Meekal Hassan Band, Haroon, Khumariyan from Peshawar, Lahore’s Poor Rich Boy, Thar’s Mai Dhai, and Sialkot’s Sain Tanveer Brothers will all be heading off to the United States this March to represent Pakistan at one of the largest music festivals in the world, South by Southwest (SXSW) to be held in Austin, Texas in March 2015.
These six artistes will be exhibiting Pakistan’s rich culture through music and will offer diverse melodies as they would be playing Punjabi, Pushto and Sindhi music along with Meekal Hassan’s unique version of Sufi pop. More than 100 bands and singers are participating in the festival which caters to art forms in music and film.
Aaron Haroon Rashid, a well-known singer and creator of the animated series Burka Avenger who recently lent his vocals for the show, will also be participating in the mega festival.
Apart from these two artistes, Khumariyaan, a Peshawar based band comprising four men will play instruments rubab, Pashtun sitar and the zerbaghali hand drum to play distinct musical notes.
Poor Rich Boy, a band popular in Lahore’s underground music scene and famous for its live performances of their English songs is also taking part in SXSW.
The only female and extremely diverse artist, Mai Dhai and her band will be representing the Sindhi folk music and Sain Tanveer, known for playing dhol, will be giving the attendees the taste of dhol beats.
This is the first time that Pakistanis are participating in the festival after its booker, Todd Puckhaber saw many talented musicians in the Music Mela Conference held in May at Islamabad by The Pakistan-Us Alumni Network and Foundation for Arts, Culture and Education (FACE). He decided to hold a workshop which aimed at music marketing in US for such singers and bands.
SXSW, known to be a grand music festival, invites musicians from all over the world and gives them a platform to come together and play music by embracing cultural diversity.