I finally launched project MoUSICi with the finest music composer Arshad Mahmud. We are targeting to revive the music industry through creation of fresh and quality content.

The following is the article by Dawn on the launch of the portal:

KARACHI: A web-based music portal called MoUSICi was launched at the Arts Council on Friday evening. The idea is the brainchild of renowned music composer Arshad Mahmud.

Talking to the media about the genesis of the project, Mr Mahmud said for a long time he and some of his friends had a feeling that the kind of fervour and enthusiasm (gahma gahmi) that was once associated with the field of music was lacking. He said when he was 22 years old he began composing music at Pakistan television for different programmes. He said he did that for six years and every week he had to compose three to four tunes. But, he said, such opportunities were available in the country for people like him. At the time, he recalled, he and singer Nayyara Noor used to look for places to rehearse but would invariably find the rehearsal rooms occupied by luminaries such as Khalil Ahmed or Master Manzoor, composing or teaching music. He said all week round, five to six composers would be creating music and all that material was being heard and enjoyed to date.

Mr Mahmud said he thought that today the youth of the country did not have similar opportunities. To tackle the problem, he said, he had this idea in mind which he discussed with his friend Nafees Ahmed (sitar player).

Referring to the two young men Hassan Mahmud (his son) and Talha Ghafoor sitting on his either side at the press conference, he said the youngsters extended their support for the project and came up with the web-based portal. He said now he and his team would be able to help showcase the work of young musicians.

Describing the concept in a nutshell, he said: “It is to invest in the youth which has passion for music.” He said the portal would cater to all aspects of music business, including creativity and finances. He said users and fans could also connect with music through it.

Hassan Mahmud said the website covered 360 degrees in terms of music-related subjects. Giving examples, he said there were features such as music creation, sales and purchase, fan club and mentoring. He said the purpose was to connect people, and if a musician had an issue that he’s not getting work, he could also register himself on the website and he would be supported.

Talha Ghafoor gave a detailed presentation of the website. He talked about music store, new musical content, music production, project management systems, music downloads and a music magazine.

Answering a question after the presentation, Arshad Mahmud said there was no Indian content on the website because the aim was to promote and project Pakistani artists. Replying to a query about old music, he said negotiations with EMI were going on to link and download such material. He said he didn’t know whether the project would succeed, but claimed he enjoyed making an effort for it. He said he’d consider it his success if it reached the lowest common denominator in society.

Published in Dawn, September 17th, 2016