Interview: Pakistani Band Noori Tours in the Birthplace of Rock and Roll

Ali Noor (Mandana Zaidi)


This Sunday Pakistani Rock and Roll band Noori performed at Le Poisson Rouge as a part of the CenterStage tour.  Although the singers of Noori head-banged and screamed their lyrics like American rockers Alice in Chains, they were screaming words like "Haq," which means truth in Urdu.  Brothers Ali Noor (Songwriter, Vocals, and Guitar) and Ali Hamza's (Vocals and Bass) magnetic stage presence had the crowd singing along throughout the concert.


Noori debuted in 2003 with rock songs that captured the spirit of their youth and rebellion.  Like many other emerging Pakistani musicians, Noori has performed on Coke Studio, and has collaborated with other South Asian musicians like the acclaimed sing-songwriter duo Zeb and Haniya.   Band members Ali Noor, Ali Hamza, and Gumby (Percussion), all come to the band with diverse understandings of what both South Asian music and Rock and Roll mean to them.   They dropped by the Asia Society for an interview to talk to us about their journey creating Pakistani Rock and Roll.



Noori will be performing next on July 6 at the University of Houston. The presentation of Noori is part of Center Stage, an initiative of the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, administered by the New England Foundation for the Arts, in cooperation with the U.S. Regional Arts Organizations, with additional support from the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, the Asian Cultural Council, and the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art.

This post originally appeared on Asia Blog.