Earlier this year, Rohail Hyatt, the genius behind the success of Coke Studio decided to depart from the project due to personal reasons, leaving all the fans in a state of shock and surprise. although, a lot of other names were in consideration for Hyatt’s chair, Strings came forward as an out and out favourite.
However, it seems like Strings is looking for a complete overhaul of the sound as they have retained only two musicians from Rohail Hyatt’s house band and rest are all new faces. Sources told The Express Tribune that Jaffer Zaidi, the keyboard player for Coke Studio and the front man of Kaavish, is the only other member from the old house band, apart from the brilliant percussionist Babar Ali Khanna.
Contrary to the expectations that some of these well-known musicians may be retained, Asad Ahmed, Omran Shafique (Momo), Louis. J. Pinto (Gumby) and Kamran Mannu Zafar have all been replaced by new musicians.
Imran Akhoond, a not-so-talked-about, but a prolific musician, who plays with Shehzad Roy, will play the guitars, whereas, Khalid Khan, the bassist, previously associated with Aaroh and Mizraab, will play the bass guitars. The young and talented Ahad Nayani will be playing the drums.
The show will feature a number of guest musicians, with the likes of guitar virtuoso Aamir Zaki already in consideration. Strings were not available to comment on these recent developments.
Coke Studio 7 will be recorded in June-July and slated for airing in October 2014.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 7th, 2014.