Day I of the IBA Music Olympiad ’15 (IMO) kicked off with Voice of Pakistan, in which 66 participants took the stage one by one to entertain the audience with fantastic adaptations of Urdu and Hindi songs, their vocals being the only source of music. Songs like Teri Deewani by Kailash Kher, and Uzair Jazwal’s Tere Bin, particularly grabbed the attention of the crowd. Halfway through the competition, to change things up and present the audience with a different form of entertainment, the management team behind IMO performed a flash mob, urging others to follow suit. Later, the esteemed judges, Zaryab Sultan and Natasha Baig, owned the stage and brought the crowd to its feet with Hona Tha Pyaar.
Following the lunch break, the Youth Dance Contest set off in full swing. With hip-hop moves, floor rocks, headstands and robot dances, the young contestants exuded talent, overwhelming judges Hassan Rizvi and Neil U’Chong. Junior Jabbz, the pioneers of Dubstep music in Pakistan, too, enthralled the audience when they laid out a guest performance at the Youth Dance Contest.
Throughout the day, various competitions continued to take place in different parts of the Institute, but what really became the highlight of day I was Omran Shafique’s workshop. Front man for the Pakistani band, Mauj, and house band guitarist for Coke Studio, Shafique held an interactive session involving tips and tricks of the guitar. Utilizing his years of experience in the field, he gave the young participants invaluable advice about the most effective techniques involving the guitar. Providing intricate yet crucial details such as when to change the guitar strings (ideally every 2 months or 10,000 hours of playing time), and the perfect volume and tone, Shafique advised the students to “let your soul be the spiritual guide” while playing, for that is what brings out the most incredible tones and melodies.
On Day II of the event, the shortlisted contestants of Voice of Pakistan took the stage once again, this time to perform karaoke. The panel welcomed Babar Ali Khanna of Coke Studio as a guest judge for the day, and the dhol player later conducted a fascinating workshop for the participants as well. While the 49 participants entertained the audience in their own unique ways, Moomal Naveed’s Aao Na, Osaid Tabrez’s Khamaj and Farwah Abbasi’s Maar Daala left the crowd awestruck.
Even though the first round of Battle of the Bands witnessed some technical difficulties, all was forgiven when Chief Guest Zoe Viccaji performed Mera Bichra Yaar, which was followed by an exhilarating concert featuring Josh and Overload.
With the excitement of the crowd at its peak, Farhad Humayun gave the night a jump start by performing Overload’s ever-famous Mahi and Dhol Bajay Ga, which further electrified the audience. All those present on IBA’s football ground went into a trance when Pappu Sain, in his signature shiny kurta, graced the stage with his mesmerizing dhol beats.
Next, Josh took the audience on a roller coaster ride, performing songs from various genres, including the relatively slow Aaye Mausam and the more upbeat Baan Far Kay. After performing their own funky adaptations of Bollywood songs such as Balam Pichkari, the band ended the night with their signature song, Josh Naal Pao Bhangra, which had the entire crowd dancing incessantly.
The final day of the IBA Music Olympiad welcomed many renowned personalities from the music industry, including Hasan Rizvi from BodyBeats as the Chief Guest for the Youth Dance Competition, and Saif Samejo from The Sketches to conduct the third workshop.
Much to the delight of the crowd and the judges, IBA’s very own Arbal Nadeem and Asfandyar Junejo combined their beatboxing skills with Syed Abdul Haseeb’s rap to deliver a thrilling collaborative performance.
Ali Haider was invited as the Chief Guest for Voice of Pakistan’s finale, and after witnessing the performances of the finalists, the pop icon performed his own massive hit, Purani Jeans, followed by his latest single, Punga. When asked to share his views on the current situation of our music industry, Ali Haider expressed his desire to promote our local culture and talent on the social media, instead of inviting artists from neighbouring countries to showcase their talents.
As the sun set on IBA’s Amphitheatre, talented individuals from a variety of age groups rose on the stage of Battle of the Bands, whose Chief Guest was none other than Ali Noor. After witnessing some amazing performances, including adaptations of his own songs, he announced Kaan Phaar as the winners of Battle of the Bands, while Farwah Abbas was declared the Voice of Pakistan at the closing ceremony.
This three-day musical journey served as an ideal platform for young musicians to come out of their cocoons and display the immense musical talent that our youth has to offer. Being the first of its kind, the IBA Music Olympiad was a great success, and it is hoped that such ventures will further thrive in the coming years.
All images taken from the official IMO Facebook page.
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