Pakistan Superstar — some hope for upcoming musicians

One of the three finalists will get a chance to record with Universal Music India.

Sher Khan April 01, 2014
Ali says the competition’s emphasis will be on supporting musicians and providing them facilities that may not be available to them otherwise. PHOTO: PUBLICITY


Pakistan Superstar, Pakistan’s first online music reality show, has been in the works for a while. Headed by Farhan Ali and produced by Hassan Omer, two of the three members of music band Symt, this ambitious project aims at unearthing the musical talent of Pakistan.

After receiving nearly 3,000 entries from amateur musicians on its website, the project is shaping up.

“We were quite amazed by the entries we received. They show that there is so much talent and quality in the country,” says Ali. We [as a band] were able to release an album despite constraints, but there are so many others who are involved in music and don’t have a proper direction or avenue,” he continues.

The competition has entered its second phase, where 10-12 contestants will be shortlisted.

Each of these contenders will record two tracks each at the Walnut Studios over two weeks with the house band, which comprises Kami Paul on drums, Rupert Shahzad on keyboard, Waqar Ahmed on guitar, and Ravail Sattar on percussion.

The second round will essentially be divided into two parts: the first song each contestant sings will roughly determine who the top five are, but no one will be eliminated; the songs will then be posted online for public voting.

Out of the top three selected by the voters, one will end up winning the chance to record with the coveted record label Universal Music India.

Ali says the competition’s emphasis will be on supporting the musicians and providing them with musical facilities that may not be available to them otherwise.

By making the selection more democratic, the show attempts to distinguish itself from television-based music competitions.

“A lot of people complained that other musical competitions don’t base their decisions purely on talent and focus more on looks and image. We want to change that,” Ali shares.

In this regard, Ali says he has tried to go out of his way to accommodate submissions and spent hours ensuring that the submissions are received. In some cases, he even had a few hopefuls come to the studio and record there if they faced issues while making entries on the website.

The excitement surrounding the competition originates from the fact that it is an avenue dedicated solely to local musical talent, who don’t get the chance to perform live. One of the contestants from the top 12 has been a journeyman musician who has performed at various spots in the city.

“This opportunity was God sent. I am only a vocalist and have been trying to make it through. I performed a couple of times at the knowledge factory, but I didn’t get the type of response, which makes one want to pursue music full time,” says the 24-year-old musician.

His first recording experience took place at the Walnut Studios through the platform of Stage Monks. He finished his matriculation and has a diploma in electrical engineering. He now feels that this competition is an important aspect of his musical career.

“Music is my passion, so I knew I was not going to waste my time with the television reality shows. On this platform [Pakistan Superstar], I know that my talent will not be wasted,” he shared.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 2nd, 2014.

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Turyal Azam Khan | 7 years ago | Reply

@ML Haroon Shahid is not a part of this project.He is a gifted musician, it has nothing to do with Farhad Humayun and Meekal Hassan, if he's good, he's good . Don't listen to Symt, if you don't like them.

Thia ia perhaps the worlds first digital singing show.I like the idea, where only we, the audience are judges, because even despite musical geniuses everyone has a different taste in music

Arif | 7 years ago | Reply It is a very good initiative, however the participants are not open candidates, all of them are related to Walnut's network / circle of friends, not rigged intentionally but the most tedious and important - selection process was done very casually/ hap hazardly. But ofcourse they are talented as you claim.
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