After singing about the stereotypical Waderai Ka Beta and then throwing the creepy Taroo Maroo in the limelight, comedian-turned-singer Ali Gul Pir is now back with a third single, VIP. This time, as the name suggests, the track is about “very important people” or “big shots” who think they are above the all-so-ordinary awaam.
“It’s a very angry song — I feel the character [that has been portrayed in the song] had to capture the true essence of a VIP,” says Pir. “The song also shows the hopelessness of us ordinary people.”
The artist, who has been touring for the greater part of the year, explains how the idea of the song came about. Pir noticed the division of society amongst two types of people — the masses and the very important individuals. During his visit to the Wagha border, he saw that ordinary people had to stand far away from the change-of-guards ceremony, while the so-called big players, were seated in the front.
All of Pir’s songs have been character-based so far, which he designs and composes himself. For his live performances, Pir has three guitarists and one drummer.
“I am not a singer. Some people might classify me as a rapper, but my style of music is an extension of my comedy,” he continues. “My music is supposed to be very out there. I don’t do love songs — that’s not my style.”
The video of VIP shows Pir in the shoes of a VIP, who has no empathy for the masses but also looks forward to abusing them. Nicely produced, the concept is in true Ali Gul Pir-style — filled with sarcasm, satire but also an innate introspective feeling that the political and social culture caters to the few and privileged.
“We, the awaam, are not very important people, there is a thin line between security and harassing common people,” explains Pir.
Recently, Pir was in Lahore for a 14-show-tour in Punjab schools and colleges. His live act is one of the most diverse performances taking place currently in Pakistan, due to the fact that it is designed as a combination of stand-up, improv-comedy and music.
“I like doing my performances live because I feel that the audience should always take away something different from each performance,” he adds.
Pir has been working on several projects including Viral Saeein, which is an internet-based reality show which looks to find what could be the next viral sensation.
Speaking of going viral, Pir has been one of the many vocal artists that have called for the government to revoke its ban on YouTube. He says that the ban has created many difficulties for artists and that other platforms are not able to provide the same user accessibility.
“It’s a big loss, but still if the content is good then I think there is that chance for something to go viral,” he says. “I am working very hard, doing radio shows and morning shows, to make sure that I can push my art out to the maximum amount of people.”
Published in The Express Tribune, May 3rd, 2013.
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