Coke Studio: spinning a new tune

Published: May 16, 2010
Sanam Saeed, Saba Shabbir, Zebunissa Bangash and Meesha Shafi at the event.

Sanam Saeed, Saba Shabbir, Zebunissa Bangash and Meesha Shafi at the event.

KARACHI: Coke Studio’s third season looks set to be full of interesting contrasts. Arif Lohar, Punjab’s beloved folk singer whose chimtas (tongs) – as a friend of mine once put it, “seem to be an extension of his body” performing with the edgy Overload singer, Meesha Shafi.

The extraordinary Tina Sani singing with Arieb Azhar of “Husn-e-Haqiqi” fame, and pop singer Amanat Ali performing an Urdu version of the hit Cheb Khaled hit, “Aicha”. With a line-up that is every Pakistani music fan’s wildest dream come true, this year’s Coke Studio promises to provide a deeper insight into the very basic concept of fusion music when it goes on air on June 6.

At a press launch on Thursday night, the artists performing, the crew behind the show and representatives from Coke came together to introduce the third season. A montage video played to introduce the show left one awe-struck, particularly the powerful voices of Abida Parveen and Tina Sani, the chemistry of Lohar and Shafi, the strains of folk music by Fakir Juman Shah and the spine-chilling moment when Rizwan and Moazzam sing “Ni Saiyon Asa”.

The atmosphere at the event was just as electric – Abida Parveen was mobbed by television cameras, while the rest of the artists looked buoyant at the launch of the project. The Express Tribune spoke to some of the featured artists about their experience at Coke Studio.


What was it like to perform with Arif Lohar?

Fantastic. It was a dream come true, one of those far-fetched dreams that you can never imagine will come true.

Singing in Punjabi is difficult. How was it for you?

I didn’t find it difficult because I’m from a Punjabi family and the dialect comes naturally to me.


How was your experience at Coke Studio?

I really liked it because I feel through Coke Studio a younger generation is introduced to our traditions and artists from every province have been represented at the show. I am happy that I have worked on such a platform. I am thankful to Rohail Hyatt for calling me and the team has done such exceptional fusion, har artist hai, rang ka baadshah hai. This is a huge service to the country. Bohat zyada tension hai logon main; magar bata kuch nahee, sab aik hai.


How do you feel now that the project has been introduced to the world at large?

It’s been hidden so far, so seeing it go up, and the emotional reaction that the artists and the people here are having almost has me in tears. It’s very exciting, the fact that people still get excited about it, and it’s almost redefining what ‘commercial’ is.


How was your experience at Coke Studio?

Fabulous! Its music and music can never be a stranger to me. I can be anywhere in the world and feel at home with musicians. At Coke Studio, nobody compromises so you each bring your art. I had heard some of the songs before, but this was a new breed of talented musicians that I didn’t know about. (Last season) when I heard Zeb and Haniya sing “Paimona Bitte”, I called Rohail (Hyatt) and then I went out and bought their CD!


How was your experience at Coke Studio?

It has been a great experience. I am very excited. The kind of songs that we have done, people will be able to see our versatility and style.

What was the thought behind doing an Urdu version of “Aicha”?

Initially, Rohail Hyatt and I had thought of doing a mix of the original French lyrics with Urdu ones. But then it did not make sense because people here do not speak or understand French so we thought of doing the entire song in Urdu.


Given the fantastic response Noori got last year, did you go in knowing there were higher expectations?

No, you can’t think about that at all! You get in to do your best and that’s all you focus on.

How was it working on this season?

It’s much bigger, the production, everything. It’s brilliant!

Published in the Express Tribune, May 16th, 2010.

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Reader Comments (26)

  • Disappointed
    May 16, 2010 - 1:56PM

    I am so glad it is not another article on blooywoodRecommend

  • Akber Munawer
    May 16, 2010 - 6:02PM

    very nice!Recommend

  • Ahmer A. Longi
    May 16, 2010 - 6:51PM

    I have been a fan of Coke Studio from the first time it aired, not just because it has such an amazing style when it comes to fusion of music but also, it brought musicians whom i am sure including me had never thought of playing or singing together at the same platform.

