They sat next to each other, one uncomfortable with the new found fame, the other overjoyed. Ali Gul Pir and Ali Aftab were two young men whose music videos went viral on social media within hours of their release.
In a session titled ‘All the world’s a stage; The Rise of Viral Video’, moderated by Nadeem F Paracha, the two youngsters had the audience in fits of laughter. For Ali Gul, success smelt sweet when he heard his song, ‘Waderay Ka Beta’ blaring out of a four-wheel drive car parked outside an upscale restaurant in the city. “I realised that the message had reached its market.”
He chose the social media as his modus operandi because media houses refused to air the song. “There were issues of policies and restrictions in the bureaucratic structure. Internet was the only medium without barriers.”
The song, he said, started with a sketch that began to rhyme, and within two hours, the lyrics were ready.
Pir had his research ready before releasing the video. “I discovered it was around one in the morning that traffic on the internet was at its highest. So I chose that time to upload the video.”
Pir is a Sindhi, yet he chose a Wadera as the theme for his song. Not because he had anything against Sindhis, but the particular mindset, “And the mindset exists in every ethnicity.”
He loves Sindh for their Sufi roots. “We belong to the land of Lal Shahbaz Qalander and that is why you never see an Osama bin Chandio.”
Ali Gul said he had a simple recipe for getting noticed on the social. “Part of it is being true to who you are. You’re not getting money anyway.”
Ali Aftab, of ‘Alu-Anday’ fame, was ready for a “Ramazan ka Tuhfa” for his followers. He will shoot his new video on July 18 and upload it a few days later. But he is very secretive about the topic.
“Are you scared someone will stop the song from coming to Youtube?” asked Nadeem F Paracha.
“Who can stop Youtube? I’m scared someone might stop me,” he answered to an audience roaring with laughter.