Annie’s New Album, the Controversy and the Reality


Hazik Asif

After reading some controversial comments by Annie on certain blogs, out of sheer curiosity, I called up some of my journalist friends and people from the music industry to find out the facts behind the matter and here is the truth.

It is said that some two years ago Annie tried to release her new album with The Musik Records, the head of which is Mr. Danish Khawaja, the brother in law of Annie. After listening to the initial album, The Musik rejected the album refusing to release it, let alone invest in it. Once rejected Annie turned to the largest record label of Pakistan, Fire Records. After listening to the album, it is said that Fire also rejected the album.

After turning her down, many established people from the music industry started to call Fire to request them to release the album. After constant chase, Fire agreed to the project but on one condition that the songs that were part of the initial album were so poor that they were not worth releasing thus Fire would produce a fresh new album at its own cost.

We have heard that Fire employed the best professionals in the business to produce an A class album who worked on the project for over one and a half year. Best sound engineer was also contracted by Fire who worked like crazy for over 3 months just to tune the vocals and to mix the album to hide the flawed vocals and singing of Annie. We all know the reality of Annie’s vocals.
Meanwhile, during the period the album was being produced it is said that Fire Records used its terms with Telenor to sign up Annie as their brand ambassador and hence you saw her in their commercials looking radiant and even speaking a little Urdu.

Fire has a very strong and long standing relationship with Telenor and they have worked jointly on projects like Ali Zafar, Abrar, Amanat and so on.
While the album was being completed, Telenor realized that they didn’t think it was a good idea to associate their brand with Annie’s album. Though perhaps Annie was quite pretty as a model but they did not think she could sing live and also she did not have the capability to make the brand grow. Therefore, they not only did not extend her contract, declined the album but also brought in new fresh faces(models and not celebs) to replace her as they felt Annie was not adding any value to their commercials.

Right after Telenor’s rejection, out of the blue Annie’s album mysteriously appeared on the net. Whatever we had heard of the album does not sound like Annie as this was a far more mature and very well produced stuff but the mystery is who leaked the album on the net; Fire Records or someone else.

Logically we have to exclude Fire because they have everything to lose since they have produced the album, spent a huge amount of money and effort so doesn’t make sense for a record label to leak the album.

Annie’s camp on the other hand seems to have more reason, if nothing else to try and promote the songs on the net for Telenor or any other brand to rethink their decision on Annie and try and get Telenor or some other brand on before the album was officially launched.

After the launch apparently on the query of Fire, Annie’s father went on to be very abusive with Fire but Fire apparently calmed things down and went on to still work on the album.

Also we learnt that after the rejection by Telenor, in the interest of the Artist, Fire Records still went on to produce a very high budgeted video that is apparently in the edit phase.

Recently the album was released in US and is being released in UK independently.

When my fellow journalists tried to contact Fire for their story Fire informed them that there is nothing like that between them and the artist and apparently they spoke high of Annie and were looking forward to release her album in Pakistan and India. Obviously something very expected of the record label which is know for its profit making ways.

When asked why she was released in US first they said there were two reasons, first that Annie has a planned tour of US and on request of Annie they wanted her to make the most of this opportunity or her to launch the album in US.

Also since US and UK markets (Desi markets) are more focused on radio rather than TV (as is the case in Pakistan and India) so absence of a video won’t affect the release as much according to Fire.

Annie’s father is quite adamant on the release of the album immediately in Pakistan. Annie herself says that she just wants to get her album out to her fans. Fire’s view on this was that the video is not ready and also Fire wants to do a mega release in Pakistan so they just want a few more days till the video is edited, or so they say.

This was confirmed by the director of the video who informed that due to the very big scale of the video and the graphics involved, some work is still required on the post and graphics of the video to deliver an A class video.

Though Annie I am told tried to resolve the matter with her father but then under immense family pressure went on to side with the father rather than with the label who stood by her and invested hugely in her career in terms of time, money and effort.

Such are the ways of the world and especially in Pakistan where the favorite past time of second and third tier artists is to pass on the blame of their shortcoming onto others and join the slander club against Fire Records, which I must say is quite a big club (from Overload to Koolmuzone itself has had conflicts against the label).

Being neutral I don’t see any other label investing and releasing artists in Pakistan and also the fact that artists are going to Fire with their second and third albums as well. Even though there have been too many times that Fire has delayed and delayed and delayed an artists album as was the case with everyone from Hadiqa Kiani‘s album scheduled to be released November 2008 but was released June 2009 being one example.

After listening to all this and getting all the facts one wonders if Annie is another case of artists being destroyed by their fathers as has been the case with so many of the artists we heard of though. Annie does not measure up even close to any one of them.

Annie may be a performer to open a show with her epic 2006 song Mahiya but do we really know her as a singer?


1) Most likely its the rejection from Telenor that made Annie go against Fire.
As Annie may be thinking that Fire could have got her contract renewed with Telenor and also the album sponsorship.
Whereas the other side says that Brands have to look for their own interest even if the artist doesn’t approve.


2) May be Annie’s camp thinks that at this point any publicity would be great for the album (whether negative). So going against Fire might seem helpful.

3) Everyone (including Fire) could be on board and involved to give extra hype to Annie’s album.
May be all this is part of a well thought Campaign for Annie’s album.
a) First part the internet leak of songs followed by discussions on Blogs and news paper write-ups.
b) Seconds part Annie talking against her Record label.
c) Third part “All well” in the end.