After a winter of upheaval at Coke Studio, the popular show is all set to return to television screens on September 21.
Earlier, sources had revealed to The Express Tribune that it was no longer happening. The latest season of Coke Studio had been delayed, however, there was no official statement from Coke Studio. The release had been pushed for at least a week. Rumour has it that the decision had been made keeping in mind the ongoing political crisis in the country. There was a fair chance that the show might even be delayed indefinitely if the situation is not resolved.
What the new season has to offer
Ranging from traditional eastern, modern western and regionally inspired pop, rock, sufi, folk and qawalli music; this season pays homage to the ‘Sound of the Nation.’ Of particular interest would be how this season will touch upon the role that film music has played in defining Pakistan’s musical history. Season seven will be produced by Strings duo Bilal Maqsood and Faisal Kapadia.
The lineup of artists include Abbas Ali Khan, Abida Parveen, Abrarul Haq, Akhtar Chanal Zahri, Asrar, Fariha Parvez, Humera Channa, Javed Bashir, Jawad Ahmed, Jimmy Khan, Komal Rizvi, Meesha Shafi, Momin Durrani, Naseer Shahab, Niazi Brothers, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Rahma Ali, Sajjad Ali, Sanam Saeed, Usman Riaz, Ustaad Raees Khan, Ustaad Tafu Khan, Zoe Viccaji and Zoheb Hasan.
Humera Channa and Jawad Ahmed along with Zoheb Hasan will be making their first appearance on the show.
“Naseer & Shahab envision bringing diversity, uniqueness, theatrics and reviving the band culture in Pakistan by exploring a whole new genre of Pashto rock that has never been done before.” Naseer Afridi shared with The Express Tribune .
Abbas Ali Khan on the other hand will head out for some experiments with his vocal range. “I will showcase my diversity as a vocalist. In one track people will be able to hear a power packed vocal performance of a ballad whereas the other will be mellow and sweet with true raag based ornamentations”.
New house band
There is a raft of changes for season seven. Aahad Nayani on drums, Babar Ali Khanna on dhol, Imran Akhoond on guitars, Jaffer Ali Zaidi on keyboard, Khalid Khan on bass, Sikandar Mufti on percussions. Momin Durrani, Rachel Viccaji and Sara Haider will accompany them on backing vocals. Jaffer Zaidi and Sikander Mufti have retained their place in the studio and their combination may remind us of the signature Coke Studio sound.
“ I think Rohail Bhai and Strings have different strengths and weaknesses as producers, therefore the experience is entirely different”, Zaidi told The Express Tribune.
“The most prominent difference this year has been the creative freedom, involvement, and dialogue being offered to all the musicians that were part of the project. God willing, season 7 has much to offer”
Khalid Khan on the other hand believes that the grove of the songs will speak for itself.
“The best thing about this season is the fact that no one is over playing a certain instrument and everything is being used to enhance the ensemble. We have paid special attention to the groove and rest I leave it up to the listeners to decide,” Khan told The Express Tribune.
In addition to the long line of featured artists, Coke Studio season seven will also mark a diverse range of guest musicians.
They will collaborate with the featured artists and the Coke Studio house band to create a new dimension to this season’s performances with their signature sound.
Coke Studio season seven’s guest musicians include: Aamir Zaki, Adeel Bukhari, Arsalan Rabbani, Faraz Anwar, Ghulam Abbas, Hamza Jafri, Jaffer Hussain, Javed Iqbal, Kaleem Khan, Mubashir Admani, Omran Shafique, Sajid Ali, Saleem Khan, Shallum Xavier, Tanweer Hussain and Umer Daraz.
“My induction in Coke will bring diversity, dexterity and experience to the Fuzon, I mean fusion, concept of music, it will also add poise and flare to the performance, the structure and the overall ambience. It will attract Fuzon fans to the new and revised season” Xavier told The Express Tribune.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 29th, 2014 and updated on September 2, 2014 with the information of the show’s postponement.