“Coke Studio” season five was criticised for being one of the most forgettable seasons in the history of the programme.
Pakistani music lovers, however, didn’t give up on the show’s potential and have now fixated their eyes on the upcoming season. What will Rohail Hyatt and the house band offer next year, is the question that is swimming in every music lover’s head. Competition is getting tougher as India’s “Coke Studio” has improved and now stricter comparisons will be made between the Indian and Pakistani version of the programme. Pakistan could up its game by bringing some of the untapped as well as evergreen musicians on board.
Despite his frequent and rather unpredictable spells of religious preaching, Sheraz is a big asset of Pakistani music industry. From his early days with Karavan, during which he brilliantly rendered the epic “Rakh Aas” to his solo hits like “In Say Nain” and “Meri Aankhon Mein Samai Ek Larki” the musician has a huge potential pool which could help “Coke Studio” attract fans.
Fuzon is one of those mainstream bands who haven’t been given a chance on “Coke Studio” yet. Previously, people and producers had issues with Rameez Mukhtar’s style of singing but now they have a brand new vocalist with Khurram Iqbal. Iqbal impressed the judges in the Indian music show “Saregamapa” and now he is all set to be the voice of Fuzon — a band that has some memorable songs to its credit. It wouldn’t be a bad call at all to give them a song or two in the upcoming season.
Although Mohsin Raza Khan better known as Bunny left music a while ago, his recent comeback with Roxen has amazed us all. He may not have the creative juice to produce an original number at this age but he still has a gifted voice and that is what Hyatt can utilise somehow in the coming season. Bunny was one of the rare singers who stood out during the 80s because of their very unique vocal texture and style of singing and he still hasn’t lost it.
The founder of Pakistani pop music is back with a bang with the revamped version of “Keh Dena” in the currently running online series “Mangoes”. His long and successful trip to Pakistan proved that despite his kidney problems, the live shows he did in Karachi and other cities say a lot about his stamina and vocal brilliance. We are sure that if approached, the legend would relive some of his classic numbers under the patronage of Hyatt and the house band.
Abbas Ali Khan
Khan is someone who has always brought something new to the market and succeeded in impressing the critics and public alike. His new song “Par Mein Hoon Ruka Sa” was yet another soulful number like “Sun Re” and “Malaal” and brought something soothing to the market if not original. With his versatility and impressive portfolio, Khan could be a brilliant feature in the coming season.
Along with the new selections, it’s also time to call back some of the finest musicians who have done a brilliant job on “Coke Studio” in the previous episodes. Our selection includes none other than the true rock star of Pakistan, Ali Azmat revamping some of his brilliant songs from Klashinfolk or singing some of his unreleased music. On the other hand, Sajid and Zeeshan should play some songs from their amazing new album Harvest, which is one of the most mature music albums in the history of Pakistani music.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 9th, 2012.