Page 1

Ms MARCH 17, 2013 ISSUE NO. 39

Shimmer and Shine


Shaadi-wear solutions from Maria Kashif


The girl who rocks: Zoe Viccaji



inside mother superior—

High heels for hot mamas?

domestic goddess —

A little masala in your life



Section In-Charge: Batool Zehra Send your feedback to

Amean’s mysterious charisma



the buzz


Strumming along

Zoe Viccaji Ms.T goes one-on-one with the talented Zoe Viccaji

by Fariha Rashed


uccessful female musicians have been few and far between in Pakistan, but there are a few ladies who are notable for their solid work. Zoe Viccaji is one such artist. In an industry dominated by men, this is one woman who is making her presence felt. From singing in bands and appearing on Coke Studio, to pursuing her solo career full-on, this talented and dynamic artist’s journey seems to be a promising one. In an exclusive interview with The Express Tribune, Zoe discusses how it all began, her experiences along the way and where she stands now as a budding musician.

How has life been since Coke Studio? From what we see on your Facebook page, you’ve been performing back-to-back gigs! It’s been quite eventful actually… no pun intended! I’ve been recording a few songs for films and wrapping up my first album, so doing that along with live shows has been a bit of a juggling act. I’ve always loved performing on stage, and it’s where I’m happiest. I just wish there were more public shows than private ones. Post mid-2013 we have some surprises in store!

You’ve been playing guitar and writing songs since the age of 15. How would you say you’ve matured in your music? I think my style of writing has stayed pretty much the same; the content, of course, has matured but somehow the way I talk about it seems to have carried through. It’s a lovely way of realising that, at a core level, I am the same tomboy who is fascinated by the same things. I feel that my style of singing and voice, however, have developed a lot more. Like an instrument, I have learnt so much more about my expression through exposure and practice. I really enjoy the fact that there is always room to grow.

It seems that almost your entire family, including your brother, mother and sister, are musicians! Tell us about them. They’ve all been involved in music in some way or the other, including my grandmother who sang on radio a few times. Music was a part of my mother’s social life: most of her friends either sang or played an instrument. While growing up, I can remember that every party or beach picnic had someone strumming a guitar and everyone singing along. It was something I grew up with and maybe took for granted for a long time. At the age of fifteen (I think it’s about time I admitted this) I picked up the guitar because my brother showed a keen interest in learning how to play, and I just loved doing everything that he did. He wrote a few songs and had a band (Drift) for a while, and then shifted his focus onto filmmaking, which he’s equally fantastic at. Rachel is a natural born singer; she can hear a song once and then sing along the next time in perfect harmony. It’s really fun performing with her when we do get to go on stage together.


Before becoming a solo artist, you were with quite a few bands, including one called ‘Ganda Bandas’ — was the transition difficult when suddenly it was just you? I don’t remember having to go through any difficult transition. Singing with ‘Ganda Bandas’ and other bands was very different. They had their own sound, and the selection of music was guided by their style, which was fun in its own way. When I went solo, I selected music that I liked, and things that suited my voice. Now when I do live shows, I find myself striking a balance between what I enjoy and what the audience enjoys.



You have also been a part of theatre in the past, musicals to be specific — any chance of doing that again sometime in the future? Do you miss it? I miss it very, very much! I used to really thrive on musical theatre, because it was just the perfect marriage of acting and singing. I’m constantly concocting plans of putting on a musical at some time in the near future, so yes I think I will definitely return to it!

Do you have any official training in music? Do you have a daily vocal training regime you follow? When I was in college I took a semester’s worth of vocal training, and then did a twomonth stint at a music conservatory in New York. I also had an ustaad for a while to become more acquainted with eastern music — no regular official training in music. I would say that most of my training has been experience. While I am doing shows and recordings, I do have a daily vocal regime. It’s a mixture of what I learnt in both the west and in Pakistan.

Tell us about Bichra Yaar featuring Strings — the song and the video. Levi’s first approached me to do a rendition of any song I liked, and I was just in the middle of making an acappella track, so it seemed only natural to do an acappella song for them. I’ve always loved the composition Bichra Yaar, and felt its melody was really strong. Once I had composed and arranged the vocal parts, it’s only then that the director Adnan Malik suggested that we invite Strings to feature in their own song. I don’t think I would have ever imagined it, otherwise. Everything seemed to fall into place quite smoothly. (The video can be viewed via facebook here:

How much of an issue has YouTube’s ban had on you personally, and on other musicians in Pakistan, in your opinion? It hasn’t stopped me from making music or videos, but it has definitely affected the level of distribution for our work, which indirectly harms our determination to keep making videos. Even though most of us have downloaded proxies, it still isn’t the same thing as having an open channel. Also, I used to depend on YouTube for a lot of tutorials, and proxies slow it down so much that I’ve just gone off even trying. I tried starting a dialogue but decided to back off.

Which has been your most favourite live show performance so far, and why? My first solo show in 2011 was nerve-wracking, but still a big occasion for me since it was my first show, and the audience was made up of so many friends. I really love a show when the audience is having fun.

