MAG’s favourite picks of the week

The nation gets ready to rock!

Fans of the show are anxiously awaiting the third season of Pepsi Battle of the Bands, which is set to premiere on July 15. The judges for this season will include Fawad Khan, Meesha Shafi and Strings, while sources revealed Aaroh vocalist Farooq Ahmed will also be appearing as a guest judge during the audition rounds of the show. Meanwhile Vital Signs co-founder Shahi Hasan, who was part of the jury last year, will instead be taking on the new role of music producer this time. One of the most exciting parts will be to witness Strings on the stage performing their biggest hit Hai Koi Hum Jesa, the signature track of their compilation album with the namesake title, which released in 2003. Fawad is also set to perform alongside 17 musicians, who will most likely be the contestants of the show.

Witness the raw beauty of Pakistan

Coke Studio is trying something new this year and fans are already loving it. The mastermind behind the spin-off, known as Coke Studio Explorer, Ali Hamza and Zohaib Kazi, are travelling across Pakistan to throw spotlight on hidden musical talents. The first episode showed Kalashi singers from Chitral who seemed to have great exposure despite very weak satellite and no internet at all. One of the girls called Farsi Gul even changed her name to Ariana inspired by Ariana Grande! The second episode showcased rural Sindh in all its glory. The episode presented a brother-sister duo, Shamu Bai (aged 21) and Vishnu (aged 14), who captured everyone’s hearts with their vocals strum into the sounds of benjo and electronic beats in their song, Faqeera. Shot and sung in Dewaan Lal Chand, Faqeera is a tribute to the wandering saints of this region – ever engrossed in the pursuit of truth, harmony and humanity. The third episode took everyone deep into the city of Sohbatpur (Balochistan) to offer a glimpse of the little known art of 'nar sur' throat singing.

TV reporter throws shade at Lahore's local government in a hilarious clip

Journalists report on dismal news all the time, but not all of them have as much fun as this Dunya News reporter while he covered the Lahore flooding during monsoon. Sitting inside a pink inflatable pool in the middle of a flooded street surrounded by pink and yellow floaties, he declared, "Mein kisi swimming pool mein nahi, balkay road kay kinaray jahan par pani bhara hai, wahan par maujood hoon aur kaafi enjoy kar raha hoon.” He continued throwing major shade at the Water and Sanitation Agency (WASA), since their efforts to drain the water off the roads had been unsuccessful, and he wanted Lahoris to lighten up and take his advice: "Gali muhallon mein pool toh ban [hi] chukay hain, toh yakeenan yeh water pool ley kar us mein enjoy karein kyunkay un ka pani jaldi toh khatam honay wala nahi hai."

Saudi singer celebrates end of driving ban on females with song

Women in Saudi Arabia waited long enough to get behind the wheels. To celebrate the end of the driving ban on them, a Saudi singer Tamtam released a song titled Drive. According to Gulf News, the Los Angeles-based singer was over the moon when she heard of Saudi Arabia’s decision to let women drive legally, starting June 24. Speaking of her latest track, she said, “Drive is inspired by Saudi women now having a bigger voice. It is about realising how strong we are and never ever losing hope.” The four-minute long video features the singer cruising around with her friends in a vintage yellow Mustang convertible. The 25-year-old said that it took her 30 minutes to write the lyrics to the song and tune because she felt inspired. It’s been well received by music lovers, especially Saudi women.

Khadija Shah gives fashionistas more to look forward to

Amidst much conjecture, Khadijah Shah had departed from the brand Sapphire as its Creative Director last year and now, she’s gearing to apply her high street know-how with a label of her own called ZAHA. According to the designer, this new project is very close to her heart and even the name has been coined based on some very personal reasons. “It’s a combination of the names of my two sons: Zayd Akbar and Hakkan and my newborn daughter’s name is also Taalia Zaha. The word ‘Zaha’ itself stems from Arabic origins and means ‘to blossom’ and I hope to nurture this brand and make it grow.”

The label will focus primarily on casuals. Khadija outlines, “I am a big fan of print and with Zaha, I have created prints that are quirky, vibrant and fun.” The brand will make its first outing in the market this August with an unstitched collection consisting of 50 designs, ranging from one-piece shirts to two-pieces and three-pieces. The designs won’t be very formal; there are voile and lighter silk dupattas, and 100% pure fabric will be used while keeping the thread count of the fabric lighter because these are casual clothes for daily wear.” Later, the designer plans to also create prêt.

Take a look at the poster for Gul Makai

The first motion poster of Bollywood film Gul Makai, inspired by the true story of Malala Yousafzai, has just been revealed! It features Reem Shaikh holding an open book with imagery of a school blowing up, and the voice-over says, "This is about those days when the Taliban was destroying Pakistan and Afghanistan in the name of Jihad and religion. When from a very small village in Pakistan, a voice arose."

Gul Makai will chronicle the journey of Malala in Swat Valley to being the youngest Noble Peace Prize winner who stood up against terrorism. Reem, who previously starred with Amitabh Bachchan in Wazir, has also been seen in Indian TV dramas like Ye Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai. She is joined by Divya Dutta (who plays her mother) and the late Om Puri in the film's cast.