“Ayesha Omar got the best album award. RIP music in Pakistan,” posted one Twitter user Ali Abbas Zaidi, when he learnt that the actor-singer had bagged the Lux Style Award for Best Album. He was not alone; several others on the micro-blogging website felt outraged that the artist was victorious in a category where artists like Sajjad Ali, Sajid and Zeeshan and Usman Riaz were nominated. “Surprised is the word… strange winners. For example, Ayesha Omar wins the best music album award… give me Native Jetty bridge to jump (from) please,” posted another Twitter user Umair Mirza.
Ayesha Omar got the best album award. RIP Music in Pakistan. On top of that. burial recital EyetoEye by Taher Shah— Syed Ali Abbas Zaidi (@Ali_Abbas_Zaidi) July 5, 2013
surprised is the word .. strange winners. for e.g. Ayesha Omar wins the best music album award .. give me native jetty bridge 2 jump plz— UMAIRICA (@Umairmirza) July 5, 2013
In an article for The Express Tribune, music critic Mohammad A Qayyum described her “an average vocalist with a tendency towards sounding alternatively hoarse or throaty”. How does the starlet feel about all the criticism coming her way?
“I am extremely thrilled to have won,” she tells us via Facebook, as she is currently not in Pakistan. “I worked extremely hard on this album and I guess all the hard work paid off.”
While she is travelling and has not come across the Twitter posts and articles lambasting the LSA platform for awarding her the trophy, she does add, “Haters will always hate and obviously jealousy will always exist! People who lose will always be sore.” Like Twitter user karachikhatmal pointed out in his tweet “bear in mind that votes were cast on FB”, Ayesha also said, “The critics don’t always understand the way the minds of the masses work. Anything can appeal to them. Even something that is not technically great. Another huge music project is coming out right after Eid… you will see me performing in that as well. So the critics should wait and check that out.”
Before commenting on state of Pakistani music based on Ayesha Omar winning an LSA, bear in mind that votes were cast on FB. #NuffSaid— Ahmer Naqvi (@karachikhatmal) July 4, 2013
She says she feels honoured to have been nominated along with “huge names” like Sajjad Ali and Sajid and Zeeshan, whose music she says “has always been a source of inspiration and motivation”.
“I never expected to win,” she admits. “I don’t even come close to their experience and skill but this was a voting category and I guess music listeners and fans out there did like something about my album. The criticisers have a right to state their views.”
We spoke to LSA host and presenter Ahmed Ali Butt about how he felt about Ayesha’s victory. “At the end of the day, theek hai. Ayesha Omar is fine, one should be supportive, not critical. If you want to be critical be a strict blogger. I am all for it [releasing an album and making singles] — it takes a lot of b**** to take out music in times like these.”
Nominee Usman Riaz says he is honoured to have been nominated. “People think she deserved to win. To me, winning doesn’t matter, being acknowledged does.”
Gumby, however, was less diplomatic and more terse. “I have just heard a song. I wouldn’t rate her as a singer. The LSA’s should focus more on fashion than music. It is unfortunate that Sajid-Zeeshan and Sajid Ali and Usman Riaz didn’t win. I don’t blame the artist but I blame the jury. This is only a style award not a music award! LSA is about fashion and style and they should focus on that and not on music.”
So who are these jury members in the line of fire? Qayyum shares that a jury member informed him that the music jury vote makes up for about 30% of the award, with the rest determined by viewers.
According to the official results shared with The Express Tribune, Ayesha bagged 18,377 votes, while the lowest number was earned by Dynoman for Naubahar. It is clear that she bagged the most votes owing to her popularity from Bulbulay. It is possible that people who voted for her even didn’t even know that she could sing. Unfortunately, this is what happens when you leave an important award that does not have as much mass appeal for the public to decide. Music categories should only be awarded according to their genres, like they were with the Indus Music and The Music Aawards.
And the winner is!
Voting was conducted via SMS, call centre and votes on the LSA website. Results audited by KPMG were submitted to the LUX Style Awards office as follows:
Best Music Album
Chahar Balish by Sajjad Ali 9,458
Circus in the Sky by Usman Riaz 2,908
Khamoshi by Ayesha Omar 18,377
Naubahar by Dynoman 2,506
The Harvest by Sajid & Zeeshan 1,624
(Shared by Fareshte Aslam of Unilever)
Published in The Express Tribune, July 9th, 2013.
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