Coke Studio – Season 5 Kicks off with a bang!

Heat, flies, and load-shedding
May 9, 2012
Mosquitoes, flies, and the paranoid
May 23, 2012

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, the backup vocalists 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. By Fareeha Qayoom

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! 😀


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






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Fareeha Qayoom
Fareeha Qayoom
Publisher and editor-in-chief of and former print editions of The Knit-Xtyle Fashion Review (tkfr), a trade newsletter for the textile and apparel industry of Pakistan. In short, Publisher, editor, and a blogger. In addition, she has served as Managing Editor of MIT Technology Review Pakistan, print and web editions (2015-16). Total of 7 editions were published under her leadership by ITU, Punjab's first public technology university under the license of MIT Technology Review (USA). She has also managed Value Mag in the same capacity, a real estate and lifestyle magazine for Value TV - 2008-9. Published freelancer for The News on Sunday 1994-96. Fareeha has over 21 years of solid management experience – of managing brands (like Harley Davidson, Munsingwear, Chaps, Chaps Ralph Lauren etc.,), Retailers (like Target, Mervyns, Kohl's, Marks and Spencer etc.,), customers (VPs, Product Managers, Unit Managers, and Buyers), and products (apparel - woven, knits, men's, women's, children's, Print and online publishing units), projects, teams, and processes, information, content, and data, staff, vendors, and time. Versatile and adaptable with international exposure, communication and language skills (oral and written), and a consistent track record of achieving company targets and objectives, plus a MA in Political Science from Punjab University, a MSc in Economics from La Salle University, Louisiana, USA, and a BA in Economics from Kinnaird College for Women.


  1. more reading?

    Coke Studio – official website

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  2. Bohemia
    The song “Paisay Da Nasha” was written and arranged by Bohemia and had not been released before it was recorded at Coke Studio.

    Bohemia writes about the way people think in this world: people are intoxicated by the idea of money and in love with the idea of intoxication. He asks the important question ‘what have you learnt in this life so far?’ He writes that people are caught up in a rat race for money and fame and don’t stop to notice people around them and when people die they can never be replaced.

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  3. Saturday, May 05, 2012
    Coke Studio Season 5 goes on air on 13th

    Music platform Coke Studio returns this year with the new season starting from May 13, bringing back a musical fusion of exciting elements and diverse influences, ranging from traditional Eastern, modern Western and regionally inspired music. Coke Studio, Season 5, aims to introduce new genres and fusion where featured artists would explore their heritage besides showcasing their unique styles.\05\05\story_5-5-2012_pg9_9

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  4. Coke Studio: High at five
    By Shayan Shakeel | From InpaperMagzine | 1 day ago

    After the fizzling out of the mass appeal that bands like the Vital Signs and Junoon commanded, it seemed as if we would be forced to go through a period without a true ‘champion’ of the music scene. Despite a number of newsworthy acts such as Noori, Strings, EP and others, there was dearth in the kinds of bands that really had everyone singing out Bulleya or even Dil Dil Pakistan. And while artistes like Ali Zafar and Atif Aslam were (and are) very successful, in reality they occupy the domain would have them be stars more than musicians (the former much more than the latter).

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  5. Coke Studio 5: Move to the music
    By News Desk
    Published: May 4, 2012

    Pakistan’s cherished music platform “Coke Studio” is back with a new season that will start from May 13 and will air right through the summer with a new episode every fortnight, states a press release.

    Like its previous season, “Coke Studio 5” aims to focus on traditional eastern, modern western and regional music. This year featured artists will explore their heritage and play the cultural chord of their signature styles.

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  6. An intricate and inspiring aura with “Lar Sha Pekhawar Ta”
    By Sadaf Fayyaz – May 14th, 2012 (1 Comment)

    Hamayoon Khan simply steals the first episode of Coke Studio Season Five with his highly appraising “Lar Sha Pekhawar” with a saccharine Pashto accent and splendid vocals.

