Category Archives: Music

Annie Khalid Interview + Shabolonna Queen Chats With Annie

I recently got a chance to interview Annie Khalid for my blog. And since I am a huge fan of pop music, it only made sense to send out a pop viral sensation Shabolonna Queen (aka the Eid Song Girl) to go out and interview Annie for my blog.

While Shabolonna keeps it spicy and *hot* , signature Shabolonna, I on the other hand got to ask questions from Annie that were a bit personal and deep (I am a huge fan of relativity) and here came a blend of pop and mediocrity and personality, like I’ve said, I want something much more and personal. And Annie was kind enough to grasp that. We find out how she deals with haters, how she relaxes by drooling over Damon from Vampire Diaries, and how she explored Paris.

Enjoy Shabolonna Queen’s Audio Interview Below, and further below is my interaction with Annie.

MY INTERVIEW WITH ANNIE

Tell us about the Annie from her childhood, and how was the experience.

I had a great school life. As you must know, I was raised in UK. Studying over there, I made friends with people from different backgrounds. That in itself was a very enriching experience. Some of my closest friends are from my school life. I enjoyed participating in a lot of extracurricular activities such as acting and dancing. My parents were and still are very supportive of all my interests.

How would you describe your teenage years?

My teenage years were like any other girl’s. I faced the same issues, went through the same dilemmas. The silliest problems seemed like the end of the world. But then they were also the best years of my life. I lived a sheltered life with my parents. I had no real worries. I enjoyed being with my friends and discovering new things.

How would you cope up with disappointments as a young kid/teenager?

My parents taught me to be a fighter from a very young age. Yes I used to get upset, those are human emotions of course but I never indulged myself in depression. I used to be surrounded by so much love from my parents; it was hard not to look at them as a blessing. They are always willing to go to any lengths for my happiness.

Who is Annie when she is not in the spotlight? 

When I am not in the spotlight, I am just a regular girl who enjoys living life to its fullest. I like hanging out with my friends, enjoying the simple pleasures of life such as watching movies or perhaps having fast food! I know it sounds very boring but that is just who I am. Just like any other girl, I love watching TV series like The Vampire Diaries (and drooling over Damon Salvatore of course!), listening to music (I enjoy happy music like house, pop and even a bit of rap) and I love travelling. I visited Paris a few months ago with my cousin who is also my best friend. It was an amazing experience. Just two girls exploring the city of love! I plan on travelling more now but for vacations. For work, I am travelling all the time but while that is fun we all need some time off.

Why singing? If not singing, then what else would she have gone for?

Singing is something which I enjoyed doing from a very young age. Britney Spears was and still is one of my biggest inspirations. I got into singing at the age of 17 and that became my full time career ultimately. I cannot imagine myself doing anything else and I have never thought about what else I would have been doing. Hmmm maybe I would have been a fashion designer?

Mahia received acclaim, but it seems that with the pretty different approaches to your music overall, it took you some time to figure out where you wanna go? Considering that the first album turned out to be very different from Mahia itself.

As a musician, you gotta keep experimenting to grow. That’s what I love doing. Mahia in itself was an experiment which is why it turned out to be such a big hit. It was different from what was happening in the industry at that time. Internationally, look at musicians like Rihanna and Justin Timberlake. Their music has evolved so much over the years. Even the music that I am doing currently, it is not something that I will be doing for the rest of my career. If you work with that approach, eventually you fizzle out.

Why was it so different, like why Punjabi?

Punjabi is one of my family’s language too which is why I can comfortably sing in it. I think it is a beautiful language and you cannot deny that Punjabi music has a lot of listeners.

How do you think you have evolved over time, like being so strong in a fickle industry, you had to have noticed a change in your approach toward your music? How did that happen. Like, explain a little.

I have evolved a lot in the sense that I have stopped taking anything anyone says to my heart whether negative or positive! I know that sounds weird but it is very important to stay grounded in an industry where you can become an overnight sensation. It is not like a regular job where once you have achieved a certain position, you go upwards only. Here, everything is very unpredictable. One day the audiences will idolize you, the next day they will find a new heartthrob. Amidst such cut throat competition, I have learn the best thing to do it simply focus on what you like doing and don’t get indulged in silly gossips or politics.

