© Legendary Musicians of Karachi
Tête-à-tête with Celine Pinto – Singer for Radio Pakistan
Photographs contributed ~ by Celine Pinto
Artwork ~ by ldg
We inherited our musical genes from our mother Bridget and her brother Stephen. Every occasion was a musical one and I can vividly remember us singing carols whilst making our homemade Christmas sweets. My uncle would accompany with seconds and play the accordion.
At 8 years, I was always ready to sing and entertain. Never shy to perform and was ready to sing at birthday parties or whenever they had a singing contest.
My inspiration came from my next door neighbor “Maryann Sequeira” who played the piano and we rehearsed together with utter dedication.
And when I got to the age of 13, she convinced me to go for an audition at Radio Pakistan and I was chosen to sing my first solo “Sad Movies” and a duet with Maryann. After that Eddie Carapiet of Radio Pakistan would give us ‘air’ time to sing our songs.
After I graduated from school, my eldest brother Tony taught me to play rhythm guitar. At the time he played lead guitar with the famous “Rhythm Quintet” (Soares’ Brothers) of Karachi. I would often accompany them to sing and play guitar whenever I felt like hitting the stage.
The song that I was best known for was “Judy” – I fell in love with that song when I heard “Johnny Lion and the Jumping Jewels” perform at the Beach Luxury Hotel.
In Karachi, whenever I attended any parties, dances or weddings, I was always asked to sing “Judy” which I am sharing with LMK today. Fortunately because of Ron, I now have the music for “Judy” to back me up when I sing – so the tradition still carries on!!
I left Karachi in May 1971. I would like to add that I have been with a choir for 20 years. We sing at old aged/nursing homes during the Christmas and Easter season. I prefer to do the harmonizing for the group. My younger brother Thaddeus plays drums for us. He was a well known drummer in Karachi and played at the “007” Beach Luxury Hotel with Colin D’Souza’s band “Talismen” for several years till he joined me in Canada in 1972.
That, of course, was my favourite hangout with friends! Ron being the youngest started music after he graduated. We i.e. “Tony, Thaddeus and myself owe a lot to our brother Ron for his great talent in music and for engineering all our songs – he is well appreciated and admired by many renowned artists here in Quebec”.
My fondest musical memories in Karachi were the discos, jam sessions, concerts and other live music events. Those were simple and cheerful days as far as I remember and we had a lively social atmosphere.
I always encourage the young and even older people today that “if you have a passion for music, then go for it – don’t be shy, you will get better with time”