The Kennedy Center

Poor Rich Boy


The discreetly subversive Poor Rich Boy hails from Lahore, a centuries-old cultural nexus of South Asia. At the vanguard of Pakistan’s underground indie-art rock phenomenon, Poor Rich Boy conjures the strangeness of everyday life in a society where expressing one’s inner world can be both a cathartic and subtly rebellious act. Enigmatic and layered, the band’s striking vocals, atmospheric sounds, and percussive edges create a crystalline sound that suggests but rarely reveals.

Making their U.S. debut here under the auspices of Center Stage, Poor Rich Boy travels from Washington, D.C., to Rhode Island, North Carolina, and New York from June 1-24 on a tour that will include appearances and collaborations with Plume Giant, The Mast, the Bob Kendall Band, and DakhaBrakha.

A short note about the band’s English language lyrics…. “While a lot of people wonder why we don’t sing in Urdu, since it’s the national language, we wonder why the national anthem is in Persian and not in Urdu. But anyhow, if you walk around anywhere in Lahore or Islamabad – which is where the band members are from – you’ll find that all the road signs, billboards, advertisements, shop signs, and public messages are written in Urdu as well as English. And it’s the same for every major city. Some people read these signs in Urdu, some in English, and some in both. If art is thus an abstract manifestation of culture and culture that of society then we’re the English instructions on a road sign that has instructions written on it in both English and Urdu.” – from an interview with the Qatar Peninsula

Watch Past Performances

Video 6/3/2014: Poor Rich Boy

Pakistan’s underground indie art-rock phenomenon brings its enigmatic, layered vocals and atmospheric sound to the stage. Part of Center Stage, a pilot program created by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, in partnership with New England Foundation for the Arts.

Poor Rich Boy