any responsibility and doing things in a right way. Moreover, naturally, I was more comfortable in performing arts than engineering.
You are among the founders of pop music in Pakistan. How did you modify the pure pop rock from the west for your Eastern Listeners?
Music is like a bara masala ki chaat in which the more you put in the more it becomes interesting and appealing for the audience. We always do experiment to transform music, for instance, there was a time when bhangra was a hit thing with amalgamation of pop and rap.
You have worked in films as well. Tell us something about it?
It is an interesting story. Director Iqbal Yousuf approached me and offered a role in his film. I was shocked. I asked him to hire me as a playback singer but he was adamant for me to act, He said, “Tum film material ho.” It was a time when I had returned from the USA. He cast me as lead in ‘Son Of Andata’. It was kind of a debut. Then I was cast in a very challenging role in ‘Pyar Do a Maar Do’. It was a quite difficult topic and co-production between Pakistan, Bangladesh, Singapore and Malaysia. The film could not be run in Pakistani cinemas as the censor board said it was promoting Bengali and Hindu culture. The story demanded all the female characters wear Saris while male cast wore lungis. I did 10 movies altogether. Among them almost 4 were released while the rest are still in boxes or files
Do you think that what appreciation and promotion our artists and performing arts are getting on state level is enough for the betterment of this industry?
To be honest I feel general public has not accepted us as part of the society. It not only includes the showbiz or performing arts but also the artists who paint, write or do any other creative trait. We are not considered as normal as we are not working 9 to 5. They ask why he is charging so much money just from singing. What he is doing is so big. I ask them why they don’t do this. I know everybody can’t do everything. It means this is an extraordinary talent which God has given to some of his people. If they can’t or don’t want to do it, hen deny to accept it. This is not fair. I believe that it is only God to decide from which profession we would earn.
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