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Friday, December 14, 2012

Ali Zafar declared 2nd most desirable Asian man


LONDON: Pakistani pop star turned actor Ali Zafar has been named as one of the sexiest Asian men on the planet. The crooner is second only to Indian actor Hrithik Roshan who has been declared as the sexiest Asian man on the planet by a weekly magazine published from London which releases the list every year.
Roshan beat Ali Zafar who was the surprise runner up. Salman Khan finished third and last year’s runner Shahid Kapoor came fourth.
Showbiz expert and Pakistani origin journalist Asjad Nazir, who puts together the list every year, told The News that Pakistan has always had world class talent, but it is only that the world is seeing this.
“Dashing Ali Zafar is a great ambassador for Pakistan and someone who is representing his country really well. Fans from different continents voting for him shows that that the world is now looking at Pakistan and that is a great thing.”
Asjad added that Ali Zafar is one star who ticks all the boxes, who is a terrifically talented singer, actor and musician. “The fact that he is good-looking and a devoted family man has added to his appeal with fans around the world. I think he will go from strength to strength in Bollywood and wouldn’t be surprised if Hollywood comes calling,” said Asjad Nazir, who intends to promote more Pakistani talent and hopes they will get in touch. “Whether it is music, films, fashion or music, this is an exciting time for Pakistan and the world is watching. I think there will be more world-class talent emerging from the country in the next few years and am looking forward to that,” said Asjad.
Hrithik Roshan topped the list of the 50 Sexiest Asian Men In The World for the second year in a row.
"I am extremely humbled at the decision of the public, also a little embarrassed as I just can't imagine myself as sexy! I'm actually someone who's just trying to get by with his battered, bruised and broken tools. So a big thank you to all for this dose of encouragement,” said Hrithik Roshan in a statement. Other Pakistanis in the list are British-Pakistani boy band star from One Direction Zayn Malik (12) and Atf Aslam (20).

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Ajab Tamasha: EP stays true to its sound in a new era

LAHORE: 
The release of its new single Ajab Tamasha last week marks the start of a new era for Entity Paradigm, famously known as EP. The band is now without Fawad Khan and is hoping to make a full-on comeback with more music and performances.
It seems EP has had enough of complacency and will be more active as a band, rather than riding on the success of the past. While this reshuffle coincides with the band’s 10th anniversary, there isn’t much celebration, but business as usual for the band.
The line-up includes Ahmed Ali Butt, Salman Albert and Hasaan Khalid. Butt, who was once the coveted lead singer for the underground band now returns to the limelight as a front man. “It’s the start of a new era, 10 years later, we are looking to plan the future,” says Butt. “If you saw Shor Macha, the band was going in the same direction in terms of sound; that song has a stronger emphasis on power.”
Butt has been known for his role as an entertainer and a stage personality. In EP, Butt’s role was that of an energiser, when compared to former lead vocalist-turned-actor Fawad Khan. Khan was strong on melody but also introduced the concept of head-banging in live concerts in Pakistan.
“My role in EP has always been to bring energy,” says Butt. “My plan is to continue to bring that energy. I want to keep that rap feel alive.” Referring to the new track, Butt says, “We are focusing more on hard rock, and that’s what you see in Ajab Tamasha.”


Ajab Tamasha is Butt’s social critique on media exploitation and the developing news culture. It shows how, through the media, people have fallen into a dramatic cycle of fear and senselessness.
The sound is heavy and a lot different from the softer sounding popular tunes that are prevalent in the music scene. Music today is commercial, with the emphasis on heavy music almost a thing of the past. But EP remains true to its sound and is a pioneer in hard rock music after the widely popular Junoon.
“There is definitely a gap [in the music],” says Butt. “No prominent band has really taken the reins [as far as rock music goes]. There a couple of solo singers but not many bands,” he adds. “These days, music is catered for mass production; albums are out of fashion, it’s the new age — fast and uncertain,” he adds. “The market has definitely changed. There are no labels and people don’t buy albums. Musicians are looking to survive,” he explains.
It’s been nine years since the band has released an album. Irtiqa is a classic for the old rock listeners; the question is: will their fans still enjoy a hard rock number?
“Whenever the band has released new music, audiences increase,” says Butt. “EP remains to be all about the music.”
Bassist Hasaan Khalid has been with the band since its start and is gearing up for the band’s tour. He plans on releasing more tracks in the near future. “When we were in our early 20s, we attracted a fan following from our songs. And I am a strong believer that we will spark a connection with our fans again; it’s all about consistency,” says Khalid.
One track may be released as early as February and several other collaborations are also in the works. Salman Albert will be doing some backing vocals and may even lead a few tracks.
In their live shows, EP will be providing a whole new line-up to fit Butt’s vocals. “There is a new-line-up and a different set of direction. Comparisons are inevitable but I think the whole process is interesting,” adds Khalid.


