Fire Records & Coke Studio reject Aunty Disco Project

February 17, 2009

Fire Records & Coke Studio reject Aunty Disco Project

Aunty Disco Project

Aunty Disco Project

It’s amazing how the incredible highs of performing live come together with the incredible lows of… well everything else. While we were still riding high on the success of our Peeru’s show, we got hit by some pretty disappointing news. Now we’ve been through a lot of shit in the last 2 years but the following bits of news really hit me hard personally.

Fire Records rejects us for a record deal.

Yeah I know. For the less acquainted among you, Fire Records is pretty much the only so called record label in Pakistan. There used to be a few a couple of years ago but none of them could make their financial models work. Fire Records comes under the Geo network, so they still get support from the other branches of the corporation.

Anyway, they heard our demos, which included “Sultanat”, “Nazar”, “Shehar key Aansoo”, “Likhta Nahin Mein” and a couple of our rough live recordings and their ‘committee’ decided that they weren’t good enough. But I did get a call from one of the record executives, Mr. K who is pretty well known in the industry, and he was kind enough to personally tell me what happened and how he really believed in the band and doesn’t think we should give up. He felt that the quality of the demos wasn’t up to standard and that we need to record properly, with a better producer and if we do that we could potentially be the next big thing blah blah blah.

It’s fair criticism. It’s been a constant source of frustration for me that our studio recordings are nothing compared to our live performances and we have yet to prove ourselves as a band whose music people want to buy. Sure we can put on a killer show but we need to have a great product to back it up. The recordings of “Sultanat” and “Nazar” were done two years ago, and we produced it ourselves, on a shoestring budget. Obviously the results were less than perfect, but I’m proud of what we were able to do with the limitations we had.

The part that really gets me is that record labels aren’t doing what they are supposed to. In most countries, labels will hear a demo, then they will give the artist an advance on future royalties to record the album with a proper producer. The labels invest in the product. Over here, you are supposed to come to the labels with an already finished product, ready to sell. If you’re lucky they’ll pay you a lump sum and distribute the album as it is, and pay for one of your videos. Most of the time, they will just pay for your video. So how is a new band supposed to get enough money to record a ‘demo’ in a proper recording studio that charges by the minute and a producer who charges Rs. 50,000 per song? No wonder bands don’t work on albums, its just economically more feasible for them to record one song and put out a video and hope to get famous without any long term plan or artistic expression.

Anyway, long story short, we’re slowly raising enough money to go into the studio again. I’m currently playing guitar for hire for a couple of artists for free in exchange for studio time so it’s only a matter of time before we come out with brand new songs. I take comfort in the fact that we’ve got this far without a record deal or any kind of outside support. But at the same time, to put things in perspective, Fire Records managed to release Dino. Yep. Dino has an album out. But ADP doesnt.

We didn’t make it to Coke Studio Part 2:

I know this was a bit of a stretch. I know we’re not a huge name and Rohail Hyatt hasn’t heard a single ADP song. But he has heard Yasir play darbuka and for awhile I was pretty confident that even if ADP as a band wouldn’t be featured on the show, at least Yasir would get in as a percussionist. No such luck. We lobbied for months talking to everyone we knew to try to get us at least some sort of audition. It is so frustrating because I know if they saw us perform once, they would have us on the show. But we’ve had three shows now where Rohail Hyatt showed up too late to see us. Anyway, I tried, it didn’t work, good luck to the people who are part of it this year. I’m especially happy to see Zeb and Haniya be a part of it, because those gals truly deserve it. Although I’ll admit when Haniya told me, and I had an absolutely black feeling in my gut, torn between being happy for them and being completely sunk at our exclusion. I’m just tired of constantly trying to get my foot in the door. I feel especially awful about this one because I raised the band’s expectations by telling them I could make it happen.

Anyway, time to re-group, re-plan and return….

Source: The A.D.P Diaries