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28 Jan

The Rise of Patari Tabeer

It has been almost two weeks since its release, but we still have ‘The Sibbi Song’ playing on repeat (yes this one is our favourite!). Patari Tabeer has to be one of the most impactful local music projects that is not only bringing fresh new talent to our music industry but also giving those a chance who probably don’t have any other way of coming into the industry; be it lack of resources, funding or perhaps just geographical concerns.

What we were interested in was how sustainable Patari Tabeer is, how exactly did it come about and what the next step for these newly discovered artists is. So we reached out to Ahmer Naqvi, Chief Operating Officer at Patari, to get some ‘behind the scenes’ insight into what we’re seeing today.

‘The Sibbi Song’ by Abid Brohi, a tea seller from Balochistan who doesn’t know how to read or write, was Patari Tabeer’s very first song

Ahmer told us how the very first inspiration for him was probably the domestic worker in his building, who had written his own song and approached Ahmer with a request to be heard out. Later, when Patari’s CEO, Khalid Bajwa, was approached by an interested sponsor, the team decided to do something bigger than its previous projects, something that would reach out to the general public hence Patari Tabeer was born.

“When we decided to bring in these artists, the most important thing was that they shouldn’t be exploited. This wasn’t just about Patari; it was about their journey,” Ahmer told us, also claiming that hearing the artists’ story along with their music is what is appealing to the audience the most.

Since Patari is still a startup with limited funding, everything was done over the phone. Ahmer told us about the young boy Jehangir, who has sung ‘Chitta Choola’, and how his family just had one cell phone which was their only mode of communication and was barely ever charged. Plus when Jehangir was asked to come down to Karachi for his recording, his whole family accompanied him which overall prolonged the process. Abid Brohi on the other hand was discovered by a filmmaker who the Patari team knew, and his name luckily came up in a conversation, which led to the team bringing him on to the project. “The Lyaari one was something I always wanted to do, so luckily this allowed me to include them into the project too,” Ahmer mused when talking about ‘Players of Lyaari’.

What is most notable is that Patari is doing more than just building their own image and name through this project. They are currently providing the artists with mentorship, as well as handling the media and other entities interested in them.

“People want them to come on morning shows, perform at fashion weeks…We’ve been contacted by so many channels, I didn’t even know these many channels existed!” Ahmer exclaimed, as he apologized for his phone line being constantly busy.

“What was important was for us to set manageable goals, we knew we won’t be making the next Atif Aslam overnight!” he told us. “What these artists want more than anything is to make more music and we’re trying to make that happen as well.”

Not only has each song in Tabeer been unique and of a separate genre, but everything from the album’s artwork to the execution of the video, which shows the artist and his story, has been impactful enough to move the audience. As Ahmer said, “We didn’t want it to be ‘Oh Patari has done something so great!’ We want the people to remember the artists.”

It would be safe to say that goal has successfully been reached, and we’re eagerly waiting for the next three songs to come out!

Mariam Tahir

The author is Assistant Editor at Something Haute, plus a fashion student who loves reading, traveling, eating and sleeping but manages to find time in between to write.