Musical hunt

Published: July 11, 2010

Salamat Ali, Hadiqa Kiani and Nizar Lalani judge the contest. PHOTO: PUBLICITY

Salamat Ali, Hadiqa Kiani and Nizar Lalani judge the contest. PHOTO: PUBLICITY “LG Awaaz Banaey Star” has become a popular show, following the format of competitions such as “American Idol”. PHOTO: PUBLICITY

The success of shows such as “American Idol”, “Britain’s Got Talent” and “The X Factor” has inspired a number of Pakistani versions, including “Sangeet Icon” and “LG Awaaz Banaey Star”.

“LG Awaaz Banaey Star’s” first season will end on July 24. Its panel of judges includes Hadiqa Kiani, Salamat Ali nd Nizar Lalani.

According to Pervez Iqbal, the CEO and Managing Director of BBCL, “The entire journey was challenging as we had to find the right talent. We screened as many as 3,000 students from all across Pakistan, but only 48 participated in the program. Students belonged to academic institutions such as NED, Sindh Medical College, BVS, Foundation Public Sch-ool and even the Institute of Business Administration. Students from other cities, including Gujranwala, Kasur and Bahawalpur, also participated.”

Syed Muqaddas Ali, a MBA student from Karachi’s Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology is a contestant on the show. According to Ali, it has been a “great, wonderful experience.”

He told The Express Tribune that the show “promotes young talent and lets them show their true artistic skills. This seldom happens in Pakistan.”

Alycia Dias, a semi-finalist says; “It is really a good experience. I got to learn a lot about singing. I am a bit shocked to be in the semi-final, I wasn’t expecting that I could make it there.”

Salamat Ali, one of the judges of the competition said, “I think new talent has been unearthed, new refreshing voices have come forward. It’s a new perspective in a country where art itself is not held in high esteem.”

According to SM Shahid, There are no institutions in the country which can groom musicians. “For instance in the Indian city of Pune there are as many as 60 music schools and I believe many more in Lucknow, Kolkata and Patna.”

Pervez Iqbal, the producer of “LG Awaaz Banaey Star” says that the reason behind featuring Indian songs on the show was “because of their versatility”. When asked if the show could be compared to “American Idol” he said that he felt that the talent is at par if not better than on “American Idol”.

The finalists of the show get cash prizes as well as media exposure, marking a much-needed move in the industry where record labels consider their only job to be releasing a CD and not engaging in any promotional activities. Artists have also complained that record labels do not cough up enough cash to produce a video or an album, but if “LG Awaaz Banaey Star” manages to come through on its promises that could change. The winner of the show gets one million rupees in cash, album production and recording, one music video production, designing and printing of album inlays, LG mobile phones and a media campaign.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 12th, 2010.

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