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Beyond Disco: Pakistani Broome Siblings Who Made Artistic Pop Classics In The 80’s

TheyWriting its doors in 1970, Birmingham’s Zela Studios played at the home of one of the city’s musical giants: Black Sabbath, Band of Joy, Spencer Davis Group. But Bristol Street was also home to some of the most notable and unfairly overlooked albums of the 1980s: Disco Cage, owned by British-Pakistani siblings Faisal Musalla and Norman Niazi.

“Looking back now, I wonder how confident we are,” says Niazi. “I remember walking around the house and feeling absolutely right. The smell of the studio is still with me. There is something very calm and safe about it.

Recorded in the summer of 1984, Disco C Aage – released under the name Niazi – sought to connect the siblings’ Pakistani musical heritage with disco, new wave and synthup, which brought them to the UK. Was enchanting He used Urdu to create an LP, which matched East and West – but to fail in both markets, he married Urdu melodies and post-punk ease, Indian melodic scales and sophisticated synthetics. “Even after all these years, I haven’t really found anything else to meet him,” admitted his brother, Mosalia. “And that includes the music we made ourselves!” It’s a unique snapshot of a special time in our lives and for both cultures.

Now, 37 years after its release and its immediate aftermath, Disco C is finally re-emerging. Discoston, a radio show and club space dedicated to naming local music as Savannah (South and West Asia and North Africa), is releasing the album. Founder Arshia Haq stumbles upon a second-hand record store on New York’s Lower East Side. “When I first saw the record sleeve, I thought to myself: would it be good, or too bad?” She is laughing “When I dropped the needle on the record, I was blown away by the feeling: what is it? It’s in my mother tongue, but it also has a new wave of synth, a sense of sorts of bedrooms, and other South Asian Slightly more experimental than the music I’ve heard.

“It’s a British classic,” added Jeremy Loudbeck of Discotton. “This is a record that needs to be re-examined and celebrated and brought to the fore as we think of this great day of the British new wave.”

Born in Lahore, Mosalia and Niazi are the children of Pakistani musical royalty. Her father is a well-known Lollywood musician, Mosleuddin, and her mother is a favorite singer, Naheed Niazi, who often performed in her husband’s films. Together they became the first children’s TV hosts. “Some of my oldest memories of Pakistan are in film and TV studios.” Then we came to England when I was six, and it’s very different from not having our extended family around us. Felt. “

Norman Niazi in the 1989 magazine shoot

After settling in Birmingham in the mid-1970s, music remained the backbone of family life. When his parents weren’t touring the UK (performing between notable landmarks in London’s Royal Albert Hall and Barbican), he was practicing at the family home or the most in Pakistani pop for a tour of the UK. Were hosting big names. “I remember being young and hanging out with famous people [south Asian pop star] “We thought it was particularly normal until we reached a certain age, and it dawned on us that our parents were a bit unusual,” said Nazia Hassan.

On the other hand, there were a number of European influences (“groups like Pet Boy, Depeche Mode, Japan and even Abba”) that made such an impact on his voice. When they finally went to the studio to record discos – 14-year-old Niazi and 19-year-old Mosleh – the idea was to end both worlds. Translated into “Beyond the Disco”, the album is a vivid expression of the dual personality that millions of Diaspora members are forced to address during adolescence. Urdu lyrics and South Asian pop styling represent comfort and familiarity with their upbringing. Synthesized energy reflects Western culture and the desire to break this mold.

With Niazi being responsible for the ranks of singing and musical instruments and hardware, independently rotates the quality record. “When we were just school kids,” we were doing a lot of crazy things. “And we were using the same equipment that some of the top bands were using at the time: X7, DX1, DX5, some Yamaha and Roland series.”

Zeela Studios’ Le Aid, Stand Out Trek All Night (All Night Long Translation) Channels Atulu Disco and Hi NRG’s Dance Floor Energy In the heart of the heart (in my heart) all the shiny recipes of Espando Ballet are superior. Hum Tum (You and I), the album’s most experimental track, binds and overlaps Niazi’s voice in a way that was unique at the time.

Working at Zela Studios, Birmingham, 1985

Despite the abundance of talent, innovation and youthfulness, he lamented the absence of any real promotion or marketing campaign by Oriental Star, the local label that released the album but as Moslia puts it: ” Even if he had played British games, I think people would have been asking: what is this? It didn’t fit in the traditional Indian and Pakistani voice because of the language, nor in the UK pop of the time. ۔

When Niazi returned to school after the summer holidays, she was reluctant to pursue her creative endeavors with a classmate. “I just thought, ‘They’re not going to understand.’ The 80’s were a different world in which we live now.

The album sparked interest in his native Pakistan, sparking a TV show and a barrage in front of the magazine, but also from some other conservative sections of society. “I was a 14-year-old Asian girl who sang about love, which some people have interpreted as encouraging children to this day,” says Niazi.

Musallah added: “The Islamization of Pakistan began and that’s where the negativity came from. I’m kind of surprised that a lot of conservatism remains in these societies – the way they were dealing with music. It always looks backwards. Still, we ignored it because we thought we were doing something great.

His only release was not because of religious pressure, but because he was on the path to life. Reformer began a new life in the United States, while Niazi, after dropping out of school and becoming dominant on TV and radio, eventually joined the Metropolitan Police in London, from where she is still based. “It’s true that life just gets better, but if I’m honest, very deep, I’ve lost a lot of hope because of our album, which becomes very, very vague.” She says the experience made her feel like I wasn’t in this man’s land in the middle, and I found it very difficult as a teenager. But as I got older, I realized that this was not really a war. It’s about choosing and embracing positive elements from both sides. A tactic, of course, that he and his brother have already mastered.

Disco C is now out on disco.

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