Mid-summer brings the anticipation of 14th August and Coke Studio. Over the years Coke Studio had been expanding its platform to be more diverse. Past few years have been a hit and miss with the audience. But this time around Coke Studio season 11 produced by Zohaib Kazi and Ali Hamza seems to bring a variety of artists. Coke Studio has given fame to many stars like Zoe Viccaji, Sanam Saeed, Momina Mustehsan, Asim Azhar, Ali Sethi, and Aima Baig. This year the line-up has created a huge hype with its promo Hum Dekhein Gay.
There are few highlights from the promo such as:
1) Ahad Raza Mir, the young actor is immensely popular was masses and has been singing since the age of 14. Audiences saw a glimpse of it in his drama Yakeen ka Safar. And needless to say, the female audience love this new addition in Coke Studio.
2) The transgender community is getting an international music platform to perform. The promo depicts their talent beautifully and from what it seems they sing well too. Naghma and Lucky singing the verse “jo main bhi hon aur tum bhi ho” give goosebumps, to say the least.
3) This season has shared their explorer videos from around the country, going to rural Sindh and Kailash. Artists from those areas are singing on a big platform for the first time. This move to make the studio more diverse and inclusive has been a huge hit. These artists are Ariana and Amrina, Baloch Throat Musicians and Shamu & Vishnu.
4) Any kid who grew up in the 90s remembers the Hawa Hawa song. The talented Hassan Jahangir is also part of this year’s Coke Studio .
5) But the thing that will make a lasting impression and give competition to Pepsi Battle of the Bands the is inclusion of many Pakistani bands. These bands have so far only been on Patari’s platform but now are performing on Coke Studio. With Patari caught in the middle of a scandal, it is great that these artists have an alternate platform to showcase their talent. Names like Lyari Underground, Khumariyan, The Sketches, Sounds of Kolachi and Young Desi are part of season 11.
6) Zarsanga famously known as The Queen Of Pashtun Folklore is also part of this season’s line-up. Listening to her voice gives you very Reshma vibes. She is very popular in KPK and we are looking forward to her act.
7) Krewella is an EDM band from the USA, which formed in 2007. The band consists of Pakistani American sisters, Jahan Yousaf and Yasmine Yousaf. It has over 1 Million YouTube subscribers. They already have given hits like Alive, Team and Live for the Night. In Coke Studio Season 11 they are also performing, which sure will boost the show’s image and give it a wider audience.
Apart from these numerous artists, legends like Abida Parveen and well-known favorites like Ali Azmat, Abrar ul Haq, Jawad Ahmed and Humaira Channa are also part of this amazing line-up. Coke studio is no longer monopolizing the industry. Pepsi Battle of the Bands is giving a tough competition to show with its season 3. Let’s which show manages to win over the audience more!
These are all the reasons to focus on the positive aspects of Coke Studio 11. Because, while many are appreciating the diversity in the lineup, they are not happy with the attempted rendition of a Faiz Ahmed Faiz classic, “Hum Dekhein Ge”. The original poem is thought to be in response to Zia-ul-Haq’s repressive regime and to that end is quite revolutionary in its content. It is a cultural treasure, which is why any change to it is perhaps not going to be an easy pill to swallow. However, the timely execution in the wake of elections has us wondering whether the use of the powerful words has some impact in furthering the desire for change.