This is part of a limited, annual, series, “14 Days, 14 Stories”, about ordinary Pakistanis who are doing extraordinary things in order to give back to Pakistan.
You’ve definitely heard stories of many talented people not being able to avail any opportunity to showcase their skills on account of limited resources. This isn’t just limited to the arts, either. Thanks to how competitive the world has become, this lack of ample opportunities is observed in any and every profession. Pakistan has an abundance of talented people, but many of them stay in the background for a lack of opportunities.
To help singers from all backgrounds, two boys from Lahore, Salar and Irtaza have launched a recording studio, Shamas-Kaari where they provide struggling musicians with a free platform to showcase their talent.
Their studio’s name is Shamas-Kaari. And the name is explained by the guys behind it in the following words:
“Shamas in Shamas-Kaari stands for ‘the sun, light, good, happy, and new’ while Kaari is for ‘creating art or craftsmanship’. Shamas Kaari is about connecting with personalities and music. It is about one artiste complimenting another.”
It was the need to create an environment where they could showcase their own interests in music that dealt with their issues beyond love life, that led to building their platform
His songs are about the dilemmas and predicaments faced by today’s generation. He writes and make songs about love, lust, depression, schizophrenia, heartbreak, suicidal thoughts and even drugs. About this interest of his, he says, “I have been making music since I was very young. For the most part, I could not relate to Pakistani music and that’s when I decided to start recording my own songs. Not many artists tend to talk about these ‘taboo’ topics so I thought, why not? The inspiration behind starting this was to convince others around me that this could be done. I just wanted to set an example and I think it’s finally working out.”
This is when Irtaza chimed in, “we wanted to make something that defines other people more than us. You see, it’s not like a band in which a few people are in the limelight. This focuses on everyone. We needed something that focuses on more than just the vocalist. A platform that acts as an umbrella for all the artists. Not the kind of umbrella under which they hide themselves but the one where they come together. The point is to bring different styles together.”
The co-founders of the studio are also creating their own music to share with the world
Salar and Irtaza’s new song ‘Mora Piya‘ is due to get out soon and together, they are working with national and international musical talent to create something unique that they can use to provide the struggling upcoming singers with an opportunity to do the same.
Salar and Irtaza do not charge musicians who can’t afford; instead they provide them with a ready made platform. “You get to meet extremely unique and very skillful artists in this field. These people can touch souls without even saying a word or even mesmerize you in a trance without any music, just with their voices. One after another, they all seem to amaze me and most importantly teach me,” tells Salar.
The founders take their own inspiration from their peers. Hassan Omer and Amr Kashmiri are two mucisians Salar and Irtaza look up to.
The studio has become a space for bringing talented musicians of all kinds together, and they have built a very positive community around it
Salar and Irtaza aren’t the only two working at Shamas-Kaari. They have uncovered some incredibly talented people during the process.
“There are many others working with us. Fahad Mansoor is a drummer who has literally come up with and created accessories that completely change the sound of a drum kit and that too, on his own. He’s a mad drummer too. We listen to a lot of music and whenever we discover new musicians, we try contacting them and invite them over to the studio. If we feel a connection whilst jamming we end up spending days and nights making some thing new. Shamas-Kaari is just getting started with all the content. As we’re building more content and gathering more artists we’re discovering a whole new world of untapped art,” share the co-founders.
The boys conclude, “passionate, obsessed, intuitive and beautiful minds are out there. We’ve managed to attract quite a few to this cause. We’re looking to work with more. Maybe help them connect with other minds. That’s the purpose. That’s the future.”
Looking forward to hearing some fantastic music from Shamas-Kaari.
For more stories from our series about extraordinary Pakistanis check out “14 Days, 14 Stories“.