Flavours from that side of the border always stir strong interest on this side. While fads come and go, music from Pakistan seems beyond seasonal trends. After producing Bollywood and Indipop hits, Pakistani singers are now going live and rocking the concert scene in India. They are crooning Tere Bin (Bas Ek Pal), Mitwa (KANK), Jiya Dhadak (Kalyug) not just in films and on TV but also at a concert near you.
LIVE SHOW: Strings, Jal, Rahat Fateh Ali, Shehzad Roy are some of the regular names on the Indian concert circuit. The bands Strings and Jal have performed at several college festivals too and the demand just seems to be growing. “We love performing here because the Indian audience is very encouraging,” Faisal Kapadia of Strings had said in a recent interview. Lalit Gattani, CEO of Showcraft, an events management company, adds, “There is a huge demand for Pakistani bands across colleges. They are admired as they come with a certain freshness in their music. And Bollywood success acts as a catalyst to the demand for their live concerts.” However, Shilpa Nayak, who manages Strings, says, “Their music appeals to the youth and many of them have begun to think that it is easy to make it big in India. But one has to be lucky to click here.” THE
J FACTOR: How are Indian singers taking the new competition? Many in the industry feel that all can co-exist peacefully but the picture is not so rosy. Sunil Hamal of JPR events, Kolkata, says, “Many times we get calls from Indian artistes asking us to stop promoting Pakistani artistes.”
RAW DEAL: Sonu Niigam, who is one of the biggest artistes in both playback and live circuit, says there is nothing to worry about. “Our industry is big enough to make space for all and nationalities don’t really matter. The only thing I feel bad about is that we don’t get the same opportunities in Pakistan as their singers get here.”
So why are Pakistani artistes such a draw here? “Indians have always had an affinity for foreigners and therefore, such welcome to Pakistani singers,” feels Sonu. Indians definitely know what it means to ‘love thy neighbour.’