Featured Artist – Shahzad Hameed

Shahzad Hameed is an Independent Songwriter / musician based in Lahore, Pakistan. Self taught and active in the 90s Lahore’s Infamous and Reactionary Underground music movement – he got to play with various bands like Dog Tag, Mind Riot, Traveller, Blue Buzz etc. Almost ten years of struggling and playing with bands which eventually faded and didn’t last long, he decided to do his own thing and come up with his own direction and work.

Being self-taught and fiercly Independent minded. He decided to make an album of songs which would finally give his own ideas a voice. Work on his solo debut album “Songs From The NoWhereLand” went on for almost 3 years and was completely an Independent Process. The years of work went on from 2004-2007 (during this time a video for the song “Fish Out Of Water” was released on all major local Pakistani Music Channels and received critical acclaim and got nominated for two Music Channel Awards). The Album’s officially out in stores (nationwide Independent release, along with a new second video for the song “fear”). The Album will also be released online on this very website for free.

Shahzad hameed is supported by an ever changing backins/supporting band. The band’s live sound is an interesting mix of influences and elements giving a raw edge and energy and the at the same time creating an aura of originality and artistic appeal.

Musician : Shahzad Hameed

Name : Shahzad Hameed

City : Lahore

Age : 20

Field : Musician


Email : sh@shahzadhameed.com and shahzad_hameed@hotmail.com

Cell :

Website : shahzadhameed.com

Current Motto : Independent / DIY approach

About his work and vision 
Completely Independent as far as every aspect of my work is concerned. My intention is to make music which is socially relevant and to be opinionated. My music /songs are all theme based and yet have an unique identity. The style of my music is Rock, but I believe it’s a new interpretation and I’ve tried my best to personalize a sound and attitude. During working on my projects it is very important to be honest with myself and my work. How well I’ve managed to do all of this is now up to people to decide, but I know that I tried being as honest with my work as possible. 

There were many limitations in the process of recording the music and sometimes it was difficult to stay concentrated and not to lose motivation, but in the end it was a great experience and I am satisfied with the result.

To reach out to people all around the globe I am using the internet as a self help /marketing tool. On a local level I am finally through with PR work and I am lloking forward now to get as many shows as possible, work on a line-up and of course on future stuff. I also hope to play outside of the country and connect with as many people as possible in any part of the world.

Current projects/activities
trying to work on song ideas for a new second album and to find gigs for myself

About Lahore or Pakistani culture
Lahore has always been a beautiful and culturally vibrant city … being a Lahori (there’s definitely a connection with the city ) 
In the last 10-15 years things have changed rapidly and most of the changes are very cosmetic and superficial and have taken away the original essence of this once very beautiful city 
Consumer culture and a highly corporative environment have been introduced which is affecting society in a destructive way.
Lahore is not what it used to be anymore, but the good thing is that there are still some beautiful parks and a few green belts. I truly hope that it remains safe from the land mafias and the newly cropping ugly plazas and other grotesque structures 

Work Samples
debut album ” Songs From The NowhereLand”

Next Events 
Hoping to get ready for any upcoming events. In these days a lot depends on the security conditions in my country which is going through very turbulent and unpredictable times. As soon as I find out – I will put the info on my website or forward the info to danka.com.pk

Since when are you in the music/art scene?
since 1995 -6

Why did you choose being an artist as your profession?
Cause this is what I like doing and no one tells me how to do it … It is a medium of expression that seems like home to me

What do you think should be done to improve the situation of artists in Pakistan?
A lot can be done but then again the establishments and the policy makers have to do a lot with it. It is a long and a highly opinionated debate and therefore I would appreciate if this question/subject gets more importance and attention (maybe by holding a seminar or open talk forum or something like this) Anyway it would be a good idea to have regular meetings and such seminars/panels to brainstorm about how to improve the situation of all artists. Besides improving the “modern” music scene there should also be a priority in supporting our great local ethnic/folk/classical musicians.

