Fifi Haroon Interviews Zeb Bangash

Incredibly honest, sharp, and beautifully spoken conversation between Zeb Bangash and Fifi Haroon of BBC Urdu – from late September.

Zeb talks about her views on the industry, on performing in India, on the security situation, on Zeb & Haniya’s image in the media, among other things.

Zeb’s complaint of being portrayed in the media as ‘Pashto singers’ is quite damning. Aside of just plain laziness and inaccuracy in most news write-ups, it speaks to the increased understanding of Pakistani identity through the eyes of foreign viewers. Our realization of who we are has been driven more and more by how we are talked about in American and British newspapers. To Western eyes a couple of girls in a band is like an oasis of liberalism in the desert of Pakistan’s conservatism. But in truth it was just a couple of girls singing in Lahore Cantt. It was made a big deal for the wrong reasons, and it did so to the detriment of the music. There was some great musical menagerie in Chup, but it unfairly paid second-fiddle to the incorrectly-reported demographic of its performers.

This is why Coke Studio was important, because it wrenched control of national identity via an unparalleled introspection. In the PTV of yore we found depth of story that allowed us to see each other as human, that allowed us to see ourselves as capable of deep emotion and sincerity. The same emotion was what we saw in Nazia & Zoheb, and in the Vital Signs. Unfortunately in today’s TV we are only breaking news. You’d think Pakistan was the land of ominous jingles. It is time bring our eyes back home, to begin seeing ourselves by ourselves, not through the eyes of another.

Fifi Haroon deserves real credit for orchestrating such a great conversation. This is right up there with her interview of Rohail Hyatt a few months ago. That interview provided more insight into Rohail’s recent approach to life and work than almost anything in recent years.

Riffat Rashid Talks to Mooroo

Mooroo – who is not popularly known by his real name, Taimoor Salahuddin – is no ordinary guy

I did not need to be told that last bit. I did not however, know his real name.

Mooroo was also very kind to us:

What’s your take on Patari? Do you think it can be a game-changer for the current Pakistani music scene?

I’m very hopeful about it. I don’t want to bash other services but all of the services that came before Patari were so hard for me to use. They would continuously ask me to upload my songs on my own. Patari didn’t ask me to do anything. I just went there when it was in beta. They had my collection there and it was easy to operate. The whole thing gave the look and feel of a global website.

So far I have had a very fluid experience with Patari. I haven’t made any money out of it but I’m hopeful that I will be able to. They seem to have a good business policy.

We are extremely appreciative of Mooroo, and we hope he makes many $$$. We’ll try our best.

The full article has a lot more on Mooroo, and makes you realize that it is easy to underestimate how prolific he is.