Mumbai: It's been six months since the terror attacks in Mumbai but CDs of legends like Abida Parveen and Ghulam Ali are still not back on display in the city's music stores, though they can be bought on demand.
Pakistani musicians are not allowed to do public performances and are not getting visas to travel to India for recordings. It's a difficult scenario for Pakistani artistes whose major work happens in India.
Last month, music director Pritam e-mailed three compositions to singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan who then recorded them in Pakistan and e-mailed it back to the music director. "It's tough working out a long distance recording. Rahat would be on conference call sometimes at 4am in the morning. He shares such a great relationship with Indian music directors like Pritam that he gives preference to these recordings. There's lots of love and respect," says Raja Umair Hussain, Khan's business manager from Pakistan.
Pritam, who has also been working with Atif Aslam (Atif has a contract with Tips), says that they have no choice but to work their way around the problems. "I am flying to Dubai next week to record two songs with Atif for a forthcoming film. Since he won't get a visa to India and I won't get a visa to Pakistan, we will fly to down to Dubai and record there," says Pritam.
Mitwa-fame singer Shafqat Amanat Ali is doing some Bollywood projects including Mukesh Bhatt's next. He also came out with an album with Music Today called Tabeer but he can't do live shows any more. "We have been asked to stay away from public performances in India," says Shafqat. The record label is keen on doing another album after Tabeer but if that works out the singer will record the songs in Pakistan as that's the most convenient option.
Shafqat feels sad that one of the first communities to be hit due to political tensions has been the music artistes. "The ban on artistes will not do any good. Most of our work is on hold. The artist community has been the first and the worst to be hit," he says.