By Fareeha Qay­oom


oke Stu­dio, sea­son 5 pre­miered this Sun­day (May 13th, 2012). We tuned in at 6:00 PM at Aaj TV.

First of all, I liked the fact that not all chan­nels were show­ing it at the same time so you could tune-in any time between 6:00 pm to 11:00 pm and get to watch it on some chan­nel or the other despite your basic load shed­ding sched­ule! (Excel­lent bit of think­ing or rather tim­ing on part of Coke Studio’s man­age­ment and deserves applause in its own right!)

This sea­son kicked off with four new names in the music busi­ness (at least less known names, for exam­ple, I had never heard of them before their Coke Stu­dio premier!) – Bohemia, SYMT, Qayas and Hamay­oon Khan. Hadiqa Kiani and Atif Aslam are old hands, how­ever, it was Kiani’s first stint in Coke Stu­dio; by the way, loved Atif Aslam’s Balochi /Pashto inspired cos­tume as well.

atif aslam

Atif Aslam — Coke Stu­dio — sea­son 5

The song line up went some­thing like this:

  • Paisay Da Nasha by Bohemia
  • Tum Kaho by SYMT
  • Kam­lee by Hadiqa Kiani
  • Lar­sha Pekhawar Ta by Hamay­oon Khan and
  • Charkha Nolakha by Atif Aslam & Qayaas

Coke Stu­dio has finally arrived as a team (Orches­tra). Tech­ni­cally it was a great episode – no jar­ring notes at all in the music col­lab­o­ra­tions — the house band (with Asad Ahmed on gui­tar, Babar Ali Khanna on dho­lak, Javed Iqbal on vio­lin, Kam­ran ‘Mannu’ Zafar on bass, Omran ‘Momo’ Shafique on gui­tar, Sikan­der Mufti on multi-percussions and two new tal­ents: Farhad Humayun of Over­load fame on drums and Mubashir Admani on key­boards), the backup vocal­ists (Rachel Vic­caji and Zoe Vic­caji) and  of course, Rohail Hayat all pro­vided great musi­cal sup­port and back up to the vocal­ists – it’s now up to them (vocal­ists) to shine and come up with great new mate­r­ial.

Per­son­ally I liked the rap song by Bohemia even though as a genre I don’t like rap much. Kiani’s Sufi song had great lyrics, though, I didn’t like the cho­rus lines with the refrain Kam­lee – she could have done bet­ter on this bit of the song; Qayass and Aslam’s song was inter­est­ing and prob­a­bly will grow on me the more I lis­ten to it. Khan’s Pashto song was a new twist on a tra­di­tional folk-song; (which most of us are famil­iar with – it used to be one of the hit songs from fron­tier, now KP when I was a kid and PTV used to fea­ture it a lot on their cul­tural pro­grams from KP in those days); SMYT’s song was okay too I guess (but for the life of me, I can’t remem­ber what’s it’s about while I write this review! I will have to lis­ten to it all over again!) (Late addi­tion at 7:15 pm: Oh yes, its def­i­nitely a light-weight song; now that I lis­tened to it all over again -  The topic is hardly mem­o­rable; its appar­ently full of the band’s favorite pick up lines in their own words!)  — Over all no com­plaints – I guess, it will be up to audi­ences’ indi­vid­ual tastes what they like and take away from this episodes’ song line-up.

Over­all – Good job in kick start­ing this sea­son – Here’s still look­ing at you kid! :D


Fri­day, July 13, 2012 – Coke Stu­dio Sea­son 5 review

Coke Stu­dio sea­son 5 just con­cluded.

Over­all, a lot of good things hap­pened this sea­son. The house band all fell into place with bang up back up vocal­ists. This sea­son we saw the debut of Vic­caji, Kiani, Mithu, the two Khan’s, SYMT, Chak­wal Group, Over­load, Bohemia, Qayas and Jaswal on Coke Stu­dio while Aslam, Shafi and Marvi reprised and sup­ported the debu­tants.

Not that I want to rain on Hayat and Co.’s parade – how­ever, I do have a few neg­a­tive com­ments to make as well.

The for­mula ‘fusion’ idea is becom­ing a lit­tle stale. Yes, you can do cov­ers of great maestro’s and yes, you can intro­duce inno­va­tions to mate­r­ial already done to death before by var­i­ous groups of peo­ple. How­ever, what you can’t do is sound the same each sea­son. The ideas are becom­ing hack­neyed.

Two, the duets need work – the only duets that sounded like duets were Qayas and Aslam’s num­ber (Episode 1) and SYMT and Marvi’s num­ber (Episode 5). The rest had some­thing wrong with them. Over­load and Vic­caji, Chak­wal Group and Shafi, Chak­wal Group and Bohemia – all three songs were not duets even though, two sep­a­rate set of vocal­ists were singing those songs and should have had dis­tinct roles to play in them with a cho­rus uni­fy­ing the theme of the songs in between. Bot­tom line, it didn’t work.

I think Hayat needs to invite guest com­posers to the show as well. New blood is required to con­duct a few songs.  Doing cov­ers of maestro’s with bits of inno­va­tion mixed in or pre­sent­ing vocal­ists’ own mate­r­ial in a new way is becom­ing kind of bor­ing.  I think for progress to be made, Coke Stu­dio needs to move for­ward and explore some new hori­zons.

By the way, another show that’s intro­duc­ing new vocal­ists and explor­ing old mate­r­ial is PTV’s ‘Virsa, Her­itage Revived’ by Yousaf Salahud­din– they are doing a good job too – my point, now we need a new for­mula – some­thing more that will take us for­ward and beyond this point….new music needs to be made as well… get my drift?

By the way, I will post my playlist for Sea­son 5 ASAP…still think­ing about it.


Charkha Nolakha by Atif Aslam & Qayaas

GD Star Rat­ing
GD Star Rat­ing
Coke Stu­dio – Sea­son 5 Kicks off May 13th with a bang!, 9.5 out of 10 based on 2 rat­ings