We know what it’s like being in a crowd staring up at a performer at a gig, but how does it feel to be a performer, singing in front of a large crowd of people all staring at you, and listening intently to every word you have sung? How do you as an artist prepare for that? When I first started performing, there would be a noticeable quiver in my voice during the first few songs. With experience I’ve gained a lot more confidence, but I still get nervous before going on stage — there’s no way you can be completely prepared for the audience, because so much of your performance depends on who they are and how they’re responding. That’s half the fun of it all.

So what is Zoe’s daily routine like? How do you keep fit and are you following any specific diet? I’m a bit of a night owl at the moment, but I still aspire to the early-to-bed and early-to-rise routine. I spend quite a bit of time in the studio, and rehearsing for shows these days; and often need to remind myself to take a break. “Diets are too little of a good thing” as Garfield once said — I eat pretty much what I want most of the time, but then I love running and yoga, so that makes up for the eating.

As a female artist in Pakistan, do you feel it is easier to gain support and fame or harder? I don’t think being a male or female has anything to with it. The goal for me isn’t fame as much as it is to make music that is true to myself and to work with good people. I guess the two go hand in hand to a certain extent, but fame should ideally be a byproduct.

Would you call yourself a fashion conscious person? What kind of attire are you most comfortable in, on and off-stage? I’ve only now started to become a little more tuned into what I wear and how I present myself on stage — mostly because of the constant goading of friends who are looking out for me. I like to keep it simple and just be comfortable.

With everything that’s going on in Pakistan at the moment, would you say music factors in as an important outlet for both musicians and those listening? I think it’s one of the most important outlets. It keeps me grounded, and it helps me stay happy, so I can only imagine that it does the same for others.

What plans do you have for the releasing of an album? Do you think you would be going across the border for projects in the future, as many other Pakistani musicians have done? I can’t say much about my plans for the release as it is still underway, but I will say that doing music around the world is in sight. While I want to continue doing most of my work here, avenues for live performances are limited in Pakistan, and I realise that my growth extends beyond geographical borders.

What do we get to see next from you in terms of releases? I’ve been working with the very gifted producer Zohaib Kazi on a new EP, and since we plan to release our work in singles, I see the next piece coming out of the Zoe & Zohaib project. There’s also a song that I’ve been working on with Omran Shafique and Meher Jaffri for the film Seedlings, and I think that will also see the light of day pretty soon.



en vogue


COUTURE CLASSIC Maria Kashif unveils her latest couture collection. The heavily embroidered designs, flared cuts and unique blend of neutral colours are a bewitching sight

Coordination: Umer Mushtaq Hair and Make-up: Saba Ansari @ Sabs Designer: Maria Kashif Photography: Umair Bin Nisar Model: Nadya Hussain





mother superior



Is your toddler finding his way into your bed every night? Tips on how to keep him in his own bed. Also: should you put on those stilettos? How to get your children to move into their own bed. Is your toddler sleeping in your bed because they are scared of the beastly monsters that will haunt them at night? According to the National Sleep Foundation, U.S, over 24% of parents make their children sleep with them. This is mainly because parenting newbies want to enjoy that time cuddling with their infants or want to take the path of least resistance and at least enjoy some sleep if not much. While other parents may not welcome this habit at all, it still persists because a parents’ bedroom is a safe haven for kids especially after the sun sets and those illusions of dark monstrous creatures start creeping in. In order to stop your child from being overly dependent and help you reclaim your bed so that you can spend some quality time with your hubby, ‘Parenting’ suggests some tips that can help your little monster adjust: • Before you implement the change, set the scene gradually. Make your child aware of your expectations for the night, that is, how kids are suppose to sleep in their own bedrooms and parents in their own. also recommends that you make the ‘room-switching’

4 1

an exciting venture for the little one. Let them pick out the bed and personalise it. Making a picture book that focuses on the importance of sleeping in your own room can also be effective. • Once you have made the decision of making your kid go it alone, sleeping needs to end entirely without any five-minute snuggles or water breaks. No matter how many tantrums they throw, remain persistent and make your sleep routine as boring as possible for them. Don’t worry over the few sleep-deprived nights, you will eventually get your precious sleep. • Every time your child wakes you up walk them to the bedroom instead of giving up and making them sleep with you. Motivate them with rewards. Every kid enjoys little prizes so surprise them with a small treat the morning after. Ending a consistent habit like co-sleeping will take more than one tactic to finish off. Don’t assume that your kid will stop sleeping with you overnight. It’s a gradual process and may take up to a few weeks but a few sleepless nights are worth it.

Activities to help your older kid bond with the baby

Older kids like to help around with a newborn baby because it is an exciting new addition to the family and more or less a toy for the older one to play with. Let them experience the fun and help out with baby’s cleaning, brushing and other daily errands.


A family that eats together, stays together. Make them all sit together for dinner and eat. The little one might still have a long way to go before they can give their input on a family discussion but it’s the presence that will actually make the difference and form a habit.

Is it safe to wear heels during pregnancy?


Allow the older one to take charge. Older siblings like to enjoy their status. Make them responsible for helping the little one read and learn.


