For Pakistani musicians, it is the season to rejoice. Having already announced payments in terms of royalties, online music-streaming portal Patari has rolled out another significant venture, Patari Aslis. It is an extended play (EP) that will feature some of the country’s brightest upcoming talent produce music at the expense of the company.
The idea came about when Patari rounded up six different musicians and funded them to create the music they wanted to make on their own terms without influencing their style or genre. Explaining the model for Patari Aslis, company co-founder Khalid Bajwa stated one of the most interesting features of the project is that it highlights Patari’s three core values: royalty distribution, content creation and live music. In this day and age, when corporate-sponsored content has become the norm, Bajwa explained how “musicians will retain total control of the song.”
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According to Bajwa, the EP, which is to be released as the first volume in a series of albums, will feature six tracks by emerging artists and will only be launched digitally. While the inaugural volume primarily consists of emerging musical acts, such as The Tamashbeens, Abdullah Qureshi, Shajie, Sikandar Ka Mandar, Mehdi Maloof and Hawaii Jahaz, Bajwa reiterated Patari’s aim is not just to promote upcoming musicians. “Patari Aslis is not just about promoting new artists. We also want to encourage established artists to create new content on a more regular basis,” he said.
Of the artist selection criteria for the debut edition of Patari Aslis, Bajwa noted, “While some artists were selected due to their popularity on Patari, a few were roped in on the basis of our intuition. Plus, we also wanted to have diversity in terms of genres.” He went on to say, “For instance, where Abdullah Qureshi is more pop, Sikandar Ka Mandar is more indie and rock.”
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Patari Aslis is also directed towards rekindling the live music and performance culture in Pakistan, which is one of the venture’s prime objectives. Pointing out how the trend of concerts ceased to exist in recent times, he emphasised the role live performances would play in ensuring the revival and survival of the local music industry.
To celebrate the release of their debut EP, Patari will stage a concert in Karachi and Lahore featuring various musicians on December 26 and December 27, respectively. “When we met the artists, we noticed how all of them harbour a strong desire to perform live. They encourage interaction between the musicians and audiences,” he said. Owing to the dearth of concerts in the country, Bajwa noticed at recent gigs that the crowd has “forgotten how to behave at concerts” and that for instance, “they don’t know how to sing along with songs anymore.”
Published in The Express Tribune, December 25th, 2015.
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