Noori, who hail from Pakistan, talk to us about the music scene in their home country.
What’s the music scene like in Lahore?
‘Dormantly’ active... There are lots of things happening in the underground—great new talent brewing. We were just involved in a search to look for young talent and the kids were absolutely awesome, great talent and great personalities. However, with the Internet, becoming a one-hit wonder has become easy. The challenge is to be consistently good and that takes time to gauge.
Noori has led the pop revolution of Pakistan. How does that feel?
Well, we were lucky because of our timing. When we entered the mainstream (we too had been dormant for a good 5 years), the satellite channels had just been launched - they were a rave and yet very few in number. So, because of our newness, the media really latched on to us. Nonetheless it was a great feeling.
Even more so because we were also really involved in utilizing the maximum potential the new media at that time had to offer (i.e satellite channels and internet). We were the first Pakistani band to have an official online fan-club-we took out a new music video (which we shot ourselves) almost every month. The first two years of noori were crazy - people thought that we had bought the music channels here.
If not pursuing music, what would life be like for you guys?
Now, nothing else makes sense. But, yes, had we never started then Ali Noor would have been a lawyer, which he had been training for, for a good seven years, and Ali Hamza would have been a junkie economist snorting coke at a World Bank or IMF desk!
Who are some artistes that have been the inspiration behind Noori’s sounds?
People like Sting, Faith No More, Tori Amos, Fionna Apple, Bon Jovi and Def Leppard have had major influence on our work.
What is music for you? Is it life? Is it a part of your lives?
Music for us is a means to connect with people, to share what is in our hearts and minds with them. At the same time musical expression allows us to explore ideas and feelings with freedom. We connect with ourselves first - while composing, it helps us understand ourselves better. Then we share that understanding with others and their feedback helps us understand the kind of connection we have with our listener.
Since you guys are now in the limelight, what is it that you are going to do to uplift the underground music scene in Pakistan to create a more evident music setting?
Well for starters we have set up our own record label - BIY (Believe in Yourself) Records. We are in the process of setting up a production unit which will not just work for noori but for all the other artists who would want to come on board with BIY Records. As for this label, the idea is to help the best of the upcoming talent become self-sufficient (hence the BIY) in the music scene. To help them understand and work on the many dimensions of a musical artist/entertainer's professional life - from music/video production to management and PR. We did it all in-house and now we want to share that experience and facilitate the same for others. It's still in a nascent stage, we will be able to share our experience and success/failure more elaborately with time.