Pakistan’s youngest rock band

Published: February 1, 2011
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Zoya and Ali Sultan made their debut at the Young Music Competition in 2010. PHOTO: PUBLICITY

Zoya and Ali Sultan made their debut at the Young Music Competition in 2010. PHOTO: PUBLICITY

LAHORE: Biting his lower lip, 10-year-old Ali Sultan, head bangs as he drums “Don’t Cry” by Guns n Roses. His sister and fellow band member, Zoya, 15, sings along as her fingers fly across the strings of her electric guitar.

Ali and Zoya debuted as a band at the Young Music Competition in the beginning of 2010 where Zoya sang Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters” and was accompanied by Ali on the drums. Bass guitarist for the band, Vicky, 19, was hired by Zoya and Ali’s father and band manager, Uzair Sultan, in 2009 to complete the band, The Others, started by his children.

The Others went on to the semi-finals in the competition and this event was followed with the band getting a 20 minute slot on City FM 89 with DJ Pony. Now the two youngsters are opening for concerts two or three times a week and have even opened for Strings at the City School, the Cheapmunks, Josh and Ali Azmat.

How did these two get interested in rock music at such a young age? “I began singing and playing the guitar when I was 10 years old and Ali practised on a drumming kit, a present our parents gave him for his sixth birthday,” said Zoya.

“Our father got both Ali and I separate tutors for a year. After this I began learning guitar through tutorials available online, meanwhile, Ali took up drumming again and practiced day and night. This is when we decided to play rock music together.”

The brother and sister also compose their own music, “We have composed a few songs but can barely find time to concentrate on making music as we’re always busy preparing for the shows our father has booked us in for,” says Zoya.

Of the three band members, Ali gets the most attention as he’s the youngest. “Women and girls of all ages rush up to meet him after a gig,” says Zoya. Ali adds, “It makes me feel uncomfortable at times.”

After completing her A levels, Zoya plans to go to the Berkeley College of Music while grade four student, Ali, said that currently completing his homework is a challenge but his mother ensures that he does, regardless of any gigs or any performances he may have the same day.

The band’s name, The Others, was partially inspired by the hit TV series “Lost” but there was another reason behind the name as well.

“Being raised by a liberal-minded father and a Russian mother, Ali and I always felt a little different from the other kids we met. We will go to weddings dressed casually and eat at odd hours. Our father always encouraged us to do what we wanted, unlike a lot of other parents who only want their children to study. So, after Vicky joined, we changed our bands name from Zoya aur Ali to The Others,” said Zoya.

Their parents, Uzair and Aleena, accompany their children to every gig and said,  “Protecting them and seeing that they are among the right people is our responsibility.”

Currently this young band is still learning and experimenting with music, but one daythey plan on writing songs. For now, they draw inspiration from established names such as Bryan Adams, Guns and Roses and Iron Maiden. They also listen to other underground bands from Pakistan with Co-Ven as their favourite. The band is already becoming popular with 1,100 fans on their Facebook.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 2nd, 2011.

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Reader Comments (25)

  • Umayr Masud
    Feb 2, 2011 - 1:06PM

    Nice :) This is great :)Recommend

  • Feb 2, 2011 - 2:43PM

    Great yar….Recommend

  • Feb 2, 2011 - 3:13PM

    Thumbs up…Recommend

  • Usama Zafar
    Feb 2, 2011 - 6:17PM

    Awesome!!!Recommend

  • Shahzad Bhatti
    Feb 2, 2011 - 7:03PM

    These are the parents Pakistan needs to progress.

    Thumbs up to the father !Recommend

  • Arslan
    Feb 2, 2011 - 8:07PM

    Wish their dad would have focused on teaching the about their religion too and atleast do not confuse the kids by naming them as muslims Before you bust up read their comments about feeling different as well as the stories of WBCD (Western born confused desis) who are unfortunately neither here nor thereRecommend

  • Tamoor Azhar
    Feb 2, 2011 - 8:31PM

    mind blowing!Recommend

  • Feb 2, 2011 - 9:22PM

    Thank u Sonia for writing about us & thank u every one, keep supporting!!!Recommend

  • HRS
    Feb 3, 2011 - 4:14AM

    Great job kids. Must always try to justify the appreciation, trust and freedom bestowed in you by you parents. Recommend

  • MuslimBoy
    Feb 3, 2011 - 5:58AM

    I totally agree with you arslan. tht 10 year old needs to grow a beard and the girl needs to open her shows with a naat or hamd. Recommend

  • Alveena
    Feb 3, 2011 - 9:53AM

    Nice :)Recommend

  • ayaz
    Feb 3, 2011 - 2:07PM

    well done kids…keep ur sprit high…we are proud of you..Recommend

  • karl
    Feb 3, 2011 - 3:11PM

    great stuff guys, keep it upRecommend

  • Daud Azam
    Feb 3, 2011 - 6:48PM

    Thats the brighter side of Pakistan Recommend

  • Silent Spectator
    Feb 3, 2011 - 10:09PM

    The writer failed to mention if the songs (that they are composing/writing) are in English or Urdu. Just curious.Recommend

  • apakistani
    Feb 4, 2011 - 2:33AM

    Nicee ;)Recommend

  • Hussain Mirza
    Feb 4, 2011 - 3:21AM

    “Wish their dad would have focused on teaching the about their religion too and atleast do not confuse the kids by naming them as muslims Before you bust up read their comments about feeling different as well as the stories of WBCD (Western born confused desis) who are unfortunately neither here nor there”

    Just because they don’t know about Islam or religion doesn’t mean they are not Pakistani…Recommend

  • Humanity
    Feb 4, 2011 - 9:07AM

    @Arslaan ..

    WBCD may be confused. At least, they are not hypocrites. Recommend

  • AZ
    Feb 4, 2011 - 1:43PM

    Awesome stuff guys, you have just gotten yourselves another fan ;). . . keep rockin’ ;)

    @Arsalan
    Thank you for being yet another pain-in-the-place where the sun dont shine . . no, please,,, do not let go of any opportunity to be a judgmental, fundamentally inclined hater! . . its funny how the common word between fundamental and judgmental is MENTAL . . Can you not let go of you biased ideals and for once look at the word from a more open-minded perspective . . but ofcourse that is too much to ask, isnt it . . . . . because its your God-given right to judge anyone and everyone for what they do, where they are from, what they think . … is it not . ..

    The only thing I can feel for you is pity Recommend

  • AZ
    Feb 4, 2011 - 3:36PM

    look at the world . . not word
    Recommend

  • Feb 4, 2011 - 5:17PM

    Awesomee!!!!!Recommend

  • Schazad
    Feb 4, 2011 - 6:20PM

    @AZ:
    You made my day, man. Awsome. LOL @ “where the sun don’t shine”Recommend

  • Feb 4, 2011 - 11:25PM

    @Silent Spectator: The songs we are composing r in Urdu & in english, there’s some Sufi stuff as well !!!

    @AZ: Thank you very much for all your support!!!

    Thank you every oneRecommend

  • Feb 8, 2011 - 8:13AM

    @Shahzad Bhatti: FROM CANADA’S KIDS and PARENTS WAY TO GO ALI AND ZOYA!!!

    We are so happy to see kids all around the world rocking out. CONGRATS from Canada’s youngest rock band… keep on rocking!!!!Recommend

  • xyz
    Mar 13, 2011 - 12:15AM

    Zoya im from your branch one year junior to you and im really proud to see the work you are doing and making your parents and LGS proud !! .Recommend

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