Pakistani Showbiz

Not so rich anymore

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KARACHI: “Kaafi drama hogaya hai,” was an excerpt from the Facebook post that followed the release of indie band Poor Rich Boy’s (PRB) latest single Party People. This was partly true as a lot of drama did happen on the band’s Facebook page after the respective news about their disbanding, reunion and latest single was posted within the space of a few hours.

Earlier on Thursday band member Danish ‘Danny’ Khawaja posted a lengthy note pointing at his and Shehzad Noor’s (vocalist) departure from the Lahore-based group. He expressed resentment at being asked to leave a band he had helped start, which, coupled with Noor’s decision to quit, left a cloud of uncertainty over the band’s future.

To address the rumours pertaining to the band’s breakup, producer-cum-founding member, Zain Ahsan wrote an exclusive note to The Express Tribune telling how the band had not disbanded. “PRB is as alive as it was” and will continue making music “even as it evolves”.

According to Ahsan, the band had always functioned with a flexible lineup throughout their seven years as a group with Umer Khan, Shehzad Noor and himself being the core members.

Shehzad Noor and myself, being the founding members, have remained constant since the start till Umer Khan aka Duck joined us a few years ago. Shortly thereafter, Danish Khawaja joined the band upon my invitation as a guitar player,” told Ahsan.

Having recently performed at the South By South West (SXSW) music festival no one saw the break-up coming, not even Danny.

Describing the scene of his ouster from the group he wrote, “It was made clear to me by Zain that on top of all our ‘creative differences’ it was because of my attitude and lack of contribution to the band which drove them [him] to this point. He wished it didn’t have to be this way and wanted to make it clear that it wasn’t personal.”

On the other hand, Ahsan reiterated that there was no bad blood whatsoever between the former band-mates and he wished both of them all the very best in their future endeavours.

“Shehzad and Danish are both extremely talented musicians. They have both often expressed the desire to explore their artistic potential in ways other than as contributing members in this band. This is perfectly natural and a hopeful sign for the music scene in our city,” wrote the producer of PRB.However, Zain said that for the music scene to evolve it was important that both of them continued making music.

As far as the news of the reunion is concerned, Zain clarified that many people had been asking them about the possibility of a performance sometime this week but that is not going to happen in the foreseeable future. The rumour of a reunion concert had actually been spread by a satirical Facebook page, which Zain feels is reflective of how fans of the group were concerned after hearing the sad news.“We feel moved by the fact that people care about how we play as a band and it is understandable that fans are concerned. Will we all come back to play together? Who knows! But we will continue to be friends as we always have been.”

But for now the band’s sole focus is geared towards releasing their first full length record, We Are Your Friends.  Despite repeated attempts, Shehzad Noor was not available to comment on the matter.


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