With which artists have you been working together/jamming?
With many people from the local scene (in different bands, jam sessions etc). Mainly self-taught people from the local rock music scene, but also musicians from other fields in Pakistan.

What do you think about the Pakistani food scene?
home food is great !

Which kind of events do you attend?
where I know that there is something I can relate to

Do people need art and music if yes why?
I don’t know .. maybe there should be a survey

What are your upcoming projects?
Right now it’s just working on new song ideas for the next album and also keeping an open mind as far as any other projects or offers that come in my way. I would love to work and make music which is more exciting and which has a broader scope and obviously which is within my reach ( from technical point of view) …

What kind of music do you like?
any music with the right attitude and feel

The Post Islamabad

For the information in English concerning this event, see Danka, 25.06.08 – http://www.danka.com.pk/viewEvent.php?id=4233 Actualmente hay argentinos y otros hispanohablantes en Pakistán, sin olvidar a algunos locales que estudian castellano. Andreas, gracias por tu calurosa bienvenida y gracias a todo el equipo de Danka por mantenernos a todos al día en lo que a cultura se refiere. Un fuerte abrazo para ustedes.

Featured Artist – Umair Ghani

I am Umair Ghani, a freelance Photo-Trekker and writer, living in Pakistan. I take photos for myself and for some international postcard and calender agencies and write articles for travel magazines.

I enjoy freedom of the Road and the joy and thrill of adventure. I started teaching American Literature to Post Graduate Classes, but stung by Wanderlust and a passion for everything that’s beautiful, I began wandering in the Himalayas and the Karakorams and quit teaching for Photography and Writing. Photography is appreciation of beauty and expression of inner self for me, and a mystic experience!

I received Prime Minister’s Award for promotion of Pakistani Culture through photography in 2005 and won many national and international photo contests between 2004-2007. I have been participating in international group exhibitions as well.

Photographer/Writer : Umair Ghani

Name : Umair Ghani

City : Lahore, Pakistan

Age : 40

Field : Photographer/Writer


Email : umair.photoarts@gmail.com 

Cell : +92 333 4669844

Website : http://www.photo.net/photos/Awaraagard

Current Motto : A Man can be destroyed, but never defeated.

About your work and vision
I find strength in the realization that I belong to one of the world’s most ancient civilization and live in a richly endowed land. It reflects in my work. I have an inseparable attachment to my people and landscape surrounding my being.


Current projects/activities
Sufism in Pakistan [with a number of foreign photographers and writers]. Cultural Sports/ Cultural Portraits, Text and photography on Indus Valley Civilization.

About Lahore or Pakistani culture
Pakistani cultural Diaspora finds its finest expression in Lahore. Life in this city is a spontaneous expression of idyllic euphoria and very personal romantic sadness. Rapid urbanization and onslaught of commercialism has ripped the city of much of its traditional wealth and it disturbs my heart.Media releases
Interview Published in The Nation, Sunday Plus, Pakistan.
Portfolio Published in Digital photographer Ukraine
Portfolio Published in Photoline, Pakistan.
Interviews and Portfolios published in various Ezines worldwode.

Since when are you in the art scene? 
From 1998.

Why did you choose being an artist as your profession?
Art is human civilization’s greatest accomplishment. It is tough to lead an artistic life. It requires a profound, arduous training and sacrifices no less than of a dervish and a mystic. I find solace in such existence and thus chose to explore this realm.

What do you think should be done to improve the situation of artists in Pakistan?
Create awareness through print and electronic media. Build pressure groups to fight ban and censorship curbing art in society. Create more opportunities and access to forums that deliver freedom of expression and through such activities relate to global mainstream of expression through art.

With which artists have you been working together?
I found tremendous joy in company of Nadeem Khawar, Abdul Razaq Vance, Karl Schuler and Yasuo Osakabe.

What do you think about the Pakistani food scene?
It’s a wonderful, unique experience and above all, something, which I can always call my very own.

