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Lux Style Awards 2008 Nominations List May 5, 2008

Posted by Mazaqah in Uncategorized.
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And the music nominees are…

The Lux Style Awards music nominations for 2008 are out! This year Atif Aslam is back with another nomination and will go up against Jal. It is the year when Josh and Mauj have walked away with their first nominations and a new category has been introduced. Instep takes an inside look…

Best Music Album

Easily the most prestigious category in the music segment, year after year, the Best Music Album is getting edgier and competitive with time as more artistes enter the fray and music labels get stronger.
Last year, the battle was between Atif Aslam’s Doorie and Ali Zafar’s Masty. This year again, Atif Aslam is back with his third record, Meri Kahani and the real battle is between Atif’s Meri Kahani and Jal’s sophomore effort, Boondh. These records are commercially superhits and have taken Atif and Jal to new heights. This will be the battle to watch this year, because this is the first time Jal and Atif are going head to head against each other with different songs and a different sound.

Another interesting nomination this year is of Rozen-e-Deewar by Roxen. The band escalated to fame after their stint with the Indian film, Awarapan that featured two of their numbers, namely ‘Tera Mera

Rishta’ and ‘To Phir Aao’.

Fighting hard against these commercially acclaimed musical entities are two veterans who made a solid comeback last year. There is bhangra king Abrar-ul Haq’s Naara Sada Ishq Aye and is without a doubt, Abrar’s most solid effort in years, a return to the tongue-in-cheek lyrical quality that made him a star when he first began more than a decade before. And then there is Ali Haider with Jaanay Do that is his most mature album in years.

Atif Aslam for Meri Kahani

Doorie was a super-hit. Meri Kahani is also going on the same path. However, unlike Doorie, which was composed by Indian songwriters, here one sees Atif Aslam teaming up with his brother-manager Shabaz Aslam on writing credits as well as Overload men Farhad Humayoun, Mahmood Rahman, Shiraz Siddique on music credits.

Atif is a roaring hit and his maturity is reflected in socio-politically aware songs like ‘Hungami Halaat’ as well as Sufi tune like ‘Rabba’. While patchy in places, it is an album that is praiseworthy because it sees Atif Aslam back in the studios on his own, making an effort to be a

lot more edgier, bringing in rock elements and staying true to his sound that we all first fell in love with back when he arrived with the mighty Jalpari. Meri Kahani does have a character and for that Atif Aslam deserves applause.

Atif must be commended with coming out with two albums consecutively for two years. He’s kept himself very alive in the public imagination and his popularity has a lot to do with the fact that just when fans have gotten tired of listening to one album, wham bam, he’s out with another.

Boondh by Jal

This is their most notable effort as a unit. Gohar Mumtaz is a decent songwriter and Boondh is proof of his talent. He has written lyrics on the album, is the backbone of musical compositions and has sung some tunes too. And he delivers on all three fronts.

The album sees this young trio keeping their signature intact even as they experiment slightly with musical arrangements, tipping towards rock. Farhan Butt has received flak for his vocals in the past. This album silences all those critics because on Boondh he has arrived as a vocalist. And even though the mood of this

album is mostly of love, the structure of the songs is mature and never clumsy. As a sequel to Aadat, Boondh is definitely impressive, with many music lovers agreeing that Jal have more depth than Atif Aslam.
Rozen-e-Deewar by Rozen

While Rozen-e-Deewar looses marks on production value, it delivers on every other front. From the sharp and swinging ‘Sapnay’ to super-duper hit tunes like ‘Tera Mera Rishta’ and ‘Toa Phir Aao’, Rozen-e-Deewar as a debut is exciting.It works because of its slashing riffs, Mustafa Zahid’s harsh but never-out-of-tune vocals and the clear-cut lyrics. This is a moody record but one that works because it remains cohesive to the genre that is rock.

Jaanay Do by Ali Haider

Ali Haider has been around for over a decade with more than ten studio albums to his credit. Jaanay Do is easily one of his best. Ali Haider has not only produced this album but has also written melodies and a big chunk of the lyrics and for an aging popstar, it is a startling achievement. With mixing credits to Rohail Hyatt, the sound is sharp, crisp and clean. It is a moody record that is melancholic, mature and outstanding in all departments. From the new versions of tracks like ‘Agar Pyar’ and ‘Purani Jeans’ to new and beautiful melodies like the title track, ‘Jaanay Do’ and ‘Hamesha, one is genuinely surprised by the way Ali has made a comeback to the genre that has been his forte for years. Jaanay Do is mature pop that has a strong foundation. The album is neither stepping into too many genres but does manage to touch various styles and fuses them together in one neat package.

Naara Sada Ishq Aye by Abrar-ul-Haq

Abrar-ul-Haq’s forte has been his wit and the ability to fuse it with some bhangra numbers. But somewhere down the line, Abrar lost that wit. This album sees that wit returning on a massive level and whether it is bhangra or mellow tunes, it is an album that proves his growth as an artist.

