The LUMS music society is accused of exploiting young musician Shajie

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The LUMS music society is accused of exploiting young musician at their recent event.

Source: www.facebook.com/pg/shajmusic/

Lately, a singer named Shajie posted on his Facebook about the whole story. Shajie is a Karachi based indie artist, going independent is the new reality for many successful music artists across the globe.

For a world like today’s majority believes  you need a powerful label backing to even release a single song, but on other hand if you can compose a melodies and thoughtful lyrics, you can kick start your journey on social media.

Here is what artist has to say,

“It’s interesting to note how LUMS Music Society consider themselves the self-appointed authority over what is worthy of a response and what is not. They felt they did not even need to reply to my queries until I took it to social media and my post started getting traction. This really illustrates my point about The Music Society of LUMS not responding to any of my calls or texts because maybe they think they are too good for that.”

Disclosing further Shajie also said that they dishonored their own contract,

The contract clearly said that I will be paid after a week of performing which did not happen thus they dishonored their own contract. After a week LUMS stopped responding to my calls. I was not informed about any holidays or finals week. Their response message made a very bold claim about work ethic, deliverance to their promises and ensuring a hostile free work environment. The recent events hosted by The Music Society of LUMS beg to differ (read: The Qawwali Night Debacle)

I did not receive the full amount promised to me verbally or on contract. The payment receipt said they had deducted a tax for rendering of Services Non Company Non Filer which comes out to be 17.5%. Many agencies pay this themselves instead of deducting the amount from their clients. This is called looking out for your guests. These hidden charges were not mentioned to me at any point during the contract signing. I might also add that I have performed several shows for several platforms and this has never happened to me. I travelled from Karachi to Lahore to perform for LUMS without an advance which is an unusual thing for me to do. However, I adore my fans at LUMS and I felt I owed them this favour.

He even have proof of the recording that he played more than his time verbally decided.

This society also falsely accused me of not even playing a full 30 minute set. I’ll let the recording of my entire set speak for itself where you can see it was clearly longer than 30 minutes. I mean, recordings can’t lie right? But I guess the Music Society of LUMS can.

This is not the first or the last time that this is going to happen. It has become very common for people to exploit artists like me who do not have any legal counsel or corporate backing to guide them on how to sell or market their music. I loved playing at LUMS because of the audience. I would do it again only for that audience. The fact is that I did not put up that post because I wanted money. I put it up to showcase how independent musicians are mistreated in the music industry here in Pakistan. How we have to beg for our performance fees and how we are bullied when we call out these corporate labels.


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Paras Waswani

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