Which kind of events do you attend?
Anything related to Pakistani Culture. Cultural Sports, Seminars, Archaeology Conferences, Book Fairs and Painting Exhibitions etc.

Do people need art and music if yes why?
Most definitely, YES!!!! In order to be at peace with themselves and with others. I collect world music, and find solace in art and literature.

What are your upcoming projects?
Currently busy collecting photographs and stories for my books [to be published yet]. Also working on Indus Valley Civilization with help from world’s renowned scholars on the subject.

What kind of music do you like?
Anything from Pure Subcontinent Classical to Western heavy metal is sacred to me.

Who is your inspiration?
In photography it is non other but Steve McCurry.

What is your message?

When there are no more stars
When the winds stop blowing
When the fireflies shine no more
When flowers cease to bloom
Only then people will know
That they can’t eat money!

Community Link Bulle

Today. A programme “Discovering Belgian Art will be held at the International Foreign Women’s Association (IFWA) Centre F-7/1 at 7 pm. Art historian Mariano Akerman will discuss Belgian masterpieces. Among the major achievements of the Belgian artists are the development of the oil painting technique, the fostering of new pictorial styles, the depiction of remarkable images, real and invented, and what may be the most incredible questioning of the concept of reality in the history of Western art. Mariano [Akerman] has researched the works of painter Francis Bacon and architect Louis Kahn. Source: “Egagements: Belgian Art,” Dawn Metropolitan, Islamabad, 26 June 2008, p. 19, illus.


June 26 – “Discovering Belgian Art” Art Appreciation Lecture from 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. at the IFWA Center, St. 38, F-7/1, in cooperation w/ the Belgian Embassy & the Alliance Française Islamabad. Art historian Mariano Akerman discusses a select group of Belgian masterpieces, appreciating them from new & unexpected perspectives. The lecture requests no previous knowledge on the topic. Free entry. Source: Community Link Bulletin, United Nations, Islamabad, Vol. 12, No. 13, 24 June 2008, p.1.

German Fine Arts 15 – Early History of New Media Art

German Fine Arts 15 – Early History of New Media Art

Edit Event
Type: Film
Time: 05:00 PM
Venue: Goethe-Institute
Fee: Free!

You are welcome to join our sessions on German Fine Arts. This programme series is a collaboration of the Goethe-Institut Pakistan and the International Association of Art Critics (AICA).

We show documentaries on chosen topics followed by a discussion of art experts.

German Fine Arts 15: Early History of New Media Art

The Internet is springing up everywhere. As a metaphor for a new era, a new society, a new world. A film on the early history of new media will be followed by a presentation by the new media artists Mahera Omar and Syed Ali Nasir and a discussion on the emergence of new media in Pakistan.

All interested people are cordially invited.


Department of Theatre/NCA Rawalpindi Campus

announces admissions in:
A range of theatre courses, of different lengths with the highest profile of theatre practitioners.

Professional Diploma in Playwriting (March- December 2008)
Classes are held 1 week each month, focusing on the craft of writing for theatre leading to development of full length original plays.

Faculty: Claire Pamment (Cambridge University/Goldsmiths) Qasim Riza Shaheen (Manchester University) Farooq Qaiser, Sajjad Haider and Sarmad Sehbai


Dance and Movement (24 March – 11 Arpil) with Qasim Riza Shaheen, Indu Mitha and Fauzia Mehmood

Theatre, Sound and Music (14 April – 4 May) with Fazal Jatt and Rustam Ali KhanProduction Skills (12 May – 29 May) with Shah Sharabeel, Tariq Ameen and Farooq Qaiser
Acting (2 June – 20 June) with Claire Pamment, Rehan Sheikh, Sohail Ahmed and Salman Shahid

Maskhara (2 June – 11 July). A physical theatre making workshop led by Claire Pamment, Sohail Ahmed, Indu Mitha and Qasim Riza Shaheen