    It’s a love song that depicts true feelings of a girl who is asking her beloved to go to Peshawar and bring her a black shirt and a three or four flowers for her. The mere beauty and magnificence of the song lies in its rich and intense lyrics that truly represent and inculcate a feel of rich Pashto culture and language. The song “Lar Sha Pekhawar” has been performed by numerous Pashtu and Afghani artists. The same song has been sung by Pashto legend Gulnar Begum and was a part of Pashto film “Naway Da You Shpay”. It was picturised on actress Nimmi and music was composed by legendary musician Munir Sarhadi. The song has also been sung by Pashto singer Noor Jehan in a different style. The tune of the song has been copied to Urdu version of Shehzad Roy’s song “Tujhko Qasam hey Meri Na Aana hath Khali” too. Afshan Zebi from Hazara has also sung this song, but one would find a lot of Hindko language trace in her singing of this song. Pashto singer Nadia Gul has also sung the same song in one of her performances. With some altered lyrics like “Lar Sha Nangarhar Ta”, the legend Ahmed Zahir has also sung it but in a bit gloomy style.

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  7. Music can erase all barriers, says Rohail
    Piyali Dasgupta, TNN Apr 27, 2012, 04.52PM IST

    Rohail Hyatt is not only the man behind the famous Coke Studio from Pakistan but also one of the finest musician in Pakistan today. Rohail has consciously tried to be away from the media so when our reporter tried to get in touch with Rohail over the phone we were told that he would avoid giving interviews to media.

    Music can erase all barriers: Rohail Hyatt
    PIYALI DASGUPTA Sunday, 29 Apr 2012 2:05 am | Comments (1)

    THE TIMES NEWS NETWORK – Rohail Hyatt is not only the man behind the famous Coke Studio, but also one of the finest musicians in Pakistan today.

    Hyatt has consciously tried to be away from the media, so when our reporter tried to get in touch with him over the phone, we were told that he would avoid giving interviews.
    But things looked very different when we actually caught up with him at his studio residence in the Defence Housing Authority in Karachi.

    He warmly welcomed us and spoke at length about his musical journey, rediscovering eastern classical music and the promotion of upcoming talented singers in Pakistan.

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  8. Atif Aslam speeds up the Bollywood race
    By News Desk
    Published: May 14, 2012

    ….the pop singer is set to return to the latest season of “Coke Studio”; having a total of four performances in the fifth season of the show.

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  9. Coke Studio’ continues 5th season of musical discoveries

    Coke Studio’s journey of musical discoveries continues into its fifth season this year with their first episode which aired on 13 May 2012. Below is a low-down on the songs seen and heard on episode one of ‘Coke Studio’s

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  10. Tuesday, May 15, 2012

    Coke Studio Season 5 kicks off with a bang!
    ‘Paisay Da Nasha’

    This song was written and arranged by Bohemia and had not been released before it was recorded at Coke Studio. Bohemia writes about the way people think in this world: people are intoxicated by the idea of money and in love with the idea of intoxication. He asks the important question ‘what have you learnt in this life so far?’ He writes that people are caught up in a rat race for money and fame and don’t stop to notice people around them and when people die they can never be replaced. Bohemia was inspired to write this song because of the people he lost in his life. In the chorus of the song, Bohemia makes a strong point that people don’t recognise the value of others until they are dead and its too late.\05\15\story_15-5-2012_pg9_14

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  11. Behind the Drums
    Piyali Dasgupta, TNN Apr 27, 2012, 05.04PM IST

    You just can’t miss out watching Louis J. Pinto(better known as ‘Gumby’), the main drummer of the popular band members of Coke Studio in Pakistan . Gumby known to be as one of the best drummer in Pakistan got exposed to music at a very young age.

    Interestingly, he doesn’t belong from any musical background and was exposed to music from his church choir and community centre.

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  12. Coke Studio Ep 1: Thank you for ‘Larsha Pekhawar Ta’
    May 16, 2012

    The first episode of “Coke Studio” season five has lead to an interesting debate amongst its fans. Did the studio do justice to rap with Bohemia’s rendition? Has Hadiqa Kayani come of age? These questions and others have been making the rounds.

