When Texas was OVERLOAD(ed)

The South by Southwest (SXSW) Conferences and Festivals celebrated its 30th anniversary in Texas, the US and Pakistani musicians were part of it. The SXSW is held every March in Austin, Texas and offers the unique convergence of original music, independent films, and emerging technologies. The 2016 event was inaugurated by President Barak Obama on March 11. The event stretched over 10 days, boasted a roster of 3,000 music performances, film screenings and seminars. Luminaries of screen and stage, including leading actors such as Jake Gyllenhall, Christian Slater and Don Cheadle, addressed contemporary performance issues. Pakistani musicians who brought the budding Pakistani music scene to Austin were Overload, Adil Omar, Talal Qureshi, Mai Nimani, Imran Aziz Mian Qawwal, Wahid Allan Faqir, and Forever South co-founder Dynoman (Haamid Rahim).
Overload which was invited by an NGO to perform at SXSW made its presence felt with their superb blend of contemporary percussion partnered with traditional rhythms on the ‘dhol’. Talking to Pakistan Today about his experience, Farhad Humayun of Overload said the band was super excited to perform at the music capital of the world, “It was a fantastic platform to present the true contemporary face of Pakistan through music and performance”. Farhad thinks that it is the responsibility of Pakistani artists to change the perception of Pakistan and they did just that at the SXSW. “The vibe was great and we got a lot of attention for being a rock band. The language was not a barrier at all. It was a great learning experience and gave us the assurance that we are a world class act. They now definitely see Pakistan in a different light after speaking to us,” added Farhad. The festival spread out throughout the city’s downtown areas, including the bars, clubs, music venues and hotels. There were talks, interactive sessions and bands playing at the same time day and night. Overload spell bounded the audience with all its songs, especially their drum and instrumental jams. “Just like we get at home, people danced a lot which is what we wanted especially when we played in the streets of Austin”. What Pakistan Today is excited about is the upcoming Overload albums. “In the next couple of months an English and Urdu album will be out,” revelled Farhad. Overload’s first English album would be released in April and a Punjabi song’s video is ready to be released.

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