Friday night in Lahore saw many of the country’s top talents come together for an event of high entertainment value for the attendees.
Hosted by comedian Saad Haroon, the private affair comprised a skit by Fawad Khan, a light show by Feeding the Fish and a musical treat by artistes Jimmy Khan, Zoe Viccaji and Sara Haider. The star-spangled event was attended by the glitterati of the city, musicians, designer heavyweights as well as corporate bigwigs.
Haroon who just wrapped up his comedy tour ‘Don’t Jealous Jaani, My Heart is Pakistani’ shares he has hosted a good number of corporate events in the past but this particular event outpaced them all. “They kept it limited to a two-hour show, understanding that people no longer have the kind of attention span they did 20 years ago.” Haroon made full use of the liberty to interact with the organisers as well as spectators. “Most corporate events are rigid but here I had conversations with them instead of long drawn speeches, so it was a new experience for me as well,” he adds.
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Feeding the Fish flew in from Europe to dazzle audiences with specialised juggling and light performances. They came with a large array of LED batons that were accurately time coded to produce a plethora of multi-coloured patterns on the stage. The devices were also programmed to write words and draw pictures in the air as they spun around. Following this, a pre-recorded skit by Fawad Khan played, where he unveiled a new comic avatar, Oochi. The stage was then cleared and the performers made way for the much-awaited musical programme.
Jamal Rahman of True Brew Records produced and curated the content, with artistes Sara Haider, Jimmy Khan and Zoe Viccaji on board. “In keeping with the theme of the night of wanting to do something different, we got these three talented singers on stage,” states Rahman. While, the triad has never played together before, they are close friends and have all earned a considerable following from their Coke Studio stints. Playing on their chemistry, Rahman decided to merge their performances instead of each musician owning the stage separately. “We also wanted to do more originals yet keep it upbeat so it would start mellow and then build up,” he mentions.
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The most popular songs of the artistes – Sara Haider’s, Dekha De Rang Apna Apna, Zoe Viccaji’s Janay Do and Jimmy Khan’s Baarish, were reworked by Rahman. The trio also sang remix versions of Nina Simone’s Feeling Good, Sia’s Chandelier and The Weeknd’s Can’t Feel My Face, progressing into Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson ft Bruno Mars. Talking about performing with Sara and Zoe, Khan shares, “Performing together was so seamless because we all had the same approach to the gig. Collaborating for gigs and recordings is an experience where as an artist you really get to explore different genres and creativity. With Zoe and Sara, you heard me sing different versions of Nadiya and Baarish and covers as well, which usually you wouldn’t hear me do.”
Of the reworking process, Rahman shares, “We worked on the songs for two weeks, prepped everything and the singers came in five days before the event. They practiced their parts, decided who will be singing the lead and the overall harmony.” He mentions that he rewrote bits of the songs and changed the overall tones and arrangements.
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Speaking about the overwhelming response towards the remix version of Baarish by Jimmy Khan, Khan shares it will also be recorded in the studio. “This version of Baarish has a more house-meets-lounge feel to it. I think we all decided to go to the studio to record this version and hopefully put it out too,” he adds. However, Khan states that while the cover songs may have also pleased the crowd equally; they might not record them given the amount of legal work they would require.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 24th, 2016.
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