Take them shopping together. Shopping for their favourite toys and clothes is rewarding for every child. Ask the older one to choose something for the baby or make it an exciting deal for the bigger one when the younger infant points at something they want.

Every woman loves a pair of sexy, killer heels that make her look fabulous but as much you want to make a fashion statement, putting on that pair of stilettos might not be the best idea once that belly starts protruding. Pregnancy is a period of many physical and chemical transformations, from weight gain to hormonal surges. According to Baby Med, hormonal changes during pregnancy cause ligaments to loosen throughout the body, including the area around the legs, ankles and feet. Hence, walking steadily while wearing high heels becomes significantly uncomfortable. Also, as your tummy grows, the centre of gravity of your body shifts forward (i.e. in front of you), making you arch your back. Wearing high heels also makes you arch your back to keep balanced, hence a combination of the two can wreak havoc on your back. High heels also tend to put pressure on the front foot thus making you more susceptible to falling. As if that wasn’t enough, one of the major highlights of the second and third trimester is a condition called oedema: swelling of the ankles and feet — and you don’t want to be wearing strappy sandals when that’s happening. While wearing heels may not be a big deal in the first trimester, in the second and third trimester it entails a serious risk of injury and lasting harm to your back. That doesn’t mean that you should be strolling in flats or flip flops, however– some support for your arch is necessary, and according to Heidi Murkoff, author of What To Expect When You’re Expecting, a two-inch wide heel may be best for your feet. So stop using Kim Kardashian to justify your choice in shoes while you’re pregnant and instead of lusting after heels, treat your feet to some relaxing pedicures!

domestic goddess 7 7 recipe


Chicken Masala Shafia Agha works as a PR consultant and runs a food blog: She loves trying out new recipes. Follow her on GobbleMyWords and @shafiaagha

This ultimate desi chicken masala recipe is simple to cook and rich in flavour. The whole red chilies in the masala add a fiery touch to the gravy for those who love a dose of spices.

ingredients Boneless Chicken (handi cut) ½ kg Cooking Oil 2 tbsp

method • Heat oil in a pan and sauté whole red chilies with ginger and garlic paste. • Add chicken and stir fry for 2-3 minutes. • Mix in all the spices and adjust seasoning according to taste. • Add tomatoes and water and cook till oil separates. • Sprinkle fenugreek leaves and chopped coriander and heat for 2 minutes. • Serve with garlic naan and sliced onions. Preparation time: 10 minute(s) Cooking time: 15 minute(s) Serves 5 people

Ginger and Garlic paste 1 tbsp Whole Red Chilies 10 Tomatoes (sliced in rounds) 2 Water ½ cup Red Chili Powder 1 tsp White Cumin 1 tsp Black Cumin 1 tsp Ground Coriander 1 tsp Black Pepper Powder 1 tsp Dried Fenugreek 1 ½ tsp Chopped Green Coriander 1 tbsp Salt to taste Dry Roast and Grind to Powder:

Whole Cardamom 1 Carom 1 tsp Green Cardamom 2-4 Cloves 5 Cinnamon Stick 1

hottie of the week 8


Status Born

Undisclosed Karachi, Pakistan


22nd July 1974




Who is he?

Amean J.

Dreamy eyes, click! Super sexy tousled hair, Click! Heartbreaking smile, Click! Make way for our desi version of McDreamy, Pakistan’s renowned fashion photographer, Amean J. A graduate of the Academy of Art, San Fransisco, Amean’s deep visualisation and stark images leave a lasting impact on the viewer — we reckon Amean himself makes an even longer-lasting impact! His work on projects like Karachiites and the anti-war video, Khuahish, has left us impressed, and his fashionable beard, urbane demeanour and mysteriously sexy looks make him one silver fox women of all ages are lusting after.





Why he is droolworthy If you think he will melt your hearts with his charm and make you giggle endlessly with random jokes, you’re mistaken. As far as his personality goes, Amean is more Darcy than Bingley — courteous but reticent with this cool exterior complemented by crisp, business-like attire and those uber-cool glasses. Imagine falling under the spell of his swagger! His responses to all our numerous attempts to draw him out were short, cryptic and maddeningly intriguing! While good images “turn him on”, music is what evokes Amean’s emotions — so much so that he would have taken music up as a career choice if photography hadn’t superseded this passion. A real patriot, Amean draws his inspiration from news, politics and the culture of Pakistan. What brings out the energy in our Mr. Picture Perfect? Espresso shots — we’d love to do coffee (and more) with him! Amean says he likes simple things and has a minimalist approach to life and art. His definition of love? “It is something you can’t get tired of.” He’s making us feel a whole lot of it right now, because we can’t seem to get enough of him!

What you didn’t know about him Asked about his ideal woman, the photographer responded: “I don’t believe in having someone ideal because I am not an ideal person myself.” We beg to differ, Amean! His celebrity crush: Scarlett Johansson. He seems to be crushing hard on the smouldering hot and sensationally curvy star, but then isn’t everybody?

Total Package


The Express Tribune hi five - March 17  

The Express Tribune hi five for March 17th 2013

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you