Best Live Act

It is one thing when an artist manages to create an album within the walls of a studio. Everything can sound perfect. But when those same tunes have to be performed live, it is something completely different. The ability to make the crowd swing, the sound decent and sing well and only when all this takes place together is when a live act is born. For us, the good news is that the music industry has quite a few great live acts.

Mauj

Just like their name, the band is just that onstage: Mauj. The only other band after Noori who’ve managed to create such hype around themselves even without an album release, Mauj is like fire onstage. They are, without a doubt, the next big thing!

Sikander Mufti on drums, Sameer Ahmed on bass, Hamza Jafri on rhythm guitars and the most talented guy to hit the music scene in years, Omran Shafique on vocals and lead guitars, this foursome is simply awesome. Whether it is a rocked-up cover of Zoheb

Hassan’s ‘Pyar Ka Jadu’ or the funky tune that is ‘Paheliyan’, Mauj know how to move the crowd and their music is always top-notch. Omran Shafique onstage is charismatic and reminds one of the days when Ali Azmat first began, he has that same fire. Anyone whose seen them live wants to see them again and again.

Finally with a record deal in their hands, Mauj are hell-bent on making it big in the mainstream and believe us, with that energy, it is only a matter of time before they do.

Strings

No artist is as consistent as Strings. Even without an album release in years, they continue to make waves. Their shows in Pakistan are few and far between nowadays because Strings aim for perfection, but whenever they do perform, they impress with just how in sync they are. There is a lot to be said for subtlety and the Strings say it all. Bilal Maqsood’s crunching guitars paired with Faisal Kapadia’s haunting voice and his friendly demeanour onstage is a lethal combination. Add to that the fact that they stick to the same session players and you have a music machine that has carved a unique niche for itself in Pakistan’s expanding music arena.

Josh

‘Josh Naal Pao Bhangra’ is what defines this duo out from Canada. Calling themselves a desi band, Qurram Hussain (Q) and Rupinder Magon (Rup) may be based in Canada but Pakistan is a strong market for them. Having released their last album Mausam here, the band took a conscious effort to perform live in Pakistan. Their music is unlike the sound of Pakistani music. It is more upbeat, less rock and more rhythm, and that makes for funky concert sound. Q is the heartbeat of the show and is the mighty vocalist and Rup provides ample support as a co-vocalist. The music is often pre-recorded but the vocals are live. With lack of facilities, Josh continues to please Pakistan’s youth and for that, we applaud them.

Mekaal Hasan Band

Technically speaking, they are unbeatable. The music is fusion, traditional poetry paired with electric guitars, bass, drums and beautiful flute. MHB always delivers on the live music front and they just get better. That’s because head honcho Mekaal has built up an a great line up of musicians. Be it Gumby on drums, Sameer Ahmed on bass, Pappu on the bansuri, Salman Albert on rhythm guitars, the line up of MHB keeps changing but the effect they have on the audience remains the same.

Overload

Tripped-out dhols, hypnotic sounds, these are the men who can cast a trance over anyone with their beefy sound. Farhad Humayun’s brainwave resulted in a groundbreaking relationship with legendary dhol player Pappu Saeen and Overload have never looked back even after Pappu departed. Now with a female vocalist, Misha Paracha and former Atif Aslam guitarist Mahmood Rahman on guitars, Overload just got a whole lot more loaded!

Best Music Video

As far as concepts, this year the music video medium outshines last year. Overload, Jal and Mizraab have made it to this category for the very first time, thanks to the visionaries that are video directors.
Unlike last year when small-budget videos dominated, this is a year where big-budgets and grand ideas were welcomed. The themes our directors have touched are striking. From corporate identities like a lota to black and white shades, a lost love, and the scenic beauty of Pakistan – it was remarkable and top it off with the fact that the themes gelled extremely well with the tunes that we fell in love with.

Uns Mufti for
‘Broken Boundaries’

Picking up his third LSA nomination for Best Music Video, the ingenious Uns Mufti has made his finest effort with Co-VEN’s ‘Broken Boundaries’.

The storyboard is hilarious even as the message remains relevant in this consumer-driven culture. It is a lota that takes over the world through rigourous marketing, lots of boardroom meetings and efforts of four-suited, booted men.

The lota finally travels the world and makes it to the cover of Time and People magazine. People like Ayesha Toor, Shahbaz Sumar, Tanya Shafi – all make appearances in the video in-character of course and then, a Muslim shower and it all comes crashing down. In between shots of war on terror and 9/11 also make their way.

