Friday, May 2, 2014

Naseebo Lal

Naseebo Lal
14" x 11"
oil on canvas board, 2014
You may have noticed the high percentage of paintings (on this blog) of female singers. If it comes to the human singing voice, this year in particular is indeed the year of the domination of the female voice. While men still dominate the instruments (a stat impossible to count), almost 80% of the voices in this top 100 are of women. Naseebo Lal is the latest singer to enter into the list. She is a singer from Lahore, Pakistan who was arrested in 2009 for singing vulgar songs. She is one of Pakistan's "topmost" singers, but I have not been able to find any news about her after the court hearing following the arrest. The following paragraph comes from the Pakistani on-line newspaper The Daily Times:
"He (Asim Mahmood, petitioner) said Naseebo Lal and Nooran Lal (her sister, also a singer) with the connivance of other respondents were busy in making and singing illegal, indecent and immoral songs. He requested the court to ban all the audio and video songs of the two singers and their certification and exhibition might also be banned."
This then is from another article from that same newspaper, appearing around the same time:
"The petitioner, Asif Mehmood Khan, said the departments concerned in connivance with some other criminal elements were not only violating the law and the constitution, but also spoiling the integrity, sanctity and morality of society."
Mrs. Lal, in her defense, claimed that her producer forced her to sing these vulgar songs. 

Naseebo Lal is not the only singer who had run ins with the authorities because of their music. The following list are the ten best scoring musical acts in this year's top 100. Note that eight are female singers, and at least two of these have received death threats because their music posed a threat to the "integrity, sanctity, and morality of society".
  1. Cat Power                
  2. M.I.A.                    
  3. Alela Diane                
  4. Pussy Riot                
  5. Rahsaan Roland Kirk            
  6. Kimya Dawson                
  7. Geechie Wiley and Elvie Thomas    
  8. Björk                    
  9. Michael Hurley 
  10. Rosa Balistreri               
In the next blog I'll talk about Geechie Wiley and Elvie Thomas as I'm currently working on a portrait of L.V. (Elvie) Thomas.      

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