The Karachi-based band Aunty Disco Project (ADP) is basking in the glow of its inclusion in this year’s season of Coke Studio.
According to Omar Bilal Akhtar, the band’s frontman, “Well since Coke Studio, ADP’s got a lot of attention and exposure. The whole thing has been a little overwhelming for us.”
“I couldn’t have predicted the response from Coke Studio. We truly underestimated how many people watch the show, and I’m happy to say we made a whole bunch of new fans all over the world.” But, he says, “We also got a whole bunch of haters too, but that comes with the territory, doesn’t it? But we were really, really happy with our performance on the show, and we are really grateful to Rohail Hyatt and his team for taking a chance on us and giving us this incredible opportunity. It was a dream come true.”
It helped the band that they were performing in Karachi the same weekend the episode they were featured on Coke Studio aired.
“The weekend our episode aired we performed for two nights at the PACC Auditorium, at an event sponsored by BOSE. That was fantastic, BOSE let us use their sound equipment and we got to have this state-of-the-art audio equipment at our disposal. We did try to steal it though. This is why BOSE is probably not going to sponsor us again! Anyway, it was one of the most fun shows we did, given that we had to get audiences to come two nights in the middle of the FIFA World Cup.”
When asked about rumours of the band breaking up, he sounded rather shocked: “I hope not, they all owe me money! Wonder where that one came from. I think we’ll break up next year after we release our album, by then we’ll either be so successful that we’ll go on solo careers or our album will be so disastrous, we’ll quit music altogether. But seriously, I’m quite amused, we’re not breaking up! (Although we keep threatening each other that we will, but that’s more for entertainment).”
Aunty Disco Project is currently working on its first commercial release. Their first album had a limited release.
“We’re currently recording our first commercial release and we’re really excited about it. The album has about 11 tracks and it’s got brand new songs as well as re-worked versions of songs like “Sultanat” and “Likhta Nahin Mein”. I feel that it was worth doing those songs again because the new line-up of ADP, especially with the addition of Rahail Siddiqui on bass, and Giles Goveas on drums adds a lot more to these songs and they have become completely different. We’re recording, producing and mixing the album all on our own at Rahail’s Studio (i.e. his living room) and hopefully we’ll start releasing singles towards the end of the year. We’re looking to make videos as well, but currently we’re in talks with different directors, nothing concrete for now. Although I can tell you these aren’t going to be big budget videos, we’re more interested in shooting low budget, guerilla-style videos that are based on really original concepts.”
Published in The Express Tribune, August 2nd, 2010.
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