KARACHI: For a show that singlehandedly changed the course of Pakistani music, the completion of 10 years is a huge milestone. Not only because anything remotely related to Pakistani music lasts that long but also because these 10 years mean as much to the Pakistani music scene.
Like it or not, you have to accept that Pakistani music is not the same since Coke Studio arrived with a band. For many, it came like a blessing - for others, it came like a curse that made corporate control of the music industry the only way out of its crises. Other corporations were quick to jump the bandwagon, though mostly not proving to be as successful.
Challenges that face Coke Studio 10
This time around, the expectations are even higher. If its 10 years for Coke Studio, its 70 years for Pakistan and both complement each other quite organically. The show, since its inception under Rohail Hyatt’s tutelage has been interwoven with the multicultural spirit of the Pakistani identity hence their famous tagline: Sound of the Nation.
Since Strings took over the show in 2014, it was rumoured that Coke Studio was a 10-year deal to begin with, and after String’s third, Rohail will come back and give a great grand farewell to fans with season 10. That has just proven to be another rumour as Strings gear up for the biggest season in the show’s history with nine different producers and various tributes to the stalwarts of the industry.
Faakhir is out, so is Sheraz Uppal and Noori, as Salman Ahmed, Sajjad Ali, Mekaal Hasan, Ali Hamza (as solo artist), Sahir Ali Bagga and Strings join the remaining producers of last year’s lineup. In our previous analysis we had mentioned a Junaid Jamshed tribute but it seems like he’s not the only one being acknowledged this year.
Sources inform The Express Tribune that each producer’s set will feature at least one tribute song, and the tributes range from an ode to Faiz Ahmed Faiz in the form of Bol Kay Lab Azaad Hain ft Shafqat Amanat Ali to Dum Mast Qalandar ft Umair Jaswal and a Qawwal party as one to Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Sehwan Sharif.
Ali Sethi will remember Mehdi Hasan by singing Ranjish Hi Sahi while Ali Zafar, Ali Hamza and Strings will join forces in Us Rah Par to remember Junaid Jamshed. More tributes are to follow with a wider roster of producers and the songs, like always, songs will mostly be covers and folk tunes with every producer giving a minimum of one original song each.
People are terming Ahmed Jehanzeb and Shafqat Amanat Ali’s original number with Shuja Haider as the next Khaaki Banda while Ali Zafar is all set to bring something very similar to Rockstar to the table. Apart from featuring separately, Danyal Zafar will play the guitar in one of Ali Zafar’s song, making it the first time the two brothers will be seen in a song together.
Sajjad Ali’s daughter Zau Ali, who was so far known for her skills as a videographer will also feature in an English song being produced by her father. Rahat and most likely Ali Noor will join Salman Ahmed in a new rendition of Sayonee after what has been termed as a second fall out between Salman and Ali Azmat.
Apparently there was an actual Junoon reunion on the cards and Ali Azmat was also on board but things didn’t work out at the eleventh hour. We will share the details of this in our upcoming write-up on Coke Studio 10. Aamir Zaki will play on a track being produced by Jaffar Zaidi in what will prove to be his farewell performance.
With so much nostalgia and so many scattered emotions at play, Coke Studio 10 is bound to give us the feels. Especially when so many young and unknown faces are also set to partake in it. The show will kick off on August 14 with a collaborative rendition of Pakistan’s national anthem.
Here are all the artists involved this time around:
Sahir Ali Bagga
Artists we know so far
Rahat Fateh Ali
Zau Ali ( Sajjad Ali’s daughter)
Untitled girl’s chorus
Shafqat Amanat Ali
Songs to look forward to
Us Rah Par
Dam Mast Qalandar
Asan Yaar Manana Ae
Ranjish Hee Sahi
Lathay Dee Chadar
Mujhse Pehli See Mohabbat
Have something to add to the story? Share it in the comments below.