Music Riot

Pakistan is famous for making many well-known artists across the globe that had made music in many genres like Pop, Rock, and Hip hop (Wikipedia). Nowadays mainstream bands such as, Mauj, Noori, Entity paradigm, Mekaal Hassan are promoting music by performing at underground events, universities and at popular shows like Coke studio. So new and young talent of Pakistan gets attracted and eventually pursues this field. With this Ufone has launched Uth Records which is a youth based television show and its main purpose is to provide a platform to young and talented musicians in Pakistan.


However the Lahore’s underground music needs to work as the organization of its events remain pretty much underdeveloped and is not likely to rise up anytime soon Exploitation, poverty, extremism and disinterest on the part of general public are factors that contribute to the reason that Lahore’s underground band music scene is a distant dream. Various local bands struggle to survive the problems that they are forced to face due to the country’s irregular situation. Underground bands practices or jams hard to produce music to entertain masses at their own personal expense (time and money) and in return they are not given the respect and admiration they deserve.

Underground bands/Artists fail to seek the limelight they deserve because of the lack of platforms to perform at and along with the fact that the underground music scene is not usually appreciated. In his article, “Music: Rising from the underground” (Tribune, 2011) Sher Khan in his article “crumbling rock’ talks about the absence of locations where bands can showcase their talent. He also included statements from the director of Elysium Entertainment, MukarramJamil, who says that underground artists struggle as, to get attention they have to play everywhere. Many claim that playing in cafés and schools is sufficient and provides exposure but Jamil argues that it is not a positive trend as “shows are not happening”. Previously, it was also stated (anonymous, Tribune 2009). “There is no basic technical understanding of live performances and the people are now into more upbeat songs which don’t really relate to rock.”

The Political situation and religious extremism also add to the quandaries of underground bands. There have been negligible or no live performances due to the extremist point of views in our country as (anonymous, Tribune 2009). “In 2000, there seemed to have been an explosion of bands across Pakistan but with the change in the security situation, live performances became rare. Now in Lahore, underground rock bands have disappeared and performances have also gone down,” Recently, it has been seen that many underground frustrated by the fact, has taken country’s internal turmoil in feeding their musical expression, as(Declan Walsh, Guardian 2009) wrote,” Even in a summer of Taliban violence young Pakistanis are rocking on. An underground music scene is quietly thriving in the country’s major cities, nourished by the internet and the passion of mostly amateur bands.”


Electronic media such as television do not provide much help, which has dispirited many young musicians. A much more accentuated form of its existence has been discussed by Arsal. AJafrias, he states that many Underground bands have either given up or are waiting for the right time to release their creation. Talents like Irtaash and Qayaas have been totally wasted due to lack of support from various T.V and radio Channels. Nowadays Youngsters do not prefer to do music as it seems worth waste of time as their talent is not appreciated and is not profitable for them.
Government’s shows very little involvement, in this sector of music as they are not keen in promoting or providing financial aid to them. In an interview, with Singer/guitarist Goharmumtaz from the band Jal stated “Its not only the Music industry but also the movie industry that suffered in Pakistan. The reason is simple, government officials don’t have vision for this industry, they may be confused, whether to do make it a profitable, economy supported industry or not”(,2012). Government has not helped reduce the crime which is Piracy/Bootlegging or mend laws for copyrights issues..Recently while in an interview with daily- pioneer newspaper, artist Shafqat Amanat Ali defined how young musicians have to quit singing due to the piracy and copy rights problems in Pakistan for them, while selling music on labels and Cd’s.

In conclusion, there is enough evidence to state that underground bands face great difficulty in performing or composing their music especially because of the political and economic situation in the country along with dispossession of platforms and slanting in our electronic media. With already not much music education provided and backward culture, Underground artists have to face these times knowing if given opportunity, they will put their hearts and soul to this field of art.

By Waleed Riaz (11U0688)


Posted on March 21, 2013, in Entertainment. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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