Coke Studio comes to an end

Published: August 4, 2010
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Rizwan and Muazzam performed an electrifying version of ‘Jana Jogi De Naal’ while Amanat Ali delivered a flat rendition of Madam Noor Jehan’s ‘Ae Watan Kay Sajeelay Jawano’. PHOTOs: KOHI MARRI

Rizwan and Muazzam performed an electrifying version of ‘Jana Jogi De Naal’ while Amanat Ali delivered a flat rendition of Madam Noor Jehan’s ‘Ae Watan Kay Sajeelay Jawano’. PHOTOs: KOHI MARRI

Rizwan and Muazzam performed an electrifying version of ‘Jana Jogi De Naal’ while Amanat Ali delivered a flat rendition of Madam Noor Jehan’s ‘Ae Watan Kay Sajeelay Jawano’. PHOTOs: KOHI MARRI Rizwan and Muazzam performed an electrifying version of ‘Jana Jogi De Naal’ while Amanat Ali delivered a flat rendition of Madam Noor Jehan’s ‘Ae Watan Kay Sajeelay Jawano’. PHOTOs: KOHI MARRI

The fifth episode of this year’s Coke Studio aired on Sunday night, marking an end to weeks of feverish discussion on which artiste was the best – and who ruined the show.

Five artistes featured on the finale – Tina Sani, Abida Parveen, Rizwan and Muazzam, Amanat Ali and Sanam Marvi – while the rest of this year’s performers were represented through short interviews on their experience during this season.

While the acts on the finale were stellar, particularly Rizwan and Muazzam who performed a jazzy, electrifying version of “Jaana Jogi De Naal” and Sanam Marvi, who sang “Manzil-e-Sufi”, the disaster of the episode was Amanat Ali.

Ali, who also performed a cover of Khaled’s “Aisha” and a duet with Marvi during this season, decided to sing a cover of the very popular patriotic song, “Ae Watan Kay Sajeelay Jawano”, which was originally sung by Madam Noor Jehan. The emotionless, flat cover was meant to be ‘fitting for the times’ but ended up souring one’s experience. It is hard to tell at this point whether Amanat Ali’s version was as bad as EP’s “Bolo Bolo”, but nonetheless, they were both travesties.

After three years and most of Pakistan’s top bands and singers performing on the show, is it time for the show to renew its concept? Introducing elements such as a ‘vote in’ option could help make it more fun, and it may be time to rethink the idea of relying on artistes from previous seasons, given that Noori or Zeb and Haniya couldn’t come closer to new finds such as Marvi or Meesha Shafi.

This show’s season has also drawn in some high profile fans, including Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer, who tweeted last week: “Coke Studio is the greatest ambassador of moderate Pakistan. I watch it in my free time especially ‘Jugni’ (by) Arif Lohar and Meesha. Great music.”

What Tribune readers say

“Coke Studio got songs wrong which don’t suit the artists that were put in. They should ask the artists to pick the songs they want to do for Coke Studio and Coke Studio should allow people to pick the artists in season four. It looked like someone in Coke Studio picked songs which were no good deliberately.”

Salman Jafri

“I think this season made more waves than the other two seasons. I wouldn’t label Noori/Karavan/Zeb Hania as failures but I agree I wasn’t expecting Aunty Disco Project to do ‘Sultanat’, it’s a good song but not their best and certainly didn’t suit the Coke Studio mood.”

Muteeur Rehman

“Coke Studio 3 has not only raised the bar but its biggest success this season is roping in icons like Abida Parveen and Tina Sani. Their performances have been groundbreaking. Abida Parveen with her energetic style and Tina Sani with her soulful voice have enchanted many a heart.”

Mohammad Umar Khan

Published in The Express Tribune, August 4th, 2010.

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Reader Comments (7)

  • mak
    Aug 4, 2010 - 4:38AM

    Thumbs Up to Coke Studio! Recommend

  • Blogging at work
    Aug 4, 2010 - 8:36AM

    and Arif lohar!!! boy did he rock!Recommend

  • Nida
    Aug 4, 2010 - 11:29AM

    In all honesty, I think coke studio as a concept has completely worn out now. I was expecting a lot from the third season. On the flipside, for me it’s been nothing more than a disappointment. After the first two episodes I even stopped watching. As far as I remember wasn’t coke studio about experimentation and reinventing songs and artists. Experimentation it was, but one which has completely gone wrong. I completely agree with the writer that reliance on old formulas isn’t a good idea. Having one pushto hit doesn’t necessarily mean that every song ZEb and Haniya sing has to be in an alien language for which u have to search online for lyrics. Since u r promoting Sufism…might as well give some translation for songs in language other than Urdu to create the impact you have set out to make. For reference sake. Because quite honestly everyone seems to be humming to Jugni, but if u actually sit down and ask them what it means, 60% don’t have a clue. Yes music connects but if u can’t realize its true worth, I feel u r not doing justice to it. Secondly, I agree with Salman Jafri, that the songs chosen did not suit the artistes. Secondly, all the performances seemed either very effortless or stale. EP’s bolo bolo seemed as if they were not interested in even being there. It was more of a liability. Their covers in concerts are much better. Amanat Ali’s aisha was a complete rape of the original. in all honesty, despite Mori Araj’s huge fan following, I was not satisfied. I am a huge fan of tina sani and as far as her vocals went, she was phenomenal. however the music was too out of place. it was as if she was going in another direction and the music in another. ADDING GROOVE TO EVERYTHING DOESN’T MEAN ITS GOING TO NECESSARILY BE A GOOD FUSION. ABIDA WAS AMAZING AS USUAL! noori’s hor neevay was in my opinion highly underrated. It was such a powerful kalam which almost everyone can understand. Sadly, most of the people did not even understand the words and hence, it wasn’t appreciated much.
    Another thing that I have noticed is that most of the people who genuinely enjoyed this season were the ones who had not really heard the originals. I believe coke studio will keep being a hit till the time people will keep being ignorant about these originals. Probably had I not heard the originals before, I would have loved coke studio as much as others.Recommend

  • Farhan
    Aug 4, 2010 - 12:27PM

    Arif Lohar is awesome – a natural born rock star!Recommend

  • I LOVE bulleh shad AND baho
    Aug 4, 2010 - 10:39PM

    Abida Parveen was exceptional. This season was unique and more diverse, multi-cultural. Don’t just stick to ATIF ASLAM and ALI ZAFAR.. duh !!!Recommend

  • sogul
    Aug 5, 2010 - 1:10AM

    I didn’t like the Tina Sani song in the last show…music was something else and the song something else…the pace was totally wrong.You can do better tributes to Molana Rumi than focusing the song on the Googosh theme….the song was totally a misfit

    Seriously I would have preferred to see more folk singers do fusion – instead of having people who were in last season they could have brought folk singers instead

    The choir however was quite good….Recommend

  • F Alam
    Aug 5, 2010 - 8:48PM

    Well done Coke Studio. We need this ‘branding’ of our arts and culture in every fine arts field, including film industry!Recommend

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