KARACHI: Even though Pakistani music is said to have fallen on tough times - few concerts take place and musicians in the north-west are routinely threatened by the Taliban - artists and critics are hopeful.
MUSICIANS AND COMMENTATORS SPEAK OUT:
“I’ve been in the industry more than two decades and have seen Pakistani music rise, fall and rise again. Our culture is resilient, which won’t allow the Taliban to take over our society. Making music one’s livelihood was thought to be taboo for people here, but now parents themselves encourage their children to learn music, which shows we have a brighter future. It is the one thing which comforts our people who are sick of terror attacks and political instability in the country.”
“Pakistani pop is beginning to discover its own voice moving beyond bubblegum songs about love, by creating fusion with indigenous folk and singing songs about what is happening around us. The early 1980s also saw the rise of political pop, whose lyrics explicitly dealt with issues of freedom and repression.”
“We are interested in playing music of resistance, struggle and emancipation.”
“Terrorism and a weak economy have affected the music industry dearly. There has been a 50 to 60 per cent decline in shows and concerts and overall earnings since 2005.”
“Students are forming bands and the youngest one consists of three seven-year-olds.”
“I want to become a rock star.”