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YouTube extends music streaming service to Europe

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PARIS: YouTube extended its music streaming service to Europe Monday a month after it launched in North America and parts of Asia.

YouTube Music will offer Europeans millions of songs and videos advertising-free for a subscription of 9.99 euros a month — 11 per cent more expensive than its US version. An existing free version of the standalone service with ads will continue with “a reimagined mobile app and brand new desktop player”, it said.

The Google-owned giant said it would have “thousands of playlists… millions of songs, albums and artist radio” – a tool than allows listeners to build radio lists around a singer or band. The new service is an attempt by the Californian digital empire to combat its fast-growing rivals like Spotify, Apple Music and Deezer.

Google boasts that 1.3 billion internet users already listen to music via YouTube, but it wants a bigger slice of the paid-for music market. The music industry lobby group, the IFPI, said that 176 million people around the world paid to stream music in 2017, the majority on Sweden-based Spotify, which has 75 million paying subscribers.

YouTube has faced criticism from the music industry for abusing its position, with the IFPI saying that it only pays $1 a year per user in royalties to artists while Spotify pays $20.

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Chalte Chalte remix controversy: Who should be criticized?

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MUMBAI: It is not wrong to claim that Bollywood movies lack romance if Pakistani crooner Atif Aslam does not lend his sensational voice. His tracks Paanion Sa, Dekhte Dekhte and just released Tera Hua have become the chartbusters.

Whereas, on the other hand, the trend of remixing old songs is taking B-town into storms, which disturbs many veteran singers.

Lately, Aslam has sung a classic hit entitled Chalte Chalte for Mitron, upon which he is being panned by legendary Lata Mangeshkar, the singer of the original version, reported sources.

In this context, a source quoted Lata as saying, “I don’t want to hear it. This trend of remixing old songs saddens me. Where is the creativity in simply lifting acknowledged, beloved classics and shuffling the notes around?”

“I’ve even heard that the lyrics are changed in the remixes. By whose consent? The original poets and composers wrote what they had to. Nobody has the right to tamper with the creativity of these great composers and lyricists.”

Indian singer and politician Babul Supriyo, who has been criticizing Pakistani artists for quite some time, also went ahead to lament, “Today, even the poetic term ‘artistic liberty’ is at the verge of extinction. With due respect to Atif Aslam, as a singer myself, I will observe a two-minute silence to mourn rather than offer a comment.”

Whereas, singer Alka Yagnik whose song Dilbar Dilbar was remixed in Satyameva Jayate is of the view, “Why don’t they make a new song into a hit, instead of picking up an already super hit song, distorting it, and releasing it again. And then they say that it’s become so popular.”

“While it is okay that this is happening with my songs but it is unbelievable  that the younger crop of musicians has the audacity to remix Lata’s songs.”

1972 Bollywood classic Pakeezah featured Chalte Chalte, which was being picturized on the tragedy queen Meena Kumari. As a matter of fact, people love to hum this song to this day.

On the other hand, fans of Atif, while eulogizing the singer, keep on sharing their takes on the criticism.

“Lata is Lata and Atif is Atif, just because someone was great singer once, it shouldn’t mean no one should attempt to sing their song, I don’t understand why people just not enjoy the music without criticizing others.”

“O m g.. he is great.. but why Lata Mangeshkar Ji got angry or upset with him….. Don’t know… Both old and new versions are magical.”

It is pertinent to mention here that when it comes to take consent for using anyone’s songs, filmmakers are supposed to do so. Thus, in actuality, filmmakers, composers and lyricists are the ones who are supposed to be slammed for remixing a classic hit and not the singer.

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Italian Quartet Mesmerizes Karachiites at NAPA (Text and Video)

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KARACHI: National Academy of Performing Arts’ Zia Mohyeddin Theatre was the venue where Italian Quartet led by songwriter/vocalist Francesca Incudine enthralled Karachiites with Sicilian music. 

Addressing the ladies and gentlemen in the audience  Consul General of Italy Anna Ruffino told that she had first heard Francesca singing in Madrid: “I listened to her till the end. Then I asked for her name and noted that in my mobile. When I was posted to Karachi I was thinking of inviting interesting people from home to perform here together with Pakistani artists. I talked to Francesca who immediately accepted. She is also a songwriter, so all the songs that you are going to listen to tonight are original. I am sure you will enjoy the music.”

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Terming the experience of performing with musicians here as extraordinary, Francesca told that was her first visit to Pakistan.

Francesca, who had joined the NAPA choir to croon Pakistani patriotic song Hum Zinda Qaum Hain had rehearsed with students. Reckoning Sicilian and Pakistani music as similar she held: “Urdu is so difficult but I love the sound of words…Music is a universal language really.” 

Speaking about the traditional Sicilian instruments, members of the Quartet used, she told that Tamburello was mostly played by women in Sicily; Sheepskin bagpipes were somewhat similar to the ones used in Scotland. 

Appreciating the audience’s enthusiasm here she told that (as songwriter) her music was about life, power of love and feeling. She found Karachi a very warm and hospitable city. Comparing the Metropolis with Sicily, Francesca mused: “I come from Sicily! There is not only the Mafia but also beauty which is also present in Karachi”!

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Interestingly Italian and Pakistani instrumentalists immaculately presented the famous Sindhi folkloric strain Rahi wanj raat Bhambore mein.

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Atif rubbishes rumors of singing Indian song at NY Parade!

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KARACHI: The news claiming that Pakistani singing sensation Atif Aslam sang a Bollywood song at the Pakistan Independence Day Parade in New York takes social media by storm.

Due to which, numerous users started panning Atif for doing so. Terming those as bogus rumors, Aslam stressed that was fake propaganda against him.

While rubbishing the speculations, the singer took to social media and wrote, “Simply love my haters. The green flag is my identity.”

Appreciating his fans for their love and support, the singer further went on to say, “I am happy and proud that my fans know how to respond to fake propaganda.”

Talking about the people of Naya Pakistan, Aslam muses, “In Naya Pakistan, people learn to respect those who have made the country proud world over”.

On the other hand, his fellow singer Shafqat Amanat Ali also went ahead for defending Aslam and took to Twitter, “I stand in support with Atif Aslam for singing his songs at the parade.”

“Music is not Indian or Pakistani. It is just music! Singers are synonymous with their songs which are loved equally by fans from every country. Should have briefed him if they wanted national songs.”

It is pertinent to mention here that Atif rules millions heart not only in his country but all around the world because of his magical voice. He sings a number of Bollywood songs such as Pehli Nazar Mai, Dil Dia Gallan, Selfish and Pehli Dafa to name the few, which went to the top of the chart. As a matter of fact, it is not wrong to say that the romance is incomplete sans his ecstatic voice!

A piece published earlier:  Pakistani singer Atif Aslam’s management team has said that the singer’s new music video will be released all over the world, including India. “The video is releasing all over the world, including India, as far as we know,” Aslam’s assistant Usman said, denying Indian media reports which claimed that Pakistani singer’s latest music video will not be released in India following escalating tensions between the two countries. The 33-year-old shot a single with Bollywood and Tamil actress Ileana D’Cruz in Turkey which was set to be produced by T-Series. However, the producers are not sure whether to release the single or not. (Published on 8th November 2016).

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