The second edition of the Indus Music awards was recently held along the Arabian Sea coast in Karachi. The first ceremony held in Lahore last year was a welcome addition to the Pakistani pop industry, a sign that a lot more could be expected in the years to come. Though the IM awards have now been hailed by most in the music industry, there is the general notion that the organizers have yet to learn from the glitches of the past.
One heard Fakhr-e-Alamís all-too-familiar voice on entering the venue. Although it would be imprudent to mention that the show started conventionally late (now a norm in most cases), letís just say that when in Rome, do as the Romans do.
Strutting on to the multi-coloured stage, Rahim Shah collected the best bhangra song award for his "Ishq." ďIsnít it amazing that being a Pathan, Iíve been honoured with the best bhangra award,Ē were his off-the-cuff remarks.
As the pace of event picked up, the crowd started swelling in size. Earlier, it had seemed that most of the people there were there to socialize and least interested in the awards.
To give the announcers a break, the audience were entertained with presentations by a variety of pop acts and dance performances. One such display featuring a Spanish tune mixed with classical dance turned into a fine fusion. To share the burden of stretching the evening, Dino was given the task of adding to the profusion of lip-service. This he did to the best of his ability by passing sarcastic comments on the popsters.
Despite all the bugs in the IM machinery, the awards are here to stay, which is actually a good thing as local pop stars need all the encouragement they can get ó as long as they learn to take criticism constructively.
Comedy was also infused to further entertain the crowd and to take the sole credit there emerged none other than Daani Deewana, a comic who features prominently on Indus Vision and IM. His brand of humour felt somewhat lifeless, leading one to assume that his work is best when it is edited.
On a more positive note, the sound quality was very good throughout the event. On the other hand, it was a real let-down because all the songs were performed with the aid of DAT, meaning that the songs were lip-synched. Hereís hoping that next time the audience is treated to live music.
As for the awards themselves, Atif and Gohar ó both as individuals and as members of the original Jal ó won big, bagging four awards between them. It was good to see a Ďtruceí called between them as they shook hands and embraced each other on stage. Gohar was quite gracious, wishing Atif well. However, the latter apparently didnít share the warmth, remaining aloof despite Goharís gesture. And as is always the case with award ceremonies, some decisions were taken as genuine while others elicited howls of disbelief (Abrar taking the best album honours over the Mekaal Hasan Bandís landmark "Sampooran").
The first Indus Music awards ceremony should have taught the organizers to further polish their presentation the second time round and be more cautious and creative in future, keeping in view the threat other music channels pose.
Still, despite all the bugs in the IM machinery, the awards are here to stay, which is actually a good thing as local bands and musicians need all the encouragement they can get ó as long as they learn to take criticism cons tructively.
Roll of Honours
Best lyrics: Atif and Gohar for "Aadat"
Best bhangra song: Rahim Shah for "Ishq"
Best rock song: EP for "Waqt"
Best alternative track: The Mekaal Hasan Band for "Sajan"
Best composer: Gohar and Atif for "Aadat"
Special IM award for "Extensive contribution to the pop industry": Josh
Best debut: Call for "Pukaar"
Best pop song: Gohar and Atif for "Aadat"
Best ballad: Fuzon for "Khamaj"
Best band: Jal
Best album: Thar Productions for Abrar-ul-Haqís "Nachan Main Oday Naal"
Best video: Saqib Malik for Fuzonís "Khamaj"
IM Hall of Fame award: Mohammed Ali Shyhaki and Ahmed Rushdi
Special IM award for "Extensive contribution to the pop industry": Strings
Best female pop artist: Hadiqa for "Dholan"
Special IM award for "Debut in a foreign language song": Zeeshan Pervaiz and Sajjad Ghafoor for "King of Self"
Best male pop artist: Ali Zafar for "Rangeen"
Lifetime achievement award: Ustad Fateh Ali KhanAftab Borka