Sunday, December 9, 2012

Mehreen Syed only Pakistani in top 20 of world famous sexiest list

Supermodel, Spokesperson for L’Oreal and CEO of International Fashion Academy Pakistan (IFAP) Mehreen Syed is ranked #10 in the world famous sexiest list published in the Eastern Eye newspaper, one of UKs leading daily publication
The Sexiest List’s Top 20 has historically been dominated exclusively by the Bollywood divas since inception, like Priyanka Chopra, Kareena Kapoor, Katrina Kaif, Aishwirya Rai, Bipasha Basu amongst others.

Mehreen Syed has now joined the exclusive top 10s of Sexiest List 2012 while Bollywood queens Aishwirya Rai and Rani Mukherji were ranked 16th and 22nd respectively. Deepika Padoukone, who was #10 on the Sexy List 2011 is now ranked #4 on the list.

Asjad Nazir, UKs most celebrated personality, host and journalist is the chairman of the judging panel of the Sexiest List 2012 that was published on the 7th of December in the UK. During the time votes were being casted for this list, Asjad trended on Twitter for 5 straight days, beating Bollywood icons like Shahrukh Khan and Priyanka Chopra.

“Super model turned television personality Mehreen Syed has been an amazing global ambassador for Pakistan in 2012 and won fans all over the world. Apart from being amazingly beautiful, she has an impressive list of achievements to be proud of including being in the top 10 of this year’s list. The fact that Mehreen is about to embark on an acting career means she will get an even bigger global presence and carry on representing her country internationally,” said Asjad Nazir.

Pakistan's Next Mega Star (Gujranwala and Islamabad Auditions)


Pakistan's Next Mega Star is a talent-hunt tv show on ARY Digital with celebrity judges like Faysal Qureshi, Savera Nadeem, Ahmed Ali Butt and Asif Raza Mir. The show explores people with talent, who have all the qualities of being the Mega Star! who can do Acting, Singing, Dancing, Comedy and have great looks.

The auditions are now completed that started on 3rd november through 11th in Multan, Faisalabad, Lahore, Gujranwala, Islamabad, Rawalpindi and Karachi.

Gujranwala Auditions (6-Nov-2012)


Islamabad Auditions (8-Nov-2012)




Pakistan's Next Mega Star (Lahore Auditions)

Pakistan's Next Mega Star is a talent-hunt tv show on ARY Digital with celebrity judges like Faysal Qureshi, Savera Nadeem, Ahmed Ali Butt and Asif Raza Mir. The show explores people with talent, who have all the qualities of being the Mega Star! who can do Acting, Singing, Dancing, Comedy and have great looks.

The auditions are now completed that started on 3rd november through 11th in Multan, Faisalabad, Lahore, Gujranwala, Islamabad, Rawalpindi and Karachi.

Lahore Auditions (5-Nov-2012)







Pakistan's Next Mega Star (Multan Auditions)


Pakistan's Next Mega Star is a talent-hunt tv show on ARY Digital with celebrity judges like Faysal Qureshi, Savera Nadeem, Ahmed Ali Butt and Asif Raza Mir. The show explores people with talent, who have all the qualities of being the Mega Star! who can do Acting, Singing, Dancing, Comedy and have great looks.

The auditions are now completed that started on 3rd november through 11th in Multan, Faisalabad, Lahore, Gujranwala, Islamabad, Rawalpindi and Karachi.

Auditions Promo


Multan Auditions (3-Nov-2012)



















A story of bitterness: Meet the women of ‘Talkhiyan’