For further information
The Department of Theatre, NCA, Liaqat Hall, Murree Road, Rawalpindi
Tel: 051 555 6838 (-118), ncatheatre@gmail.com,

Tina Sani Live

Tina Sani Live
Time: 08:30 PM
Venue: Alliance Francaise
Fee: 500 Rupees

Sampurna (www.sampurna.sdnpk.org) is organizing a mehfil-e-ghazal with celebrated ghazal singer Tina Sani on 05 Jan 2008 at Alliance Francaise Karachi. Cards priced at Rs. 500/- each are available at Aghas Clifton and at Alliance Francaise. For information, please contact Mrs Saffia Beyg at 5850031 / 0301-2226050 for any further information.

Time: 09:00 PM
Venue: A.R. Faridi Art Gallery

A night dedicated to the young Pakistani musicians and the remarkable growth in Pakistan Music Industry. Musicians from different genre will be jamming songs of their respective genres.

Guests include ‘Sajid and Zeeshan’ , ‘Call the Band’ and The CHP and CHS team members from England.

Organized by CHP. Contact asher.86@hotmail.com for invitations and more information.

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IBTIDA Launch Show – Yasir Jawed
Time: 07:00 PM
Venue: Other

IBTIDA Launch Show
Yasir Jawed
Live and Exclusive
March 22, 2008
Bahria Auditorium, Karachi

For more details, please contact
AQ 0322 – 239 – 6181

Featured Artist – Arieb Azhar

A kaleidoscope. The tiny, claustrophobic streets of Mochi darwaaza ka mohalla in Lahore. Haunting, amused faces. A spiritual song woven around a Sufi poem. This was the music video for “Husn-e-Haqiqi (Beauty of truth)”, Arieb’s first single, released just a few months ago. Done in a ‘kaleidoscope’ effect (where two different pictures/scenes merge into one), the video depicted images moving and merging, dissolving and fading at a pace that matched the cadence of the song.

The result is absorbing.

While the video was done on a tight budget, its simplistic uniqueness was best suited for this melodic, chanting-like number. While it borders on the plain, at the same time, it is a visual mind-trip.
Arieb Azhar’s story as a musician is a fascinating one.

Music, documentary film : Arieb Azhar


Name : Arieb Azhar

City : Islamabad

Age : 36

Field : Music, documentary film


Email : ariebazhar@gmail.com

Cell :

Website : under construction

Current Motto : Live so as not to die, laugh so as not to cry, focus on the light so as not to be engulfed by darkness

About you:
My mother tells me that when I was born I cried for three days – so I started developing my vocal chords early! All that I’ve done since then is put it in tune! I was always into folk music from all over the world, and when I went to Zagreb at the age of 19, I had the opportunity of playing along with Balkan, Bolivian and Irish musicians as well. There we also recorded a couple of albums of Irish Music under the band name of, “The Shamrock Rovers”. After 13 beautiful years in Croatia I decided that I needed more exposure in the ‘spirit’ of Pakistani folk music before I could actually feel good about creating my own music relevant Pakistan, and so 4 years ago I shifted back here.

About your work and vision
For the last 4 years I’ve been involved in advancing my vocal style, writing and composing music, which would touch the hearts of the people, and trying to support other artists who are trying to make a positive change in their environment. 2 years ago my first album in Pakistan came out under the name of, ‘Wajj’. Now I am in the process of recording some tracks for my second album. Last year I also produced and hosted a 13 episode music-travel documentary series in Bosnia and Croatia, which will be launched on Aag TV sometime this month. The film is called, ‘Salaam Balkan – A Musical Diary of Bosnia and Croatia’, and explores the diverse and rich music scene of that region of the Balkans. As time goes by I feel I need to involve myself more in promoting and creating music that uplifts the hearts of people and creates a ‘state’ of joyful expression and acceptance for all the diverse colours of this world. If I was to label myself as anything, I suppose it would be as a ‘humanist’.

