After Coke and Pepsi, an ice cream is coming to the Pakistani music industry’s rescue. Musician Shahi Hasan will coach young and talented singers at his studio, who will be auditioned from all over Pakistan for an upcoming show titled Cornetto Youth Icon.
Sources reveal that the show will comprise 10 episodes and up to 22 songs will be made in the course of the show. “We will recreate old popular numbers and will also produce original tracks that include the grand finale song,” says Shahi. The interesting collaborations range from instrument players to pop and rock legends of the country to folk artists. Some of the names that are expected to feature in the show include ex-Junoon member Salman Ahmad, Ali Azmat, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Sajjad Ali, Meesha Shafi and Zoe Viccaji. Instrumentalists like Shalum Xavier and Aamir Zaki are also expected to join the show.
Speaking about gathering such famous names of the music industry, Shahi said, “It’s a very different concept — something like this has not been introduced in Pakistan before. It is not essentially a competition like international music shows, it is aimed at mentoring and introducing budding singers.”
Previously, Coke and Pepsi were the only brands supporting the music industry and cricket respectively, until recetly, when Ufone came up with Uth Records as a platform for underground singers and bands. It crash-landed, however, after the second season failed to meet the high expectations set by an incredibly versatile first season.
The collaboration with Cornetto marks Shahi’s entry into ‘branded’ music shows. Usually known for his heavy workout routines and staying out of the limelight, Shahi is one of the least talked-about producers in the mainstream media primarily because of his preference to restrict himself to his studio space.
Shahi recently came in the limelight with Naya Pakistan and a few cameo appearances alongside Ahmed at the rallies of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf. His portfolio boasts impressive work, making Cornetto Youth Icon worth the wait. Currently, a promo featuring model Cybil Chowdry and musician Ahmed Butt has been released, which has got many music lovers talking.
The show will feature prominent personalities from the music industry, including Salman Ahmad, Ali Azmat, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Sajjad Ali, Meesha Shafi, Zoe Viccaji, Shalum Xavier and Aamir Zaki. PHOTO: FILE
What to expect?
The show’s format does not follow the arrangement of singing shows like Pakistan Sangeet Icon, where musicians sit in the judges’ panel to weigh the vocal abilities of youngsters. It is also different from Coke Studio, in that there will be no cluster of seasoned musicians producing commercial music.
“It is extremely different from Coke Studio,” Shahi explains. “The target audience is people aged less than 25 years, hence the show is concentrated towards the youth. We will introduce singers, while Coke Studio is more of a jam of renowned artists.”
The change in the format and line-up will be interesting owing to Shahi’s extensive experience in the field of music and his affiliation with Vital Signs. He has previously worked with most of the musicians who are collaborating on Cornetto Youth Icon. The collaborations will be worth the experience for any young singer because currently, releasing music albums is no longer a trend, and all artists need is one popular song to get a slice of fame. What better way to do this than sharing studio space with prodigies like Azmat or Zaki, under the guidance of Shahi?
Vital Signs ruled the music charts in the ’90s, and still has a very strong influence on the music industry, despite the fact that it was disbanded after singer Junaid Jamshed left the band. The fact that Rohail was picked out by Coke and now Shahi for Cornetto Youth Icon, speaks volumes of their stellar reputations.
The show is much needed, given that the Pakistani music industry is going through a slump; so while the show will do a lot in promoting the brand name, it will also help the music industry foster.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 31st, 2013.
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