While I understand that the new approach is “singles” towards releasing your new music, but will your fans be able to relate?

Unfortunately, singles is the way to go in the industry right now. There are no record labels, hence it makes no sense to release an album. It is much better to come out with singles. Maybe once I have come out with enough singles, I might compile them into an album and release it.

A lot of people “claim” that you cannot sing? Back when you started, how was the experience of the backlash? How have you evolved to deal with it.

I won’t deny it. Yes, it used to hurt me initially. I am always open to constructive criticism but people who used to attack me back then used to make me very upset. But then I started seeing it from another perspective. I had a huge fan following. I was performing at some of the biggest concerts all over the country and even getting invited internationally. What difference did their criticism make to me?

You’ve had a very public personal/marital life, from your wedding to your divorce. How has media’s behaviour been towards you since then? and more importantly, how have you now decided to approach media?

Look, I am a public figure and I realize that there is a certain price I have to pay for it. Marriages happen and break every other day in this country. This particular one too couldn’t work out and while it is unfortunate, we have to move on with life. As for the media, initially they were a little negative towards me but that’s their job. They cannot be biased towards anyone. Someone approached them, told them nonsense about me and it was their job to report it. Eventually, the truth comes out and it did in this case too. Ever since I have come back, they have been very supportive towards me. My approach is simple. I just talk about my professional life and all that’s going on with it. They have now stopped asking about my personal life mostly.

I feel like there’s this certain lack of expression of emotion, the personal struggles (besides romance) in Pakistani music. Like how Katy Perry has Firework, and Britney has basically a lot of it, my favourite being My Prerogative. What would you say to that? Why is it this way? Also, would you plan to do something like this?

I totally agree with you. I love how internationally they are open to all kinds of songs. Their lyrics range from very deep emotions to simple catchy words. I was planning on working on a song with simple lyrics some year back, but was advised against it as everyone felt our audiences aren’t open to it. Maybe in the future I might work on a song like this.

Enjoy her single Tharki Sala here. And don’t forget to share!

Special Shout out to Shabolonna Queen for agreeing to do this interview, show her some love and like her Facebook Page here.

and Pitch Media Inc, for arranging this. You can follow them on twitter here.

You can like my Facebook page here and follow me on twitter here

On Being Cultured

A counter culture comes out of people who don’t identify with the mainstream culture. 

I have spent a lot of time at boarding school. Due to which I feel like I don’t know much, and i haven’t seen much of the world. Like when  i got out of there, it was so overwhelming for me, i am still recovering. But what came as a culture shock for me was that the people I idolized, they were so much more advanced than I was. They read Goethe, Freud, and blah blah. I on the other hand read  just the mainstream young adult novel series and had read so little books. I wanted to write, but they were so much better writers than me. I knew nothing about the references they made. I felt left out. I felt timid and unpopular. I felt like I could never fit in.

I watched Disney, I watched chick flicks, I listened to Ke$ha and my room was covered in pop culture celebrities’ posters and pin ups, I had spent thousands of rupees on collecting music cds and DVD’s that were looked down upon as trash. I was like that naive young character in the movies who speaks in a paindoo southern accent and steps out into the big city and people make fun of him. Like that receptionist guy from 30 Rock. I was a misfit in the world of people i wanted to be a part of. And i knew not how to navigate it.

I have always had this complex where I’m not supposed to have the things others have, or i need to be the first one to have it; i need to have something when others don’t have it. It has not got to be mainstream, it has to be hidden, but at the same time it’s supposed to be cool and “me.” I will not go for different things for the sake of being different, it has to connect with me. It has to make me feel unique and lost and at the same time, more refined and left out. While it worked at boarding school where I was bullied on my choices, I realized that in the real world, nobody re reads their Princess Diaries novels daily (I would literally have read the series about a 500 times) and imagines they’re in a music video and sing the songs out loud (yes, i think my life is a music video and my iPod is the soundtrack supervisor).

But this approach didn’t work. I was left lonely and confused about where I stood. I was then thrust into med school ( I use thrust because it’s not something I wanted at that time). That didn’t get me time to actually go through all the things that “those” people loved and who made them who they were. But I didn’t stop doing what I liked. I didn’t stop liking what I liked. Mainly because I didn’t have time to refine myself due to the workload, but I kept being myself. That was my mantra, be myself.