Current projects/activities:
I am currently involved in the process of recording, composing and writing material for my second album. Besides some old ‘humanist’ poetry, which people call ‘Sufi’, it will also include some contemporary relevant poetry as well as some of my own verses. For this project I am working closely with my friends in Lahore who share the same vision but who have had different musical backgrounds – which should all come into the music. I am also putting together a project with some friends for another documentary series which will include more travel, music and good times!

About Lahore or Pakistani culture:
The urban culture of Pakistan (confined mainly to Lahore, Islamabad and Karachi) is still in a process of development. The soil of this part of the world has produced such geniuses in poetry, music and art, whose works have had an impact on all of humanity. It would seem a simple task to grow on such strong and deep roots, but on another level the tunnel vision of prejudiced religion, and selfish, greed based politics has been growing like a cancer for the last several years and is trying to drown out the ‘humanist’ way in all fields of life. If the attitudes of people make up a ‘culture’ then I suppose Pakistani culture is in a state of war!

Work Samples:

Albums in Pakistan: ‘Wajj’ – Arieb Azhar

Albums in Croatia: From a Spark to a Flame’, and ‘As I Roved Out’ – The Shamrock Rovers

Documentary series, ‘Salaam Balkan – A musical Journey through Bosnia and Croatia’, to be aired on Aag TV from this month.
Next Events:
‘The Friday the 13th Jam’ in Lahore on 13th June, and the ‘Sweet Leaf City Jam’ in Islamabad in 14th June

Media releases:
Documentary series, ‘Salaam Balkan – A musical Journey through Bosnia and Croatia’, to be aired on Aag TV from this month.

Since when are you in the music/art scene?
Since I was born I started expressing myself! And I’ve been singing for as long as I can remember. Early on I discovered I had a strong voice and got attention when I sang. So the process of ‘what should I sing?’ started pretty early.

Why did you choose being an artist as your profession?
I cannot imagine myself doing a job just for the sake of earning a salary. I believe in ‘work’ not ‘job’. I thought that if I gave enough attention and love to my music, it would take care of all my needs.

What do you think should be done to improve the situation of artists in Pakistan?
I think first of all music should be promoted on all levels of society. In a conservative society the only music that flourishes, ironically, is ‘Mujra/Pop’ music! The producers and financiers of this country should cater to the common people, not just to an elite target niche of consumers. The intention of promoting music should be, to ‘commune’ with the hearts of people, not to create consumers. All indigenous music and cultures should be especially promoted and encouraged. Diversity should be encouraged. There is no shortage of brilliant musicians in Pakistan but most of them are forced to work as background session musicians for third rate pop artists! An honest musician should be seen as a god!

With which artists have you been working together/jamming?
The list is endless! But the people I am currently working together with are: Akmal Qadri – flute, Shah Jahan – guitars/sound producer, Basim – bass, Shani – guitars, Mitthu Sain – dholl, Zohaib Hassan – sarangi.

What would you express with?

Sa_____________ The Earth or Gaya/Foundation/Origin

Re_____________ The Moon and Lesser Planets

Ga_____________ The Stars/Fire

Ma_____________ The Waters

Pa_____________ The Human Being

Dha_____________ The Explosion of the Heart

Ni_____________ The Longing/Reaching/Journey/Quest
Do the following colors have some meaning for you?

Black – Rest/Peace

White – Potential

Red – Passion

Yellow – Otherness

Green – Growth

Blue – Expanse/Freshness

Turquoise – Clarity

Lemon – Coolness

Brown – Earth

Violet – Protection

Orange – Lightness

What do you think about the Pakistani food scene?
I think it’s beautiful. Wouldn’t mind a bit more vegetarian variety though.

Which kind of events do you attend?
Any events which friends have organized, or are participating in, or have especially recommended, or might be interested in.

Do people need art and music if yes why?
Art is the expression of life. According to the metaphor, ‘God created Man in his own image, or vice versa if you please”, it is an expression of humanity.

What are your upcoming projects?
Second album in Pakistan and another documentary series whose concept we are in the process of preparing.