    I wish coke studio team good luck in all its future endeavors & hope that this year is going to be yet another one to remember. Recommend

  • Bemisal
    May 16, 2010 - 9:49PM

    Can’t wait for season 3, yayy!Recommend

  • Fizzah Rizvi
    May 17, 2010 - 1:44AM

    The lineup this year is just mind blowing and get this! The Noori brothers are not only back this year,they’ve brought their parents too!!Their father Mr Ali Kazim as a vocalist and their mother Noor Zehra as the only Sagar Veena player in the country (the world rather) an instrument that was invented by her own father Mr Raza Kazim (famous Lawyer & owner of the Sasnjan Nagar school system).Just incredible!Recommend

  • ghost
    May 17, 2010 - 10:01AM

    if they think they can put bold stories and win the market…
    they have consider this fact that they are actually killing their product…
    anyways nice to see no bollywood masala news Recommend

  • Pakistani
    May 17, 2010 - 11:42AM

    Indeed it is a great service to the country…Rohail deserves all praise for this!Recommend

  • Saman Hamid
    May 17, 2010 - 1:39PM

    YES!!!!! GO COKE STUDIORecommend

  • Umair
    May 17, 2010 - 5:37PM

    Excellent news; I look forward to the shows. Kudos to Express Tribune too for covering Pakistani artists. Keep it up. Recommend

  • rohail
    May 18, 2010 - 12:28AM

    Hey 1 thing is Forgotten that kay
    AHMED BUTT AND FAWAD of Entity paradigm are ALso performing in this Season
    so Season 3 will be much more rocking then expectedRecommend

  • Mudassar
    May 18, 2010 - 11:13AM

    Im looking forward to it. I still have’nt gotten over the last two seasons and here comes another one.Recommend

  • faisal feroz
    May 18, 2010 - 5:04PM

    its amazing how crazy people are about coke studio now including me.. coke studio takes you into a totally different world.. its something else but just music.. the whole setup, the beautiful voices, drums and guitars the beat.. everything is just like a dream..
    good going team..
    p.s. loved paimona.. and now anxiosly waiting to see Abida parveen and her mystique philosophy swirling with coke studio!Recommend

  • Asad Hasnain
    May 18, 2010 - 6:27PM

    Rohail; A Must read for you
    Atif should have been included instead of arif lohar.. i mean what difference arif lohar would make.. it made no point to me..
    fawaad a good addition,it would be interesting to see what you will do with E.P.. really looking forward to The Bombastic Aabida Parveen the most gratified person this time. Expectations from Noori,
    and Important Amanat Ali Must stick to the INDIAN songs he sang in the Competition he took part in.. bcoz any of his own song are of NOT Impressive or are too General to be included in The Coke Studio Miss Tina sani is ok but she must be given some conventional songs and for God sake don’t let her sing faiz’s ghazals again,other wise award her a Phd in that too.

    If u act upon my advice u will rock even more harder ;)
    Now Hit It !! =)Recommend

  • Kamran Jamali
    May 19, 2010 - 8:30AM

    I am very much delighted to learn that Abida Parveen and Tina Sani will be there this year, not so much about Arif Lahor but he still beats Atif because we don’t get to hear Mr. Lohar often. I gather that Zeb and Haniya will be part of Part 3 as well, which is excellent. I think Coke Studeio should have seriously considered Shazia Khusk as well. Yes she might not be very fashionable but her songs have been remarkable and she has been a part of Pakistan’s music industry for nearly 2 decades or so.Recommend

  • Butt
    May 19, 2010 - 11:57AM

    its all good, especially Arif Lohar.Recommend

  • Iftikhar
    May 27, 2010 - 3:49PM

    What abt Karavan? The most hard rockin band in Pakistan! no one’s mentioned that they’re in Season 3…looking forward…Recommend

  • Jun 7, 2010 - 9:08AM

    very nice coke program but arif lohar is the best goodRecommend

  • shahbaz hussain
    Jun 7, 2010 - 8:13PM

    hi arif lohar i m enjoying your noise voice and last night you perfome on stage your speed of singing i m very impress on you and your band.the girls is singing on stage i m more impress its voiceRecommend

  • Kevin
    Jun 8, 2010 - 11:14AM

    Meesha was bad in Jugni song, I litteraly desired to slap her eveytime she sung in the song …. she ruined the beutiful melody!!Recommend

  • Jun 8, 2010 - 8:23PM

    I love this tv show and Arif LoharRecommend

  • Expired
    Jun 9, 2010 - 11:47AM

    looking forward for asa ni saiyoo by rizwan & moazzam .. the fusion made the song beautiful!Recommend

    Jun 14, 2010 - 7:52PM

    Great Job Rohail Hayat and Company – keep it upRecommend

  • Nadeem Riaz
    Jun 18, 2010 - 6:09PM

    Arif Lohar & Misha did very well, made us to listen the music & to watch the video again n again, well done. keep it up. In fact that kind of music can,t divert any body to divert to other stuff.Recommend

  • Jun 21, 2010 - 1:17AM

    ooh…………..nice pic so sweetRecommend

  • Sep 24, 2010 - 5:10AM

    Arif Lohar & Misha did very well, made us to listen the music & to watch the video again n again, well done. keep it up. In fact that kind of music can,t divert any body to divert to other stuff.


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