I felt the dire need to be cultured. To refine my taste according to the people who were cool. I would go to those hipster hot spots in Islamabad and feel rejected. I didn’t like Bob Marley or Dylan, nor did I like Nirvana, sorry. I’m sorry I haven’t watched Casablanca or Gone With The Wind (nor read it). I make my own vanilla latte at home, and I cook my own lasagna and I dream, dream to be included and accepted somewhere. I didn’t study at a liberal college, nor had I done A levels. I didn’t like going to art galleries (back then) and i didn’t quote Sylvia Plath or some famous cultural icon. I didn’t listen to vinyl records. I didn’t have an iPhone or a mac book (I still don’t). I wasn’t sophisticated. And I was not OK with it.

Then I started to grow up. I felt emotions I had never felt before, and I needed something to relate to. That is when I started reading books that made sense, discovered artists that I could earlier not connect to and be able to sit through two hour long indie films that would earlier put me to sleep. I started thinking more. I started exploring life more. I felt like growing up, I totally changed and along with that, so did my choices. I now proudly tell people that I liked Lorde when she had barely seven thousand likes on her Facebook page, which now boasts three million plus likes. I predict which indie band will make it big and i watch films before they get famous. I watch unusual tv shows that people haven’t even heard of, and the films, don’t even get me started on the kinds of films I watch, it’s boring and influencial. Over time, I have refined my taste, a lot.

I read books that you can find at the back corners of book stores that you find on amazing discounts, I write poetry that never follows the ways that people love, I wear clothes that define me and not what i should follow. I offend my elders because I speak the truth and I offend my peers because i don’t conform to their labels. But I like it. I have found what I like. I can finally find things I can relate to. I feel like I am a culture myself.

But I also now feel people can relate to me too.

I could never have forced myself to like something because somebody else I liked liked it.

I could never have been me.

Growing up helped me find myself, I didn’t get stuck in one place and God forbid if i do. I like this growth. I like this phase where I don’t really have an opinion on anything. I like being simple. I like not going deep. I like not finding meaning. I like liking for the sake of liking. I like not conforming to the rules of cool. I love Katy Perry, but at the same time I like Brandyn Burnette and Shura, who are indie artists I’m sure you’ve not heard of.

It’s very important to give yourself time to find where you stand and what you like. And it’s also important to realize that you’re only cultured if you think you are. You cannot let the fact that you don’t read a certain genre of books like most literary refined people do, get to you and bring you down. Explore. Find treasures only your heart can cherish. You can either read Tao Lin, or you can read Stephanie Meyer, it’s your choice.

Your Choice is your culture.

And know, that you are cultured.

emma watson quote

Top 10 Albums of the year

Originally Published Here

Yeezus- Kanye West

Kanye West may be in the news for being Kim Kardashian’s boyfriend and having named their baby North West, people should know he’s an artist first. It’s Kanye’s third album and with this, he has established himself as one of the best hip hop artists history has had to offer. Having received universal critical acclaim upon it’s release, it’s no wonder that this album has made it to the top albums of the year. Add the Kardashian factor and you have a great deal of publicity anyways.

Random Access Memories- Daft Punk

The French music duo made waves with their single “Get Lucky” and hit the top charts with it. The respected album is definitely one to make you keep dancing. It’s a dance album that pays homage to the musical era of 70′s and 80′s and it’s pretty evident in the album itself. It has a vintage feel to it, yet manages to stay relevant with today’s musical needs. If you loved Get Lucky, then you would definitely love this album more.

ARTPOP- Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga needs no introduction. Her album ARTPOP might not have been as hit as her previous work, but one listen to the album shows how hard she has worked on it, and it’s one of those pop dance albums that will leave you feeling good, and wanting more. Another positive aspect of the album is having it been released in an interactive app form for both Android and iOS devices. Add her out of the box approach to life, her music, and marketing, and you have an album that you just cannot miss.

