“From nothingness to supernova!” Omran Shafique exclaimed with excitement. Our eyes lit up and we all felt the energy and wild emotions that day, at that moment, on that zoom call, the feeling one gets when there is a birth of a brilliant idea. Even though our current concept has changed from the initial idea and approach, I will always remember that moment vividly! 

Seattle/Lahore/Texas/Boston: Meeting #1 – MTG brainstorm session with Omran Shafique, Ayaan Kazmi, and Fawad Khan. It’s in this meeting when Omran said “nothingness to supernova”


Fawad Khan and MTG have been collaboratively working on a music project for the past two years, involving endless back-and-forth over countless emails and chats. Fawad and I reached out to Omran to brainstorm as we were having a bit of a creative block at that moment. It was just amazing to hear those words from Omran in that meeting. They helped us visualize the direction of the track and video—nothingness to supernova.

Big life transitions happened during this time — Omran was moving homes so couldn’t commit to the project, Fawad was knee-deep with The Legend of Maula Jatt and Money Back Guarantee promotions, Neelofar filming and editing, and I had a baby, was working in an intense full-time leadership role at a global nonprofit and was in the middle of a big move myself. 

Seattle/Boston/Texas/Lahore: Meeting #2 – Brainstorm session with Omran Shafique, Ayaan Kazmi and Fawad Khan

Dream On!

Collaborating with Fawad Khan on this project has been a surreal experience. I told him from the start, “You’re singing, producing, and acting in the song!” It all started as a joke when I was convincing and motivating him to go to his studio and see if he would get inspired to make music. It took me months and months of convincing. And one day, just like that, he went to his studio and gave it a shot. He shared a scratch track with me, and I was blown away! He then produced three stellar tracks, each version having its own brilliance. According to him, this was the first time he had returned to his studio since his last song release, Uth Jaagh. Music naturally comes to Fawad; I always wondered why he runs away from it. 

Fawad Afzal Khan and Maheen Mustafa, concept producers of MTG’s fourth project

Teamwork makes the dream work!

My daughter always says, “Teamwork makes the dream work!” That certainly has been the case in this MTG project — everyone has put their best ideas and skills forward with a collaborative and mentoring approach. 

Working with creatives on MTG’s music projects has been a fascinating process. Their approach and process are so different from mine. I’m a journalist at heart and am fixated on timelines, predictability, rationality, and all the evidence-based stuff. When one switches to a creative mindset, you must let go of all that – you must be very open-minded, let ideas come and flow, and leave space and time for an idea to evolve, grow, and change without judgment.

Initially, I felt intimidated in a room full of such uber-talented creatives. Slowly and gradually, I warmed up to their presence and thought of myself as an equal in putting my ideas forward, pushing back when needed, and providing honest feedback.

When you have an idea, it’s just an idea until you believe in it, fight for it, advocate for it, and tenaciously transform it into a concept, a vision, a reality. The balancing act in this is to be mindful that I am being equitable in giving space to each artist and team member, where they share their inner light and shine bright like a diamond!

Karachi/Seattle: MTG Collab meeting with artists Maria Unera, Bilal Ali, Mariam Aziz (videographer), Sameer Shami (Fawad’s operations manager), Faisal Nizami (video editor)
Boston/Seattle: Ayaan Kazmi, project coordinator, distribution and promotion lead, media relations coordinator, MTG

So, here’s the news…

MTG’s star-studded project is in the works. The track features some of the top influencers in the Pakistan music industry, including the world-renowned actor, singer Fawad Khan who made his Hollywood debut with Ms. Marvel; Bilal Ali, lead vocalist of Kashmir Band, winners of Pepsi Battle of The Bands (season 2, 2017); and Maria Fatima Unera, Pakistani Philipina singer, songwriter who was recently featured on Spotify; best of Pakistani women on EQUAL Pakistan playlist — her poster was displayed at Time Square, New York; she was the EQUAL Pakistan Ambassador for January 2023. Keep watching this space for more updates!

Maheen Mustafa is the founder of MTG a Seattle-based global media outlet and production house that aims to elevate BIPOC and immigrant narratives. She covers beats social impact, wellness, business, culture, climate and race. Twitter handle @MaheenM_.