LAHORE .: The Punjab Arts Council (PAC) is gearing up for its very own music show Folk Studio, the first season of which is to be launched on August 14 – Pakistan’s 70th Independence Day. As its name would suggest, Folk Studio will follow the same format as Coke Studio and attempt to promote folk music from all over the province.
According to reports, the first season of the show will feature eight songs from various artists and the PAC has already asked other regional art institutions to suggest names of artists it can feature for the second season. Industry veterans such as Arif Lohar, Atta Ullah Khan Esskhailvi, Saeen Zahoor, Shoukat Ali, Akram Rahi Malkoo and Naseebo Lal will be part of the first season. The featured singers and musicians will perform both traditional and contemporary music and a special studio is supposed to be constructed sometime in the near future for it.
It is pertinent to mention here that the Lahore Arts Council has also recently launched its own music project which included younger, aspiring artists. PAC, on the other hand, is working for the revival and protection of regional folk music in particular.
“We have been planning Folk Studio for a long time, ever since we first heard Coke Studio and loved its music, but there was a shortage of modern equipment then. We are now, finally, in a position to kick-off our first season. The songs will be recorded with the help of private, modern studios until our own is constructed,” a PAC official told The Express Tribune.
“Our focus is on Punjabi folk music and traditional songs that are part of our culture, such as Jugni, Tappy Mahiya and Boliyaan. We are hosting many famous folk artists on the show and the more prominent ones have been asked to sing their best songs for season one,” the source continued. “Everyone has showed a great willingness to participate. We are also hoping to highlight some hidden talents from all over Punjab in the process. This Independence Day, they will all perform live before the PAC administration and other, senior music artists and be selected for the next season.”
According to Saman Roy, executive director of the PAC, it is the government’s responsibility to promote folk arts. “Our folk culture is very rich and the state must put in an effort to safeguard it. That’s why I have asked all kinds of folk singers, young and old, male and female, to come and perform for us on August 14 so that we can pick the best ones,” said Saman. “I have also set up a panel of judges who understand music. The first step is to record the songs and then work on their videos, which will be launched later with the help of social media.”
Saman also revealed that the first season of Folk Studio will offer mixed performances which will include sufiyana and naatiya kalaams. “Our priority is to revive Punjab’s rich musical heritage. I am hopeful that Folk Studio will be appreciated by everyone in Pakistan.”
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