PRISM- Katy Perry

Katy Perry may have released her new hit single Roar to a roaring success, her album PRISM is a testament to her vocal and artistic capabilities. Katy was sure that we saw a softer side of hers. If Teenage Dream was a cartoony world Katy created, with PRISM, she completely destroys her candy queen image and shows us a more mature and thought provoking side of Katy, while staying true to herself and her music. It’s pop at it’s best!

Bangerz- Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus has been a clever one with this album. She made sure she never left the spotlight; her hair, her antics, her relationship, everything made sure that the album should be a hit. Publicity activities aside, we saw a strong and new version of Miley with Wrecking Ball and Can’t Stop, that was sure to make the album a success. Add the fact that she paired up with so many great artists and producers (Pharrell Williams, who also worked with Daft Punk) for her come back, we now see Hannah Montana totally forgotten, and a new shining star that is determined to make a mark.

Pure Heroine- Lorde

Nobody would have expected a sixteen year old girl from New Zealand to make waves in the music industry with her anti-pop culture themed album, but the success of her single Royals was a proof that she’s here to stay and not just a one hit wonder. Keeping in theme with her song Royals, Lorde’s debut album Pure Heroine deals with the dilemma of being a teenager in a lost place in this big big world. Her lyrics are something you not find normally, and with the mellow beats to her songs, she has proved that sometimes it’s good to be different.

Same Trailer, Different Park – Kacey Musgraves

Kacey Musgraves is the new Taylor Swift of country music. Okay, sorry. She is so much more different than her, but you can’t help comparing her to Taylor, both started off the same way. She’s the new rising female star of country music that is making music that is not only good on the ears, but also leaves you thinking and gives you a big reality check. She sings about the life in a trailer park, and while she has made it big, we clearly see that she holds on to her roots and is not letting go of them; part of the fact why her music is appealing.

The 20/20 Experience 1 and 2- Justin Timberlake

Arguably one of the biggest successes of the year, Justin Timberlake’s long awaited third studio album by one of the most desired artists of the world. His new album rose to our expectations, and this album is one of the finest work of pop music one can get to hear. His status might be credited as catapulting the album to the top spot, but one cannot ignore the goodness of the work that this album is.

The Marshall Mathers LP 2- Eminem

Eminen’s name is one of the most famous ones in rap and music history. With this album, he proves why he has won all the major awards of the music industry, and why he is going to keep winning more. The album is signature Eminem; unapologetic, smooth flow, and amazing rhymes.

Night Time, My Time- Sky Ferreira

While she’s ,more known as an international top model, she’s also been working with music now and then and has finally released her debut album. The album is a homage to 80′s rock, while keeping the pop alive. Ferreira’s vocals are great, nonetheless, and even if the album took so long to be released, it hit the mark by being one of the most critically acclaimed albums of the year.

Uzair Jaswal’s “Bolay” Music Video Gives Us the Paki Prom

Originally Published on Skotato.com on August 14th, 2013

Watch the video here (there seems to be an embed issue)

Remember how fascinated with the prom we all were as kids, well those of us who grew up in the shadows of Hollywood? Well, I think that fascination remains with us even when we grow up. Along with the memories of the high school crush. Uzair Jaswal brings us our very own Pakistani prom and he makes sure we have fun. The recently launched video for his song “Bolay” (which was featured in Coke Studio last year) is a treat for the eyes, and the ears. But it does raise some concerns.

The video opens with Osman Khalid Butt and Uzair Jaswal sitting on the tables where Uzair is just “tarh-ing” (ogling) his crush, played by the gorgeous Geeti Aara. It then progresses to Uzair trying to live in the moment and getting the girl by taking the stage. Thus starts the heavily popped up version of Bolay with cute dances and Uzair imagining himself dancing with the girl. Surely, the video ends with him getting the girl. The video is fun, cute and sweet. Our very own Paki Prom! The dance sequences make the video light hearted and fun. And let’s not forget that our very own Orlando Bloom, Osman Khalid Butt, showing us his nerdy side that adds humor to the music video. his dance moves are hilarious. What comes as a surprise is how real it all looks. The set was done brilliantly and the styling was spot on. The video gave the accurate vibe of a prom. Plus, the dances were cute to watch, the lighting was done right and the cast’s acting was good, making the video quirky, gleeful, and fun!

