Freebird Music Entertainment (FME) is the new entrant to the Pakistani music market, with a focus on creating an artist-friendly and business-oriented music ecosystem in Pakistan. Launched in 2022, FME provides services to Pakistani musicians relating to music and video production, catalogue distribution, artist branding, promotion, data analytics, legal, and financial management support. A subsidiary of FME, Freebird Records, closely collaborates with emerging talents, providing investment models and nurturing them across the entire value chain.
Freebird has also established Pakistan’s first music incubator in Islamabad, known as “The Nest,” equipped with world-class audio and video recording facilities. With a growing team of music experts and music professionals, Freebird has created a significant impact in the industry, attracting a diverse pool of Pakistani artist to sign up on Freebird’s digital music show called “Small Stage Big Sounds”. Notable names include Young Stunners, Aima Baig, Sahir Bhagga, Shiraz Uppal, Goher Mumtaz, Bayaan, Danny Zee, Shamoon Ismail, Karakoram, Shuja Haider.
We had the opportunity to interview Yahya Farid Khwaja, the CEO of Freebird Music Entertainment, a lawyer by profession with expertise in entertainment and media. In the past, he has provided advisory services to media houses, global music and entertainment companies, and corporations in Pakistan. Having attained such vast experience, he founded Freebird Music in 2022, and within just one year, the company has become a noteworthy player in the music industry.
Images: What was the idea behind forming a music company in Pakistan considering that music business is extremely complex and daunting?
Pakistan has a rich history when it comes to music. Despite a lack of infrastructure and little support from the government, Pakistan has produced global stars and music hits. From Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Abida Perveen to Ali Sethi’s “Pasoori,” Pakistani singers and songwriters have always found a special place in the hearts of music lovers worldwide. However, the biggest challenge to Pakistan’s music industry has always been the dearth of dedicated music companies.
EMI used to be active in the past, with all major Pakistani artists recording and publishing their music through EMI. The last memorable endeavour one can recall is Fire Records. While a couple of corporations have sponsored music shows for branding and marketing purposes, the Pakistani music industry has still not been able to establish itself independently. Freebird Music was born with a vision to fill this void and provide a dedicated platform for artists in a country where music has historically thrived despite limited infrastructure and governmental support.
Images: Can you shed light on the unique aspects of Freebird Music that set it apart from other players in the industry?
We are on a mission to address the longstanding gaps in the Pakistani music industry. Freebird Music was conceived with a vision to create an artist-friendly and business-oriented ecosystem for music in Pakistan. Our primary differentiation lies in our comprehensive approach to supporting artists throughout their entire journey. We don’t just focus on music production; we offer a holistic set of services including catalogue distribution, artist branding, promotion, data analytics, legal and financial management support. We also invest in artist catalogue building, offering them album deals and producing their music videos. We have an excellent in-house video production department with a special focus on creating trendy, modern and vibrant sets.
Images: It’s great to see such comprehensive support for artists. Can you share some success stories or milestones that Freebird Music has achieved in its relatively short journey?
In just one year, Freebird Music has made significant strides in the industry. We’ve generated quite a buzz, and we’re proud to have some of Pakistan’s most talented artists on board. Our focus on empowering artists and providing them with the tools and support they need to thrive has resulted in successful collaborations and high-quality music productions. The response from both the artists and the audience has been overwhelmingly positive.
Moreover, Freebird Music has also invested in various other music-related companies of Pakistan. It has invested in Rearts, which is a well-known music distribution platform in Pakistan. Freebird Music has also invested in Shakarsounds (Private) Limited which in early 2023 organised the “Nautanki Tour 2023” of Hasan Raheem, in which leading Gen-Z artists of Pakistan performed and was widely acclaimed for introducing audio-visual experience in live concerts in Pakistan.
Images: You mentioned your background as a lawyer specialising in entertainment and media. How has your legal expertise played a role in shaping Freebird Music’s approach to the music industry?
My legal background has been instrumental in shaping Freebird Music’s approach. It has enabled us to navigate the complex landscape of music rights, contracts, and industry regulations effectively. We believe in upholding the legal rights of artists and ensuring they receive their fair share of the revenue generated from their work. Our legal and financial management support is geared towards making the music industry in Pakistan more transparent and equitable.
Images: Looking ahead, what are the future plans and aspirations for Freebird Music Entertainment?
Our vision for Freebird Music is to continue to revolutionise the Pakistani music industry. We aim to be the catalyst for change, creating a vibrant and sustainable ecosystem that empowers artists and delights music lovers. In the near future, we plan to expand our reach and bring more talented artists under the Freebird Music umbrella. We are also actively exploring opportunities for international collaborations and partnerships.
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