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News |  18 Feb 2015 20:08 |  By RnMTeam

Mekaal Hasan band members speak out on GiMA disqualification

MUMBAI: In less than a week, Indo-Pak sufi rock band, Mekaal Hasan Band (MHB) has been disqualified from this year's Global Indian Music Academy (GiMA) Awards. The band was nominated in the ‘Best Rock Album' category for ‘Andholan', their fourth full length studio album, which was released last year via Times Music.

Bandmembers songwriter/sitarist Mekaal Hasan and bassist Sheldon D'Silva spoke exclusively to about the recent collaboration. "No one spoke to me about any of this," stated Hasan, citing that their record label has launched a protest against them, although the band has not received an official statement.

"We came across a few disclaimers on the internet that stated that we had been disqualified, that is how I found out about this. No one called me and told me about the disqualification. I have absolutely no idea about what happened. Apparently, we were in the final five nominees and then they disqualified us," said Hasan.

 When asked whether the reason for disqualification was because MHB is originally from Pakistan, Hasan opined, "If this is the case, then they should not nominate bands and artistes from any other country. And as a matter of fact, first they (GIMA) claimed that the album was not recorded in India, but ‘Andholan' was recorded in India." Hasan further added that the GiMA jury committee had read the credits in the album which clearly states that the album was recorded in a studio in India with Indian engineers. The album was recorded both in India and Pakistan.

Hasan in fact had no idea why GIMA made such a big issue out of it. "If it is called Global Indian Music, it should mean any kind of artistic venture that an Indian citizen undertakes globally. Otherwise, they should just name themselves Local Music Awards," continued Hasan.
Indian bassist Sheldon D'Silva, who joined MKB in 2013 also spoke about this recent dilemma.

He said, "We were nominated and then disqualified because MKB's ‘Andholan' is apparently of Pakistan origin which is not true because it was done as collaboration, half in India. But Politics can always come in way of music. I wish we could concentrate on music and take music forward which does not have any boundaries. We share such strong cultural heritage for over many years."

D'Silva joined MKB in 2013 along with drummer Gino Banks. He and Banks are also a part of the Indian jazz ensemble called Louiz Banks Matrixx Trio. D'Silva also said that Louiz Banks Matrixx Trio and Mekaal Hasan Band are currently working together on new material.

Sources stated that the award committee has taken this decision keeping in mind the terms and conditions of the Academy. However, there has been no official statement issued from the Global Indian Music Academy.