While the video itself is a very good attempt at creating something fun for the masses, it raises a big question; is copying other cultures really a good way to go with our music? This video shows the confused mind of our artists and makes us wonder is this really the right way to go, to copy Bollywood or Hollywood? There is just no originality in the video. Though the video itself is really good, but there is more to music than selling your song or going commercial. The song was featured on Coke Studio, at least stay true to the ideology of the platform that launched the song. Even the high school’s name was American. And speaking Urdu, or wearing a sarhi just does not cut it. The whole concept was something unfamiliar to our culture. Artists have a responsibility to represent the nation, the culture. The video just bashes our identity. It only goes to prove how confused our upcoming artists are. While the video aims to be a nice attempt at friends having fun, it’s not a very forward attempt artistically.

All in all, it is a good song. Just makes us wish the video was as original as the song itself. Uzair jaswal is a talented artist, everyone knows that. But we expect better.

Playlist of the Month

It’s exam time and I will be gone for almost a month, so I thought why not compile a whole playlist for you guys that you can enjoy. It’s gonna be a pretty long one, because you’ll have to last a month, so I’ll tell you of the albums I’ll be listening to this month.

PRISM by Katy Perry

I bet you saw this coming. This album will not stop playing for over a year at the very least. Well, you can sample my favorite songs here.



Night Time, My Time by Sky Ferreira

She just is. so. full. of. herself. And this is why i love her.



Avril Lavigne’s album



Lady Gaga’s Artpop


Plus, I’ve got the new xx’s album (2012) and am loving it!

Playlist of the Week

So fall’s here. And I can tell how? Because I’m effing sick. With fever and sore throat and staying in bed sleeping all the time.

Here’s my fall playlist!

Flo Rida ft Sia Wild Ones

Angels and Airwaves Everything’s Magic

Katy Perry Thinking of You

Britney Spears Break the Ice

This Kiss Carly Rae Jepsen

Playlist of the Week (Fall Transition)

I’ve been having exams, so I’ve been AWOL and will be AWOL with W standing for with. Now you know. I’ll be posting REALLY LESS and well, I think it’s better for me. And it might be hard to come up with original content if I’m studying all the time.

Plus, my dad took away my internet privileges till the exams end so yay me. No instagram, tumblr, facebook or wordpress. Good thing twitter in my country is free and I can post from my phone!

SO the reason I chose this playlist is because it’s a fall transition mode. And when this time comes, I just feel this weird nostalgia because of the husky sunlight and the playing with my cats and sitting at home cuz I have prep leaves.

So here’s my playlist for this week!

The Gift by Angels and Airwaves

It’s the song at the end of the Gossip Girl pilot. That speaks a lot about my nostalgia. Considering the fact that the season premiere was around this time of the year back in ’07

Someone’s Watching Over Me by Hilary Duff

This song. The dreams. The movie. God!

A Year Without Rain by Selena Gomez

The song came around this time too, right? YES!

She Will Be Loved by Maroon 5

This is the perfect song to sit in the windows and listen to at dawn, or when you go out and feel the dews on your feet after the sun rises.

Brooklyn Blurs by The Paper Raincoat

Just the lyrics. Reminds me of my internship days. Which we will get to too in a playlist. It’s a new academic year man, it’s all so new. This song is perfect.

Playlist of the Week

I’m in a funky mood since a couple of days, so have been listening to a lot of pop and dance. And the fact that i have exams, pop music helps. So here I am sharing with you guys a little bit of my go to songs.

Diana Vickers’ Music to Make the Boys Cry The video is too good. So independent. I like it. I like it alone. And I don’t need anyone to make me happy! Zedd’s Spectrum Ok, so my new obsession with this uber talented 24 year old DJ/Producer is doing me no good. I keep dancing all day. His music is so good! Britney Spears’ Work Bitch Will.i.am produced this. Period.  Daft Punk’s Lose Yourself to Dance Now the fans of the album would know that this song was on it before it was released as a single. And it’s ah-ma-zing! Hilary Duff’s With Love Yes. Please.

Playlist of the Week

6194276777_34792edd48_zBeyoncé Feat. Jon McLaughlin – Smack / Smash Into You – (Unofficial Duet) Capital Cities, Safe and Sound Ellie Goulding Burn “Power” by Kat Graham “Juliet” by Lawson