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Revealed: LSA music nominations
Zeb and Haniya, Ali Azmat and Shehzad Roy lead music nominations as the Lux Style Awards reveal the list of nominees. The live act category has been removed, which makes sense since live shows have decreased in the last two years. Instead a new category has been added. Instep takes a closer look...

Best Music Album

Jalal and Amir for 'Aisi Taisi'
– Azal
For a debut video, this was one of the most memorable videos. Aggressive, in-your-face and unforgettable, 'Aisi Taisi' with its hard hitting focus on money, fame, success and its impact on people, remains super.

Jami Mahmood for 'Jago' – Strings
Jami and Strings always make for an interesting combination: wheteher its 'Duur' or 'Dhaani'. 'Jago' was a creative stroke of bubble gum teen pop made intelligently.

Saqib Malik for 'Aitebar'
– Zeb & Haniya
'Aitebar' was one of the most prominent videos of last year, charting new territory by presenting a song through contemporary dance. The video propelled the song, and Zeb and Haniya's Chup to the top of the charts.

Zeeshan Parwez for 'Gallan'
– Ali Azmat
It's the little things that make 'Gallan' stand out. And no one does detail as meticulously as director Zeeshan Parwez. Comical, incredibly funny and very current, 'Gallan' is perhaps one of the best videos Ali Azmat has to his credit.
Even as the emotions of fear and paranoia are played with in the video, the over-the-top albeit hilarious acting from Ali Azmat, Momo, Mannu and Gumby is bang on target.

Song of the Year

'Aitebar' – Zeb & Haniya
Zeb and Haniya make for an interesting combination. If Zeb is the one with the trained vocals that remind one of Tina Sani-meets-Tori Amos, Haniya has a huskier voice ala Janis Joplin. And this combination shines on 'Aitebar'. Mournful and slightly tipsy, it's a song that fuses desperation, desire and conflict rather nicely.

'Gallan' – Ali Azmat
Its harsh, it's aggressive and it's the only song on the album where all the musicians go wild on their instruments… it's 'Gallan', the addictive tune from Ali Azmat's Klashinfolk. The song swells and expands in strange directions without loosing focus and high voltage energy. Excellent stuff.

'Khwabon Ke Rishtey'
– Najam Sheraz
Not necessarily a great song but it is the most 'decent' tune on the whole album and that's something. Even though 'Khwabon Ke Rishtey' is a simple enough pop-rock ditty but it remains in memory because of its video which ran constantly for weeks on end when the song first released.

'Khairheyan de Naal'
– Shafqat Amanat Ali Khan
Based on a composition of Tufail Niazi with its soothing guitars, languid character and excellent vocals from Shafqat, 'Khairheyan de Naal' has done well for itself. In this song, it isn't just the composition but also the treatment to the tune that makes the difference. As a singer, this is Shafqat Amanat Ali Khan on his best.

'Laga Reh' – Shehzad Roy
'Laga Reh' became the cultural phenomena that it is now (inspiring people to use quotes out of the lyrics in everyday speak) because of the video as opposed to the song itself. One thinks 'Laga Reh' should definitely be a shoo-in to win Best Music Video but not necessarily Song of the Year.

Best Music Director/Producer

Mekaal Hasan for Chup
– Zeb & Haniya
Zeb and Haniya's debut album is a remarkable debut. Mekaal Hasan keeps the sound of the girls intact by letting the blues-jazz feel permeate throughout. And even so, the production remains clean and clear with some sharp studio wizardry at play. Mekaal Hasan has proven he remains one of the finest producers Pakistan has today.


Rohail Hyatt and Faisal Rafi for Charkha – Rahat Fateh Ali Khan
The long awaited debut from Rahat Fateh Ali Khan finally arrived in stores and it doesn't disappoint. The sound on the album is unlike anything we've heard in a long time. Tripped-out, hypnotic and explosive, it is the collective effort by Rohail Hyatt and Faisal Rafi that did the trick.

Zeeshan Haider for Qismat Apnay Haat Mein – Shehzad Roy
For a Shehzad Roy album, Qismat Apnay Haath Mein is definitely a step up. The real punch lies in the socio-political tunes that Shehzad has belted out. The production quality stands out because it is razor-sharp and that gives this album a serious edge.