KARACHI: 
The story of Express Entertainment’s upcoming soap “Talkhiyan” (Bitterness) highlights the stereotypical mentality of men that live by their ancestral pride and deep-rooted notions of a caste system. It depicts the frustrations of a mother, wife and daughter who are provoked by society. Hypocrisy is the underlying theme, involving bitter love, and conservative values.
The drama serial is inspired by Indian author Arundhati Roy’s 1997 novel The God of Small Things, which is a story of fraternal twins whose childhood experiences have defined how they should love others.
Inspired by Roy, writer Bee Gul converted the book to a TV show, keeping the plot similar. Under the direction of Khalid Ahmed, actors Hassan Niazi, Shamim Hilali, Sanam Saeed, Hina Khuwaja Bayat, and Mehak Khan make up the promising cast. The thought-provoking lyrics to the soundtrack done by Mehwish Hayat and Waqar Ali are captivating, with late Sahir Ludhianvi’s words: “Kitni bekar umeedon ka sahara le kar, main ne aiwan sajaye thay kisi ki khatir”.
The drama is presented by Zoya (Mehak), who narrates the tale of her mother Bibi (played by Sanam), who has suffered and been abused. In a role different from her usually characters, Hina Bayat plays Appu, Zoya’s angry aunt. The drama serial is set to air on Express Entertainment on December 9, Sunday at 8pm.
Hina first appeared on screen as a TV talk show host in “Andaz Apna Apna”. She later hosted “Batain Mulaqatain” and also “Uljhan Suljhan”. “The shows were not frivolous,” says Hina. “They had elements of seriousness attached to them.” Hina continued her work as a host, despite the unsupportive attitude of her conservative family, until actor-producer Abdullah Kadwani offered her a role in a play. At first, she refused, saying she could not act. Later, however, she took the plunge and gave her acting skills a chance. “My life was best when I was hosting talk shows. I was bringing forth knowledge that is missing today,” says Hina, as she recalls the days of her live and recorded shows. “There is a vacuum [in society]; what we see today on shows are pure cat-fights or mud-slinging — nothing meaningful.”

Hina took the leap, and it has turned out to be a favourable one; she has not been cast in some of today’s leading TV shows. About her recent role as Zarina in the widely popular “Humsafar,” Hina says the opportunity was “one in a million”.  For “Talkhiyan”, Hina says her character Appu is a witch.
“It is a stand-alone character,” she says, referring to Appu. “The ‘Humsafar’ mommy made the world cry for her fate. Now, I will play a wicked woman who audiences will hate me for,” she adds. “From my expressions to connections, everything I do in the character is a result of sheer hatred.”

Hina is not afraid to admit that she approached the director of “Talkhiyan” herself after going through the script that had been given to her niece Mehak Khan, who is playing the role of Zoya. “What a splendid storyline, I thought. The director called me two days after I approached him for the play,” she says confidently. “It was a spontaneous decision, since when I had spoken to Khalid Ahmed, he hadn’t give me a definite yes.”
Hina is eager to see how the audience will react to her role as a monster. “The intense relationship between Zoya and Appu is one of hatred, which is brilliantly played on screen.”
Bubbly Sanam Saeed loves to talk and she has a lot to say about “Talkhiyan”.

The God of Small Things is one of my favourite novels. I liked it and I believe I can relate it to the context,” she says. “When I read the script, I had no second thoughts. The writer Bee Gul did a beautiful job with Roy’s words.”
Before shooting the drama serial, Sanam admits she was nervous about who the other characters would be and how well she would perform with them. She now describes the working chemistry as “amazing”.
She says that even though “Talkhiyan” will be running simultaneously with her other drama,Hum TV’s “Zindagi Gulzar Hai”, they are completely different plays.
“‘Zindagi Gulzar Hai’ is a commercial drama, whereas ‘Talkhiyan’ is more of an art film. There is attention to detail and to the treatment of the film,” she says.
However, if she had to choose to work opposite either Fawad Khan or Adnan Jafar (who plays the lead male role in “Talkhiyan”), Sanam says it would have to be Fawad. “I feel I bounce off with Fawad Khan. Adnan is a very private actor, he acts in himself,” she says.  “There is some kind of chemistry between Fawad and I on screen — so definitely him.”
She says that Bibi is a role of a lifetime which she is lucky to be playing. “My character [Bibi] stands up as an independent woman who has empowered herself,” says Sanam.
Years ago, Sanam started off with stage performances; since then, she was convinced that acting is her first love. “Theatre excites me. I am very confident while doing stage plays but I am camera shy for television,” she admits.

Mehak Khan  earned the role of Zoya after a performance in front of the director. She recited poetry by Ghalib, as well as Sahir Ludhianvi’s “Taj Mahal”, which impressed Khalid Ahmad enough to cast her. She may be Hina’s niece in reality, but on screen, the two share much hatred.

Mehak is not a big fan of Roy’s novel, as she describes it as being “a little dry”. “The script written for the play, however, has been adapted so well,” she adds, praising the writer. “It has complemented it in a better manner.”
“The character touched my heart,” says Mehak. “It became easy to let go of myself and see it all through Zoya’s eyes. I could emote accordingly and I cried from the core of my heart.” Mehak is certain that no other role that she does in the future can come close to the one in “Talkhiyan”. “It raises the standards so high. I don’t believe I will ever do an intense role like this,” she says.

“Zoya is the only one who understands her mother’s pain. She is an innocent, lively child who grew up to be a bitter girl,” says Mehak, as she continues to talk about the family’s sour experiences.
Mehak comments on Sanam Saeed’s role as Bibi. “It wasn’t Sanam, it was definitely Bibi that made me cry.”