Ali Azmat in conversation with festival co-founder Natasha Noorani on the first day of Lahore Music Meet
Ali Azmat in conversation with festival co-founder Natasha Noorani on the first day of Lahore Music Meet

The third edition of the two-day Lahore Music Meet (LMM) kicked off at Alhamra Art Centre, The Mall, on Saturday.

There was a good turnout at the festival, which featured a variety of topics on music and performances. The discussions at the festival with Sajjad Ali, Ali Azmat, Momina Mustehsan and Uzair Jaswal remained interesting and informative.

When Sajjad Ali appeared on the stage for a talk, he was given a standing ovation by the audience. Sajjad emphasized the need for producing new songs. He said new songs were not being produced because it required proper training. He announced that he would soon introduce singing classes in Lahore.

“There was no music industry in Pakistan but only the music scene,” he said and criticised singers who were taking music as fun instead of seriously learning the art.

Ali Azmat said he had given his first music performance at Alhamra. He said all artistes were insecure at the start; however, this insecurity drove their float and at the end of the day, they became established singers. He threw light on his life and difficulties he faced through his professional career. Mentioning one of his famous songs 'Garj Baras', he shared with the audience that he had composed song at Nathia Gali. He was of the view that the singers should not live in the past glory and should come up with new tracks.

Also read: The lack of money put into the business of music is our biggest strength: Meesha Shafi

In another discussion, singer Momina Mustehsan said her biggest hit was from the Coke Studio and biggest breakthrough was 'Pee Jaon'. She said 'Afreen' and 'Tera Wo Piyar' broke all records. Through Coke Studio, she was highlighted, she added.

Uzair Jaswal said if any female singer had clicked on the music scene that after Hadiqa Kiyani, it was Momina Mustehsan.

Talking about her, Uzair Jaswal said if any female singer had clicked on the music scene that after Hadiqa Kiyani, it was Momina Mustehsan. He said he was into original music and never opted for cover songs. He suggested the young musicians must perform on stage besides doing studio recordings as it boosted their confidence.

On Saturday, the LMM had rich line up of panel discussions, music and a visual art exhibition. There were performances by singers and bands, including Abdulah Siddiqui, Ehl-e-Rock, Janoobi Khargosh, Kashmir, Keeray Makoray, TMPST, Wooly and The Uke and Shorbanoor.

For its third edition, the LMM received over 250 applications from across the country for live performances which were then shortlisted by co-founders, Natasha Noorani and Zahra Paracha.

The audiovisual exhibition titled ‘Rang Saazi,’ co-curated by Alifiyah Imani and Azka Shahid featured contemporary visual artists who have broadly explored and interpreted music as a subject and subculture and its influence as an integral part of our collective, historical, and cultural identities.


Originally published in Dawn, March 12th, 2017

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