After Noori’s BIY (Believe in Yourself) records and Ali Zafar’s Alif records, Emu — the producer and keyboardist of Fuzon — is set to launch Emix records after Eid. Initially, the label will be producing and releasing two new artists, Sherry Raza and Ammar Ali Khan, along with Fuzon and Amjad Sabri to name a few.
Emu considers the era of 2001 to 2006 to be the best for Pakistani pop music. Later however, he says, certain television channels introduced their own record labels which ruined everything for the artists. With Emix, the musician plans to gives another platform to up-and-coming artists.
“I don’t have a personal vendetta against any channel. My argument is based on principles, not emotions,” says the artist. “Record labels are not supposed to stop their music from being played on any other music channel, but unfortunately this has been happening in Pakistan because of television-owned labels. It has proved fatal for every artist,” adds Emu.
Former general manager of BMN records, Khurram Jamshed is Emu’s business partner in Emix records, which will also release music that has already been produced and is worth a label.
“This is a long term investment because we are making artists, not doing a business,” says the artist. “I am producing the first two artists out of my own pocket, everyone knows that there is no return in a record label, but it is what is needed today. A lot of amazing new talent will never make it to the mainstream if we, the musicians, don’t help out,” adds Emu, who is appreciative of other singers like Zafar and Noori owning independent record labels.
The musician believes that the trend of setting up independent labels will increase with time as many artists have been “bitten by record labels owned by television channels and they have learnt a lesson”.
With television-owned and artist-owned labels already operating in the industry, one wonders if Emix will offer anything new and more substantial for the artists. “I have been playing and making music for 22 years now and my business partner and I know the industry inside out. All I can say is that it will be a fair deal — if your music is good, we will release it in the market, give it to all the music channels and pay every single penny of royalty to the artist,” explains Emu.
The artist believes that the job of a record label is beyond the release of albums as it should be creating artists which is a bigger contribution to the music industry: “As the owner of a record label, it is my duty to promote the artists; create a promotional campaign for them, and make sure that their music crosses boundaries and reaches as far as possible. Like I said, we have to make pop icons, not just budding musicians.”
Emix records will follow the footsteps of EMI Pakistan which according to Emu is one of the most honest and fair independent music label in Pakistan. “They have recently returned the royalty money of around Rs0.4 million they owed to an artist when they shut down in the 90s,” says the artist.
After listening to some of the music that will be released under the banner of Emix records, one can say that the company is set to bring amazing music to the forefront, but only time will tell if the record label will be successful.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 28th, 2011.
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