What kind of music do you like?
Mostly folk music with a modern, funky twist or ‘Ethno music’ from the Subcontinent, the Balkans, Africa, Ireland, Latin America etc. Also classic Rock, Bluegrass, some Classical. Amongst more modern music I like some electronic-punk-fusion like ‘Manu Cao’.

Who is your inspiration?
Tan Sen, Bach, Pathaney Khan, Abida Parween, Razziudin Qawwal, Shiv Kumar Sharma, Goran Bregovic, Christy Moore, Luke Kelly, Saban Bajramovic, Seiku Keita, Manu Cao, Vilayat Khan…

What is your message?
Love and let love!

Come On Karachi

Come On Karach! You can’t be lagging that far in events next to Lahore! You guys are twice as big! Someone needs to do some serious event hunting!
well. i think the karachi team you’ve put together needs to woken up or regrouped. cause even lahore danka didnt grow manifold overnight. they had a good team in place.
maybe Karachi is just not that happening as is Lahore…
tch tch.. Mr. Frank Sinatra.. i think karachites are too busy attending events and less involved in uploading them..but sure if it makes you happy… sure karachi isnt as happening.. pat pat..feel better?
come on, dont tell me its so hard to update. somany people in karachi are commenting, obviously many are using the site actively. you should also be able to post these events that you so activey attend
YES Kamran, I concur completely. People such as “ME” who are so busy attending events, but can’t spare a minute to inform others…thats the mentality were trying to change… tsk tsk.. Ufh
ha ha ha .. i can see you’re enjoying this Frank/Tony/Karman .. but seriously what are your partners for Danka Karachi doing? how about some accountability? They can at least upload the many movies showing in karachi cinemas. all they need to do is look at a newspaper.

Where are my comments? Swallowed by your server or censored by your team?
hehe… Hey Rabia, yes sometimes the server does hiccup and things go down the wrong pipe, and occasionally, we do edit/remove comments, but only for really egregious reasons… otherwise, post it up again!
and where is ramzan??? its goooone guys. wake up!!
Khi has better things to do right now than to go for culture – we should put our efforts in security and democracy
hahaha… I think “fighter” has hit on an interesting point. “Fighter” should also stop going to his job or school and really focus on his -pro-democracy and security issues, and leave culture for others. However, I don’t think he/she will do that. I believe that cultural awareness is intertwined with the basic concepts of peace, democracy, and tolerance… its really as simple as that.

I think this should be taken seriously , I always use to visit Danka to check new events… but rightnow as i see {current Situation} half of them are (on board) are posted by me… :'( [No offense to anyone please, sorry if i have become] Please guys share the Events with each other… Regards
Thanks very much to TESS for submitting all the movie info. Thats the spirit we need! :)
Is any one here interested in football? The Pakistan Premier League matches are currently being played in Karachi. I live in USA, otherwise I would have gone to watch the matches, but can someone go to the matches and post some pics and videos for Pakistani football fans living outside the country? The matches are being played at People’s Stadium, KMC Stadium, and Sharafi Goth Stadium until about the end of December. Then the matches will shift to Lahore, and I am sure the Lahoris will go to watch the matches. Use this link to see the schedule: http://pff.com.pk/Draws%20PPL2007.htm

There are many events in Khi, but we can see less on Danka site, now Danka is publishing newsletter every week, this is Good sign. We are Theater Company in Karachi and belongs from Napa (National Academy of Performing Arts) and Did many Theater and Dance events in Khi, Lahore and Islamabad. we will have Many theater from Jan 2008 to March 2008. I belive, karachiets will appreciate. Thespianz Theater http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thespianz_Theater

Dear Thespianz Theatre – I am sure that Karachi has a very lively scene and we hope that you will use the Danka platform to announce your events. We have to work together to announce events and tell other people about Danka – the more people use it, the more events we announce, and the more orgnaziers put events, – the more people come to events and our culture will improve… All the best and eid mubarak