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With Awards, Comes More Responsibility: Mehwish Hayat

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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.

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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

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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

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.

Salman Ahmed with Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan

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Lightingale Records: Ali Zafar Launches Record Label for Youngsters

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Ali Zafar Plays harmonium in a winter sun

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.

Lightingale Records

Lightingale Records Logo

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.”

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Our Favorite Fashion Divas that have Evolved Over Time

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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.

 

Saboor Aly 

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.

 

Nausheen Shah 

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.

Sadia Ghaffar

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.

Iqra Aziz 

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. 

Sonya Hussyn

 

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.

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