|Saeen ka US trip bhi saaen: Ali Gul Pir’s first tour abroad|
22 October 2012
Following the success of his satirical track “Waderai Ka Beta”, Ali Gul Pir left imprints of the infamous word “saeen” on the minds and tongues of his audience — most would agree that he came, he saw and he conquered.
Speculating his audience would enjoy a revamped version of the original track, Pir collaborated with a much-loved personality Wasim Akram to cater to the cricket fever during the T20 World Cup 2012. In conversation with The Express Tribune, he elaborates on his current plans — an upcoming music video and his first international tour.
“The next video is something that every citizen of our country has encountered at some point but not everyone speaks about it or makes a song on it,” he said about his upcoming music video. “And most importantly it doesn’t feature the Orange Hummer.” He did hint however, that some elements from “Waderai Ka Beta” — lyrics, signature style — would be present in his new video, but refused to give the whole scoop.
Knowing how well the audience related to “Waderai Ka Beta”, Pir joined hands with Wasim Akram to give his fans an even edgier version of the track to address the growing cricket fever. “Wasim bhai is a very cool guy and a great rapper as well; he might disagree but it’s true,” said Pir. “Imagine — from a reverse swing to some rap swag!” He then added he had a great time with the cricketer, saying: “He told me West Indies had a good chance of winning the world cup and they actually won.”
The world cup fever may have ended but it is not the end of the road for our saeen, who is all set for a US tour funded entirely by the US state department. “I am really excited and hope to make Pakistan proud as I am the first Pakistani comedian to be invited by the US government to perform in several cities,” he said, adding that the tour is called the Center Stage Tour — the same tour through which Noori, Zeb and Haniya and Arieb Azhar went to the US earlier this year. Surprisingly, this tour is not a result of the ‘saeen fame’ as Pir revealed he had applied for this almost a year ago and got accepted a few months prior to the release of “Waderai Ka Beta”.
The recent ban on YouTube, on the other hand, has created a huge hindrance for independent artists who release their music online — specifically in the current circumstances where record labels are close to nonexistent — and this includes Pir. However, he remains optimistic: “Yes, the ban hurts me. But when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade — therefore I’m trying my best to make some lemonade and work around the ban in order to continue doing my work.” Although other video-hosting websites are available, Pir feels they aren’t as effective; performing live shows however, has helped him.
Osman Khalid Butt is another artist who also received fame by posting videos online and consequently attracted a lot of attention from various TV producers — currently cast in a drama called “Cinderella”. When asked whether Pir would follow in the same footsteps, he laughed and said, “I hope not! I can never act in serious dramas. I already have enough drama in my own life.”
“My listeners are escapists — I want to make them forget their troubles,” he added. “I love it when I make people laugh, specifically the elderly because their laughs are so much more genuine and heartwarming.”
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