Raakin Iqbal Speaks

“Never be afraid to try, remember… Amateurs built the ark Professionals built the Titanic”

Month: May, 2009

Hanging with Pakistani Pop Sensation, Ali Zafar (Who I met in Pak Series Contin…)

Well If you haven’t been following this mini series of posts I have been writing about the Past Pakistan Trip I made back in December 08. This post is really long over due so I thought I would get this post finally out of my draft box and get it out there.

When I visited Pakistan, I had my 1st stop in Lahore where I had stayed with a good friend of mine who had also traveled to Pak in the same time frame but got there a day before I did. So him & his family were very kind enough to crash @ there place while my cousins in lahore were in Islamabad for a family wedding (Why I wasn’t @ that wedding and my mom was..out of my control..). I had reached out to all of my Lahori based Pak contacts and told them about my spontaneous visit to there mother land. Well from everyone who replied back setting up dates and time with me, one of them was Ali Zafar.

I met Ali Zafar back in 2007 of labor day.. when I got a Call from a good friend of mine saying “Ali is in D.C..You should connect with him”. Ali was in town for a concert which was taking place in the D.C area. When I had met him at his hotel around 9:15 PM, him and his manager (Haroon, one of the best artist managers I personally think 😉 ) had told me how Ali was looking for a few guitar and intrument parts for his concert the following day. So its already 9:30PM by that time and all the Guitar shops were either closed or closing by 9:30PM. After making a few phone calls, the nearby Guitar Center agreed to keep the store open for Ali Zafar until he had found what he was looking for. So a BIG shout-out to my buddies @ Guitar Center for keeping open for us…Big thanks to that contact who really helped me out 🙂 So Concert goes perfect (come on..performer like Ali Zafar..its only fun…) , I get the oppertunity to talk to Ali more, get to know more and everything…And even had them finalzie there album iTunes deal with us before they hoped on the plane to there next destination. They were here for a good 4 days..everyday, something interesting was happening and I personally had a great time… 

Ali had written back and given me a warm welcome via facebook and said to accompany him to private gig where Ali Azmat was playing. I was thrilled! and after getting all ready and all..we make a move towards his home and meet up with a few more of Ali’s friends and just enjoyed the ride to the Cafe. 

The gig was great..I didn’t know ill run into Atif Aslam there..After the gig we all went for dinner at a neat looking restaurant which I must say had great food. 

Through-out my stay in lahore, Ali was I would say my “Lahori advisor”. He would give me his recommendations and tell me the where to Hang-out was a must! I really my say it out there..A lot of people have said that these big Pak stars are quite mean and some may even deny your existence upon meeting them and personally I think a real genuine and must say original person like Ali Zafar are really rare in the industry. I wish him the best with his career and I know a great guy is going far! Kudos to you!!

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A Failed Lollywood has to be a Privatize Lollywood?

Does the industry even still exist? What in the hell is Lollywood? Who gives a rats ass on what it is..That is the attitude I get from artists and movie personal’s who are apart of  “such an industry”. But we know in reality that without Lollywood, Bollywood would be nothing. Yes you Bollywood fan lovers who hate Pakistani talent. Without Lollywood, Bollywood would be a failed state of profession. Why is that? If we look at the facts and also the assumptions. Song writers in Lollywood would travel to India to make a quick buck on there songwriting master pieces. But 2 out 4 chances they would get kicked out of the country and striped of there musical lyrics. So it was really about your chance of luck. Some people made it lucky and got through it and maintained such a powerful presence in the Lahori musical & movie industry. Lets name a couple of names:

– The great Noor Jinnah

– Ustead Nusrath Falti Khan

There are many more names out there, but due to negligence of not promoting such “entertainment content” during past Pakistani governmental regimes, those names have been forgotten. So then who is really at fault for such a “faulty” industry? Well I would say its the not just the government of Pakistan, but also the people who are apart it and surround it (Generation X). So here is how I filter the blame:

Government- Because the government has constructed such a complicated and unstable legal system, activities such as copyright infringement, pressing charges, artist rights, etc… can never happen, when the time is necessary. Artist in particular need to rely on any organization they are contracted to protect them legally.

