The recent edition of Levi’s Live Session that happened in Lahore this past weekend is exactly what the city needed as it bade farewell to a chilly winter. Following up to three successful sessions last year, the fourth session featured Ammar Farooki, Diane Desobeau, Sarmad Ghafoor and Farhad Humayun on drums as the opening act. The event, organized by Uzma Rao from Native Rock who did a fabulous job in putting the show together, was headlined by Uzair Jaswal. The singer-songwriter and actor from Islamabad, who recently released his debut solo album, Na Bhulana and picked up an LSA nod for the same, got things heated up.
The apparel brand has had a long standing relationship with music and this latest move of investing in the live music scene is certainly the need of the hour. The venture is also refreshing as collaboration between fashion and music – that we see a lot of internationally – is not as common in Pakistan. And it’s a shame because in this monotonous wave sweeping through all forms of arts and culture, we’re in dire need of fresh and exciting content. Music remains an important part of culture vernacular in this country and the music scene, having seen unprecedented success till just almost a decade ago, has struggled in recent years because of security concerns and lack of government support. In such climate, efforts like these stand out.
Speaking about the fourth session of Levi’s Live, Farhad Humayun of Riot Studios said: “This has by far been the most enjoyable night at Levi’s Live. It was multi-cultural with artists from Pakistan, Canada and France collaborating and forming a union. The audience rocked with us on every song. Ammar’s songs are world class and I’m so happy that Uzair’s live set is so much fun. He forms the perfect party band. With every gig we are growing better, stronger and confirming that we are here to stay and will stop at nothing to promote music and youth culture in Pakistan.”
One artist that shined throughout the night was Diane Desobeau, a French journalist who came to Pakistan to work as a video reporter. She started learning the piano and was classically trained but had to leave it behind when she moved to Paris for her studies. Unexpectedly, it is Pakistan that reignited her urge to make music.
“Playing at Levi’s Live was a beautiful experience,” she said post-game. “I feel really lucky to have been able to perform in such a great venue, in the presence of music lovers and friends. The crowd’s energy was uplifting – as was the company on stage! I am really grateful for having the opportunity to participate in this adventure. It was all great fun – especially the impromptu jam session with a whole range of talented musicians after the show. Pakistan needs more of this!”