It is a powerful statement that is too whimsical to be brooding yet manages to make you crack up every time even as it causes you to think about the brand-crazy world we live in. Way to go!
Bilal Lashari for ‘Dhamaal’

With a band like Overload, a video is never easy. Their music with its drum fiesta and those trippy, hypnotic rhythms is one that is a sandwich of Asian beats. Young director Bilal Lashari made a very beautiful video to compliment this particular track.

Pappu Saeen with his thumping dhols swinging on scorched earth, Farhad Humayoun drumming up a storm with Karachi Steel Mills playing background, Hasan with his army of various drums under a light foggy sky, Shiraz, dressed in all white surrounded by the calm sea as his fingers gently play the keyboards, beautiful horses running wild, varied movement of camera as it captures the scenic sights of Pakistan, that and more is the video of ‘Dhamaal’.

There are few videos that have captured Pakistan so beautifully as ‘Dhamaal’. It was a Herculean effort and Bilal delivered without a single glitch. Absolutely incredible. Bravo!

Bilal Lashari for ‘Sajni’

Enjoying a double-whammy this year, Bilal Lashari picks up another nomination for Best Music Video and this time, it is for Jal’s comeback single, ‘Sajni’.

The video, which is perhaps the finest Jal video to date, is exceptionally beautiful. Two men, one woman, a cloudy magical skyline, fairytale image – all that and more is the video that is ‘Sajni’. Certainly this isn’t the first time that a triangle video is coming on the screen but the way Bilal has captured it, that sets it apart.

Ahsan Rahim for ‘Sajania’

There are few instances in our musical history when girls are not playing damsels in ultimate distress and men are playing goody-good lovers. ‘Sajania’ is a video that is a great example.

Ali Zafar gets out of the Casanova image and plays bad boy to an even badder yet sexier chick in what is initially a bank heist where he is double-crossed. Interspersed with shots of Ali in a club, singing and dancing as babes surround him, the video is one that casts him as an action hero cum loverboy and stars a wild villainess to boot.


As opposed to a broken heart and weeping over it, here is a man who is all up for teaching a lesson, to a woman who steals his heart and plays with it, brutally. Ali looks very sexy in this video in suits and later even in an Orange jumpsuit. The concept is not exactly novel but compared to the lonely, longing videos, it is one that is superb and most of all, it’s fun!
Soheb Akhtar for
‘Ujalon Mein’

Mizraab is an extremely talented unit. Their songs are top-notch and Faraz Anwar is a maverick. Their videos, however, have usually been one disaster after another. For the first time, a video provides them with a platform. There is no concept here except to highlight the band but the reason why the video is lovely is because of the way it has been shot, black and white, somber and completely in-sync with the addictive number that is ‘Ujalon Mein’. The lighting and the introduction to the faces, it works wonderfully.

Song of the Year

The introduction of this category by the Lux Style Awards are a welcome. This is one category that has nothing do with an album and everything to do with songs that have left their mark on the people. These are the songs that we hum all year long and often these are the tunes that make us re-think our view of a certain artist. It is the most exciting category this year, not only because it’s the newest, but simply because all the nominated numbers are fantastic.

Aisi Taisi’ by Azal

The video may have come out later but the song had been out over the Internet and on radio stations for a big chunk of 2007. With the catchy sing-a-long chant “Rut Tu Tu Tu” and that in-your-face lyrics which took a clear look at the system and defies it bravely is what makes ‘Aisi Taisi’ such a wonder. Azal are a young band but with a song like ‘Aisi Taisi’ to their credit, we can only expect great things from them.
‘Bandeya’ by Khawar/Faiza from Khuda Kay Liye

With words by Baba Bullay Shah, that sharp vocals of Khawar Jawed with support from Lene Marlin-like Faiza Mujahid, ‘Bandeya’ is a song that is embedded in our musical memory. A beautiful melody with powerful vocals, this is a song that became one of the biggest hits of 2007!

Laaree Chootee’ by Call

This was the tune that catapulted Call to massive fame. The tune, which was composed and sung by Call guitarist Xulfi was a lot less edgier than Call’s music. It was more on the pop side but was a lovely tune nonetheless. The song that was made for the Indian film, Ek Chalis Ki Last Local and while the film didn’t work, it made Call a bigger name and remains their most well-known number to date.

Roya Re’ by Shiraz Uppal

Perhaps one of the most underrated artists of our time, Shiraz Uppal too came into his own with ‘Roya Re’ that became a massive hit. He wrote and composed the tune for the Pooja Bhatt film Dhoka and again, the film did average business, it was the striking melody, the emotive vocals of Shiraz that did the trick.

Sajni’ by Jal

‘Sajni’ was Jal’s comeback single and what a comeback it has been! The music is signature Jal but crisp and sharp, thank to production wizardry by Mekaal Hasan. Essentially a love song, it is a single that made everyone sit up and take notice of the singer that is Farhan Butt. As soon as ‘Sajni’ released, it was all over the place and rightly so because it remains one of Jal’s nicest tracks.

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