Ask Goher from Jal about the pain of pressing charges on Atif Aslam for stealing the lyrics of the music which he proclaims he wrote and produced? Also the government has set up no system for “free legal” advice for the people who can not afford a crapy Pakistani lawyer who wears a fake Hugo Boss black sport jacket. So many underground artists have been ripped off content wise by bigger named artists.

Belive it or not the whole “bar system” is a ripped hole. You can’t tell which Pakistani laywer got a degee from color printer or a xerox color printer. It just like what my cousin Ammar said, “In Pakistan, you can sue anyone…but its a pain in finding out how to do it?”.

In no way say I am poking fun @ Pakistani Lawyers, I am just saying that the legal “info”  you are getting trained in needs to be more organized and reformed.

other factor which I blame the government is not properly funding education and help import resources such as film cameras, buffs, production equipment, etc…Pakistan has a inactive film society which doesn’t even function properly!

People who surround it- There is no union amongst the people in the industry of reaching out and asking each other for help. I have noticed people who have foreign education in film studies or music theory know how to perfect such a skill and it will be because of these such people, the industry will some what flourish. But they can’t do it alone. I have seen that people have “inflated egos” . Like I have witnessed people who have made such amazing films or produced amazing tracks in Pakistan and when time to acquire credit has to be  done…the song/script writer is totally blow them off because they “wern’t employed propoerly or there current situation had them accept the 1500 RS +/- to not accept credit….

We need to face reality that if Lollywood is going to become such an industry. Then we need to hold hands and make it grow. Everyone one from all walks of professions in Pakistan can better form this unioun.

What just baffles me is when I am watching the Nadia Khan show and I see all these Pakistani Popstars come on and say “OO we need to build an industry…We have SOO much talent, etc..” Well when I tend to meet the Pakistani popstars..and I must say..they have great acting skills 😉 (how about you teach me some to) ..they become very arrogant and not take anything seriously..one of them had the nerve of saying “OO that was just a P.R stunt”. Are you {insert profound language here) kidding me? Its people like those I really start loosing respect to.

Look @ this. Adnan Sami left “Lollywood”  for Bollywood because his music would not get proper royalty payments. People made fun of this classic styles of music. And look, he left the country in whole and made it big in India. Lets look at this chain factor which I will make into microeconmics.

Just focusing on Adnan Sami:

Cause                             Effect                         Materials Growth or GD

Adnan Sami released his vinal          Indian Consumer Buys           material vendors of plastic, cd engineering, cassettes, paper grow!

Adnan Sami Makes $4million from 2000ish U.S tour           He spends in India          Local vendors and more cash circulation in India

Adnan Sami helps other young artists grow there talent       More singers to produce in the market          More media earners for more spend…

So just by looking at that very rough diagram, Adnan Sami returned his earned income from his media work back into the governement of India. And that example is just Adnan Sami, we also have SRK, Salmaan Khan, Kathernia Kaif, etc…There is a industry full of people.

So whats the:

SOLUTION?

Solution is that Pakistani government create a more stronger judicial structure and make pressing charges for copyright infringement, piracy, and rights more accessible. Start a “free legal system” for the poor and the new upraising Pakistani artists. Please make the bar harder to pass. I am sure I can pass it and I have no formal training as a Lawyer.

The people in the industry must make there own collation or a recongized unioun for the artist to be part of. I highly recommend having an outside orgnaization to take part in it. Because we all know..(its a typical insider’s Pakistani sterotype)…once a Pakistani in Pakistan starts a Unioun..Its a going to be all bribes…Should I bribe my self to become a singer to 😉

We should have more media concentrated schools and scholorships. Creating a few schools in the Punjab area and expecially in the Hyderbad area would be a BIG plus! How about giving our Pakistani Neighbors in Peshawar and Multan a chance to hit the limelight…

This is just a quick solution. Obviously we need a supporting party, and like I seriously do have 100-page Lollywood reformation plan…But I guess this Bolgpost wont do much…I guess I can just continue sipping cheap Coca-Cola @ Paki parites 🙂