“Music channels are not taste makers, they’re just going with what sells”

The Kominas’ drummer Imran Malik, who is currently in Karachi, speaks to The Express Tribune.

Huma Imtiaz October 01, 2010

KARACHI: The Kominas’ drummer Imran Malik, who is currently in Karachi, spoke to The Express Tribune about a possible Pakistan tour, giving away music for free and his take on the Pakistani music industry.

How has your experience in Pakistan been?

The reception’s been really good, there is a lot of curiosity about us, because we sing in English and Punjabi and do songs which no one else would ever touch like “Manji Vich Daang” (a cover of a Naseebo Lal song). We’ve never played a Kominas show in Pakistan and that would be the real test. We’re laying the groundwork for that, getting our name out there, getting our video on the airwaves.

Do you have plans for a Pakistan tour?

We do have vague plans. It’s a matter of logistics. We need sponsorships for a tour since we’re not based here.

The Kominas gave away the Escape to Blackout Beach EP for free - why?

It’s important for us for people to listen to our music, we want to get people interested and the EP is strong enough to stand on its own. Also music is now such a strange thing  ... people download music for free all the time and put a price on it - iTunes decided that a song should be a dollar each. Where did they get that number from, did they pull it out of thin air, you don’t know how much it should cost ... so we said that lets try it this way. We’re struggling musicians, we’re trying to do something artistic and that is always a struggle. People did buy the album later. Obviously the greater portion of people downloaded it for free, but it’s important for us to offer these things and it’s something we wanted to do and we felt that the album was really different from our first album. It wasn’t like a full length album, it’s a seven song EP and had an interesting group of songs that we all recorded in one place in a span of three days. That’s basically why we did that, I’m not sure if we’ll do that in the future.

What’s your take on the Pakistani music industry?

My take on the music industry here is that there are very few live venues here, one in Karachi and now one in Islamabad. But there is no place with proper sound and light that’s dedicated to just being a proper music venue. Also, there are around six music channels but they don’t seem to promote new music or do stories on bands that are just forming. They’re not really like taste makers, they’re just going with what sells, I find that kind of frustrating. I think it can be changed, and it’s one of the things we’d like to see through.

We started a record label called Poco Party and the idea was to show all the bands that we love. We’re establishing an aesthetic.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 3rd, 2010.


Danish Mughal | 10 years ago | Reply I think Kominas have less chances here in Pakistan, they should better work internationally and sell their albums via Itunes & other sources. About Pakistani Music Channels: Pakistani Music Channels are truly lacking in promoting the New & Talented Pakistani Musicians. Most of the time, these channels play Indian-Bollywood crap which is no doubt well-received by the masses in Pakistan, but not by sensible Pakistanis who want to see their OWN STUFF on their OWN CHANNELS. They need to understand that there are already BIG INDIAN MUSIC CHANNELS like B4u & Channel V etc. running over Cable TV in Pakistan. Pakistani Music Channels should play some Unique stuff and it can be "Pakistani Music" which NO OTHER Channel is covering completely. This is one targeted Niche one can hold & become the Pioneer in Electronic Media. If they operate from Pakistan and call themselves a "Pakistani Music Channel" or Media Group. They should play Pakistani Stuff and should not only "entertain" with bollywood crap but also "educate" & "Inform" their viewer-ship about our own Music, Culture & Folk/Spiritual Tunes. Because of no active role of Pakistani Electronic Media in promoting Pakistani Talent, Music Portals, Websites & Blogs are doing this job and receiving very good response. Sites like : www.pakium.com www.koolmuzone.com ; and www.pakmediarevolution.net are the websites that are truly dedicated to support & promote the Pakistani Music Industry.These web-portals are run by some individuals and look their performance while "Music Channel" is a whole "Organization" backed by Finance & Corporates. Why can't they run a Pro-Pakistani Music Channel. Request to the Pakistani Music Channels: STOP PROMOTING OTHERS' STUFF & LOOK INTO WHAT WE HAVE!!!
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