To commemorate Coke Studio’s decade long journey, the producers of the show initiated a laudable venture, called Coke Studio Explorer. This segment not only delivers soul-stirring music, but also communicates moving stories. With Explorer, Coke Studio aims to bridge the barriers that exist within Pakistan by enabling listeners to appreciate the diverse talent of regional singers from Sindh, Kalash Valley, Balochistan, Lahore and Muzaffarabad.
Pareek, Coke Studio Explorer’s first song, is sung by two teenage girls named Aryana and Amrina. The song is shot in the picturesque Kalash Valley in Chitral and it is safe to say that everything, from the vocals to the visuals, left us in awe. The mesmerising voices of the young girls tug at your heart and the snow-capped Kalash Mountains overwhelm you.
Pareek, which means “let’s go”, is a huge step in preserving and highlighting the folklore and culture of this small ethnic community. The song deftly intertwines the ancient and contemporary epochs as it uses the Kalash melody in sync with electronic drums to create an overpowering anthem. The girls, with their distinctive colorful Kalash outfits and sparkling eyes, shroud the valley in musical echos as they clap and chant ‘Pareek’ repeatedly.
Aryana and Amrina celebrate their passion for music through this age-old folklore. They have been enamoured with music from a young age because it is an integral part of their culture and tradition. In fact, Aryana’s birth name is Farsi Gul but she recently named herself after the international musician, Ariana Grande.
Pareek was followed by another musical treasure, called Faqeera. Faqeera was shot in the Deewan Lal Chand village in Sindh. The song features brother-sister duo, Shamu Bai and Vishnu, as they pay homage to their land with their unmatched musical prowess. The soulful sounds of the Benjo are layered with rhythmic electronic beats to create a hybrid tribute to Sindhi folk.
The forceful notes make you nostalgic for the passion of the saints and Sufis of ancient times who have traversed the land of Sindh, searching for the divine truth. Shamu Bai and Vishnu learnt classical music at a young age and often perform together at weddings and local festivals.
The music video takes the audiences on a tour of rural Sindh, as it and highlights the raw beauty of a land that has largely been ignored by the mainstream television. The intimate visual journey takes you through vast expanses of wheat fields, narrow alleyways crowded with children and echoing halls with colourful glasswork.
Coke Studio has given us catchy songs before but this time around it is doing so much more! With each song, we appreciate the diversity of our country more as we share the journey of talented individuals tucked away in remote part of the country.