Kudos to Coke Studio: Laili Jaan lives on!

Published: October 24, 2013
SHARES
Email

PEPPE DGÇÖARGENZIO Rachel and Zoe Viccaji

KARACHI: More than the terrain and traditions Pakistan and Afghanistan share, music is something that connects people on both sides of the Durand Line. 

Be it the glorious melodies of Sardar Ali Takkar or the catchy pop tunes created by Ahmad Zahir, they have all contributed immensely to the collective heritage of this region. And amongst all those songs, Coke Studio’s take on Afghani singer Ahmad Zahir’s Laili Jaan – done by Zeb and Haniya – is a winner. It is officially the second song of Coke Studio Season 6.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Zahir’s original track is a sensation for a number of reasons. The singer brought a pop and Elvis-inspired feel to this region’s music and the track successfully penetrated several boundaries due to its comprehensible romantic lyrics. Laili Jaan is immensely popular amongst non-Pashtoons and non-Persians residing in Balochistan. A testimony to this is the fact that Rostam Mirlashari – one of the stalwarts of modern-day Balochi music – has done a cover of this song and the original track continues to be a major hit at Persian and Balochi musical evenings.

The arrangement for Coke Studio’s version of Laili Jaan blurs boundaries with incredible ease. Packed with groove, courtesy Italian bassist Pino Pecorelli and Cuban drummer Ernesto Lopez Maturell, the number should be an instant hit with the audience. With such an assortment of instruments – from oud to saxophone to rubab – it could have all turned easily into a mesh of inorganic sounds. However, the arrangement ensures every note is put to use in this relatively short offering by Zeb and Haniya, who are accompanied by some extremely enduring yet explosive musicians.

After a somewhat shaky start with Jogi, Coke Studio’s Laili Jaan is a strong reminder that producer Rohail Hyatt is still adamant on bringing something fresh to the table. Would the song have been the same had the regular house band featured in it? Probably not, but that is not to take away anything from Zeb and Haniya. Zeb’s cheery charm and the Viccaji sisters’ snazzy backing vocals, strike the right chords. And that sax solo by Peppe D’argenzio is just amazing.

Kudos to Coke Studio for bringing out the best this soil has to offer and more importantly, getting back to the roots of our cultural influences and re-inventing them so nicely that the soul is not sacrificed yet the identity is repackaged.

Here are the reactions to the release of this new single on Twitter:

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (14)

  • Mani
    Oct 24, 2013 - 7:28PM

    I’m no music critic, but seems like there is to much going on there for my liking. If you try to focus on something you will start feeling disoriented.

    Recommend

  • Adeel
    Oct 24, 2013 - 7:38PM

    Very upbeat, energetic & fun song. Though I didn’t understand the lyrics but I really liked the feel of this song. Rachel/Zoe backed up Zeb very nicely. CokeStudio6 rocks!!

    Recommend

  • 123
    Oct 24, 2013 - 8:24PM

    pakistan is a funny place. they pat on their own back.
    one movie ‘waar’ which was a decent hit, now they are on the moon! saying we are the best in the world.

    same with this program. mediocrity at its best!
    still, we are the best ! huh?

    Recommend

  • Striver
    Oct 24, 2013 - 9:15PM

    Absolutely brilliant. All praises….

    Recommend

  • Shoaib Orakzai
    Oct 24, 2013 - 9:20PM

    @123: “Mediocrity” ? You sound like one of those critics who just HAVE to criticize something in order to breath. Coke Studio Pakistan inspired countries like India and the Arab countries to launch there own versions, something “mediocre” cannot do that..

    Recommend

  • sensible
    Oct 24, 2013 - 9:45PM

    @123 get a life!

    Recommend

  • Ali S
    Oct 24, 2013 - 10:22PM

    Coke Studio still failed to live up to its first 3 seasons. The song was good, but definitely would be better off with lesser instrumentation and a more desi feel – the new international backing band that we’ve seen so far doesn’t nail the desi, Eastern feel in my opinion the way the previous house band did.

    Recommend

  • sami Khan
    Oct 24, 2013 - 10:22PM

    Mummy Daddy version of orignal Ahmed Zahir’s song. I liked it even i am not a Mummy Daddy person. Afghan music is beautiful

    Recommend

  • Omar Rawi
    Oct 24, 2013 - 10:50PM

    This must be the oiginal video by Ahmad Zahir sang in 1977 jst before he was killed http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=OKn3XbnacDs

    Recommend

  • Parvez
    Oct 24, 2013 - 10:51PM

    Zeb and Haniya are always a treat to listen to and in Laili Jaan its no different though I did get the feeling of the jazz style being a little monotonous and needed a bit of improvisation. I would still give Jogi 2 points more, while Coke Studio gets full marks for effort.

    Recommend

  • Zalmai
    Oct 25, 2013 - 12:10PM

    An awful cover of a great song, rather an anthem for Afghans, Iranians and Tajiks. I expected better from Zeb & Haniya. Fusion does not work in this rendition at all. It would have sounded better if it was done like Paimona, but in an uptempo style.

    Recommend

  • cup
    Oct 25, 2013 - 12:37PM

    I think both the songs released so far have missed the mark

    Recommend

  • halfblooded
    Oct 25, 2013 - 6:16PM

    @123: What did I hear? Mediocrity? Here is a tip for getting your definitions right, watch the indian desperate attempts to fuse music.Recommend

  • pro bono publico
    Oct 25, 2013 - 8:33PM

    When will Pakistani realize the harmful effects of sugary soft drinks and stop their promotion through sports and culture? Don’t they realize that the citizenry will pay heavily in terms of health issues for a little “free” fun?

    Recommend

More in Life & Style