You hear many people saying ‘music is my passion’, but with this passion they only take it as far as having a great collection of different genres, becoming a singer themselves or starting a band. While in conversation with Natasha Noorani, Founder / Chairperson at Lahore Music Meet we found out how different her passion towards music is. “My passion and love for music took me in an entirely different direction. I started an NGO out of it. I started Lahore Music Meet (LMM). While it’s true that I too, like many others hold inspirations and owe my start to typically listening to songs and then making a career out of it. For me it was by initially becoming a vice president of the music society at LUMS and then later joining FM 89, but I knew I wanted something else out of this. Something more!
By now you must be wondering how this NGO came into being. Well, one fine day as always I wasn’t paying much attention to the lecture of South Asian Studies. In my subconscious I was going through nostalgia and exploring the history, that’s when I came up with the idea of LMM. Soon after I started following various music related festivals and realized that while all these events were a mixture of multiple things like art, literature, music etc., no one was particularly focusing on music. That’s when I started giving structure to my raw idea.
While all of it sounds easy, believe you me, it was not an easy feat. When at the age of 22-23 you go to a sponsor with an idea, they hardly take you seriously. I and my co-founder struggled long with this. Apart from this while we both exceled creatively and academically with regards to music, we hardly knew anything about business and marketing plan. Then getting artists on board and networking with the right people was another huge problem. The list of problems just doesn’t end here, balancing between government regulations, music artists, venue partners and others has always been a great challenge.
Amidst all these challenges, we didn’t lose hope and kept going on with the idea. Soon with failing and getting up again, we understood the tactics of handling people and getting the right people on board. We stood by our idea of starting an NGO and has always kept it a non-ticketing event. Eventually we do believe people should pay, but initially it is important to promote our artists and our music heritage.
I have always loved Pakistani music and I believe in giving back to my roots. I want to bring back the popular 90s music with all its glory. So while I struggled and still struggle with a lot of things, I never give up. I have the same message to everyone reading this. Find something that you enjoy and then figure out the most effective and efficient way of doing it.”