Finally we have something that’s not inherently Bollywood! ‘Coke Studio Season 8’ is out and it manages to assert the fact distinctly.
The ‘Coke Studio’ fever began back in 2008 and it has become an international franchise now. But what’s even more interesting about Coke Studio is how it has heightened social media interactions between Indians and Pakistanis. We had a ball watching AIB’s parody where an Indian compels a Pakistani to admit that the Indian version is better. The punch line “Ye nahi hoga mujhse. Sir, aap ne humare alaap sune hain?” testifies the magic of Coke Studio that comes from the other side of the border. This is truly a mark of ‘Transnationalism’.
Here is a list of songs that you perhaps shouldn’t miss this season:
Sohni Dharti: All Artists
Coke Studio Season 8 opened up with ‘Sohni Dharti’—a song that celebrates the national spirit of Pakistan. One has to admit that it was a perfect collaboration of artists to introduce Coke Studio Season 8. If you are someone with an inclination towards folk songs; trust me, this one is a treat to begin with.
Man Aamadeh Am: Atif Aslam & Gul Panrra
Well, most of you will watch it for Atif Aslam and he doesn’t disappoint at all. The soft and soulful beginning is unique and the ‘Rubab’ gives a Pashto touch to the song. But hang on; the surprise element is Gul Pannra—watch it for her if you’re not an Atif fan. The variations are impressive. However, you can’t compare this song to Jalpari or Rabba Saccheya–some of Atif’s best work in Coke Studio.
Sammi Meri Waar: Umair Jaswal & Quratulain Balouch
A power packed performance by Umair Jaswal and well-complimented by Quratulain Balouch! It’s not common that we see a fusion of rock and classical elements. If you are a fan of alternative rock, you will love Umair’s performance in this song. QB is as usual, fantastic! On the negative side, you might find that a rock version of Sammi Meri Waar was unnecessary.
Tajdar-e-Haram: Atif Aslam
Such songs rarely make it big in commercial platforms! Atif Aslam claims that he chose this song with a hope that his fans and listeners would go the extra mile to interpret its meaning. It’s definitely one of the hardest songs of the season with a fairly large number of chord changes. The song is deeply rooted to Qawali and the younger generation might find it hard to develop a taste for such songs. Nonetheless, this song deserves respect for having more than a million views.
Bewajah : Nabeel Shaukat Ali
Uff…this one is a beauty. Nabeel Shaukat Ali doesn’t enjoy the luxury of having fan followers like Atif Aslam or Ali Zafar. Yet his version takes the song to a different level. The poetry is exquisite, the flute interlude is gorgeous. The unique vocal belting technique will certainly draw your attention to the song. But truth be told, the song gets monotonous at a point and one can definitely feel the lack of variations.
Coke Studio is not about catchy item numbers or party songs; it’s about giving a platform to non-commercial songs. The notion that you have to do a ‘bhangra’ or a ‘hip-hop’ to gain popularity can now be dismissed. Take a bow Coke Studio!