Presented by British model and television presenter Gulzaeb Beg Ali, Pakistan: Ready to Rise was a one-of-a-kind event bringing together a diverse range of sounds, genres and performers on the same stage to celebrate the pride and passion that characterize what it means to be Pakistani!
The event, organized by Azme Alishan, provided a rare opportunity for audiences in London to experience the creative energy coming out of a country where two thirds of the population of 180 million is under 30 years of age. Bringing together underground scenes in the UK and Pakistan, the audience was treated to an evening of rap, punk-rock, electro dubstep, grime and Burban artists. East London local boy Shizzio served up a mixture of hits and invited Brixton’s king of grime Big Narstie on stage to perform alongside him.
Another East London crew, the Pure Music Generals, took to the stage and whipped the crowd up with a high-energy performance laying their hard percussive live drum beats over grime production. Flying to the UK, straight after wrapping up the recording for his debut hip hop album, was Islamabad-based rapper Adil Omar.
A student of B-Real from Cypress Hill, Omar has also worked with the likes of Everlast, Xzibit, Kool G Rap and House of Pain. He was joined on-stage by Karachi-based electronica and dub-step producer Talal Qureshi. The crowd went wild when both performed Omar’s hit “Paki Rambo.” The high-tempo energy was maintained by four-man Bumbu Sauce who brought a glint of Punjabi irreverence to the home of punk rock with their hits “Jiggernaut” and “Mojambo”.
The night also saw a special performance by international sell-out artist Aziz, playing what he describes as ‘Asian Blues’ accompanied by Dalbir Singh Rattan on the tabla drums. The show closed with Talal Qureshi playing smooth dub-step beats overlaid with traditional South Asian riffs dispelling the notion that Pakistanis are in anyway predictable. Were at the event, let us know what you thought!