Shehzad Roy and ex-members of Guns N’ Roses to perform together for a cause

Published: September 9, 2013
Roy says that it is an honour for him to be able to perform with such big names and bring a change. PHOTO: PUBLICITY

Roy says that it is an honour for him to be able to perform with such big names and bring a change. PHOTO: PUBLICITY

KARACHI: Different artists from two different countries with one agenda — pop singer Shehzad Roy and ex-members of band Guns N’ Roses, Matt Sorum, Slash and Gilby Clarke will be seen performing together at the Peace through Music Gala in Los Angeles, for improving and promoting quality education.

Pakistani artists often travel abroad either on a cultural tour or simply to export their talent and settle down. However, philanthropist and pop artist Shehzad Roy has always been a true patriot, trying his best to contribute towards society — Zindagi Trust being his most significant effort.  The trust works to reform public schools, educate working children, and lobby the government to improve the education policy in Pakistan.

Simultaneously, former drummer of Guns N’ Roses, Matt Sorum has been working towards the promotion of arts education in the US. Adopt the Arts is a foundation that unites public figures and celebrities to help in fostering creativity in public schools. In the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), 50% of elementary schools are not receiving arts education due to budget cuts. Also, 80% of its students live at or below the poverty line, so they do not have access to arts outside the school either. Hence, Adopt the Arts came to the fore with the mission of saving arts education.

Considering the renowned artists have a similar aim, what could be better than a musical collaboration? “Separated by 8,000 miles — Adopt the Arts and Zindagi Trust — are two non-profit organisations with similar missions founded by musicians [Sorum and Roy]. This led Adopt the Arts co-founder, Abby Berman, and me to collaborate on the Gala to build bridges between different cultures,” says Sadia Ashraf, representative of the Prenner Group, which is managing event.

“We are more alike than different. Our present and future generations are becoming a global village due to a universal culture of social media and communications. They need to be shown that regardless of race, religion and culture, how alike we are and that we need to respect other cultures to march towards peace,” asserts Ashraf. “Having entertainers and celebrities are an end to a means — it attracts people’s attention to the plight of children in Pakistan who deserve quality education and also many parts of America where children are poverty-stricken.”

Clearly, it is an exciting venture for fans of both the artists and surely an exciting one for Roy as well. “It’s a big honour to perform with such names. [Sadly], Pakistan is known internationally to export other items however, this is something different and way beyond it,” says Roy, adding that music is a powerful medium for driving change.

While for a Pakistani artist, it is a huge opportunity, Sorum, too, feels that is a great, peaceful effort to bridge the gap between the two countries. “I feel this collaboration is a solid step towards building bridges of peace between the East and West. Music is the universal language of humanity. If Shehzad and I can join hands to help children, then maybe others will join us in a global effort to educate younger generations about each other’s cultures,” says Sorum.

Roy’s line-up consists of songs like Apney Ulloo and Kangna. However, he will also be performing on a new song called Land of Pure, in collaboration with the former members.

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Reader Comments (13)

  • Tootrue
    Sep 9, 2013 - 7:44PM

    “Guns ‘N Roses the number 1 band in the US”. The naïveté of that statement bought a smile to my face. :)


  • Siddiqui
    Sep 9, 2013 - 7:57PM

    Slash is not in Guns n Roses and neither Slash.


  • MA
    Sep 9, 2013 - 8:02PM

    Slash & Matt Sorum have been ex Gunner members since 1996. Only two original members, remained in Guns N Roses, are Axl Rose and Dizzy Reed.


  • sick of this nonsense
    Sep 9, 2013 - 8:45PM

    during their peak they were the best. they headlined shows which had bands like metallica, nirvana. btw the orginal guns n roses broke up long ago.


  • Qasim W
    Sep 9, 2013 - 10:28PM

    WTG Shahzad Roy. Eventhough Gn’R sucks but i’d still give a credit


  • MA
    Sep 10, 2013 - 2:55AM

    @Qasim W:
    Gn’R sucks. A pathetic statement. Guess you were either born in the wrong decade or have no understanding of how Guns N Roses changed the hard rock music scene across the globe.


  • Hammad
    Sep 10, 2013 - 3:02AM

    Oh way! He should also try to play with the darkness. Wait, that band has gone into obscurity too!


  • optimist
    Sep 10, 2013 - 6:07AM

    A singer from Pakistan performing with a known singer from US is a big achievement in itself (whether it is number 1 or number 9!).
    Adil Omar is another big name to watch out for. He has already performed with Xibit, B.Real, DJ Solo etc..And he is just 22!


  • GhostRider
    Sep 10, 2013 - 8:52AM

    G ‘N R collaborating with Shahzad Roy is so awful :( Why did you do it Sorum?


  • Haider Hussain
    Sep 10, 2013 - 9:12AM

    Way to go S Roy !!! Though I like none of GnR’s songs except “Don’t Cry”…


  • Sep 26, 2013 - 1:01PM

    Still Guns and Roses is not the original and they broke up long ago but still he should get credit for the effort he has done.


  • yaw yaw
    Sep 27, 2013 - 11:00PM

    rite on brother….well said…salute…! appetite for life…!


  • yaw yaw
    Sep 27, 2013 - 11:02PM

    @Haider Hussain:

    what do u listen to then? huh.?? backstreet boys.? aqua.??.hahahah


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