In its four-year history, Lahore Music Meet, founded by Natasha Noorani and Zahra Paracha, has grown to become the most consistent and significant music festival in Pakistan.
LMM’s mission to expand the conversation on music while providing a platform to the young and independent artists continues to remain its biggest strength.
Having hosted some of music’s most illustrious names as well as the new as speakers and performers in the past, the 2018 edition too, in that sense, managed to achieve a great deal.
In terms of live music, while the showcase performances spread over two days included Sunny Khan Durrani, Fazal Jutt, Sami Amiri, Roots/Wisdom Salad, Mauj, Zohaib Bilal, Bushra Marvi, Sameen Qasim & Co, Bayaan, Shorbanoor and Kashmir, this year’s headlining acts included Sikandar Ka Mandar, Takatak, Akhtar Chanal and Fareed Ayaz, Abu Mohammad and Brothers.
Though all the performances held promise and were worth cherishing, LMM 2018 also saw Omran Shafique’s Mauj take centerstage. Shafique has played a massive role as guitarist and music producer in the last decade, working with newer artists as well as some of the industry’s biggest names and biggest projects, for fans of Mauj, this return was worth waiting.
Also present were Patari Tabeer stars Abid Brohi and Lyari Underground, who performed with great zeal and had fans dancing along.
Apart from the performances, LMM also featured some excellent panels and a bevy of industry insiders as speakers.
In a session titled Cassette King, Attaullah Esakhelvi talked about his journey from nothing to becoming the Cassette king of Pakistan selling millions of albums and the dynamics of taking out an album in the cassette era.
During another session titled Hear Me Roar, panelists Sophiya Anjum, Mandana Zaidi, Aima Baig and Selina Rashid spoke with Khalid Malik about women in the music business and how they are shaping the industry and business dynamics, whether they are RJs, publicists, music video makers or band managers.
Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy’s Song of Lahore was screened and received a standing ovation as it ended. Aziz Kazi conducted a percussion masterclass while Javed Iqbal, the violinist from Coke Studio, spoke about his life and times.
Shehzaad Noor, better known as Shorbanoor, spoke about the art of songwriting and Amr Kashmiri gave a synth masterclass.
Others who spoke at this year’s LMM include names like Saeen Zahoor, Tahira Syed, Asim Raza, Ahmer Naqvi, Kashmir and Amir Azhar.