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  13. Coke Studio, Episode 2 aired today…May 27th 2012…

    we tuned in at 6:00 pm at Aaj TV. Unfortunately, half the program had already been aired. We got to watch only three songs with half a song sneaked in between commercial breaks at CNBC TV…

    They had changed the timings plus they had stretched the program to a couple of hours with long commercial and news breaks built in…

    Anyway, we managed to catch the rest of the program on the Coke Studio’s official website…

    Episode two featured:

    – Khabaram Raseeda – Fareed Ayaz & Abu Muhammad
    – Larho Mujhey – Bilal Khan
    – Rabba Sacheya – Atif Aslam
    – Pere Pavandi Saan – Tahir Mithu and
    – Ishq Aap Bhe Awalla – Chakwal Group & Meesha Shafi

    Couple of songs gave me a feeling of deja vu – yeah, Atif Aslam’s song Rabba Sacheya was a combination of Mori Aarj Suno by Tina Sani’s Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s punjabi poem with Patanay Khan’s famous sufi kalam hit…not that the lyrics weren’t great…just didn’t like Aslam’s treatment of it…The other familiar song was by Tahir Mithu…don’t remember the lady’s name who sang this originally…just know that I have heard this one before. Mithu did a great job nonetheless.

    Loved Chakwal Group – didn’t understand why Hyatt and Co. featured Shafi on this one…she only served as a back up vocalist…Fareed Ayaz and Abu Muhammad were interesting and typical- no surprise there. Bilal Khan sang about hope, passion and determination…

    more later…

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  14. THE Coke Studio Season 5, Episode 2

    Afer a superb Episode 1 it was obvious for us to wait for the episode 2 and it’s out now! Lets see the contents of this melody goodybag!

    Ishq aap bhe awalla – Chakwal Group & Meesha shafi – Yes, Meesha shafi is back but this time it’s not just about her, its about the mind blowing Chakwal group who accompany her! The beat is very ‘Chori chori’ like in the beginning and that’s where the similarity ends. The group singers break into an excellently coordinated song. Revolving around a love struck girl who is filling water from the well the irony in this version is that the female singer (Meesha), doesn’t get ‘solo singing time’! Ok, we would have liked that a bit more, Rohail! Note. it. Excellent song! (Meesha is audible from 2 mins onwards, still).

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  15. ‘Coke Studio Season 5’ wows with 2nd episode
    Tuesday, 29 May 2012 1:23 am

    As ‘Coke Studio Season 5’ returned with its second episode, we present a low-down on the songs seen and heard on it.
    Rabba Sacheya
    Bringing together an interesting contrast in the song, Atif Aslam has merged Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s critically acclaimed ‘Rabba Sacheya’ with Khuwaja Ghulam Farid’s ‘Meda Ishq Vi Toon’. ‘Rabba Sacheya’ is an example of Faiz’s expression of sorrow and anger for the suffering of humanity.

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  16. Firstperson: Re-Vitalising the Studio

    For a man of his stature, Rohail Hyatt is a remarkably easy person to talk to — you wouldn’t expect him to be so based on the reputation he has built as the man who year after year produces the most appreciated brand of music these days. If music icons could be matched across hemispheres, and Ali Azmat was one of the Gallagher brothers, then Rohail Hyatt would be likened to Dr Dre; just replace all gangsta rap with the ‘genre’ of music that Rohail creates.

    Of course, this is a light-hearted comparison for a person who is deeply passionate about his music. In this exclusive to Images on Sunday, Rohail discussed all things Coke Studio and music, revealing how each season of the show feels like a child to him. I asked him to pick a favourite but like a parent, it is impossible for him to do so despite my prodding. The same went for picking a favourite song (although he did mention there was a song this season in Episode 2 which brought a tear to his eye). Instead, he talked at length about each show’s personality reflecting in the motifs for each season, and to
    anyone who would have dropped in on the conversation, it would have seemed as if he were on a different plane of reality.

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  17. Coke Studio Season 5, Episode 3
    June 10, 2012

    The third episode featured Bohemia, Overload and Viccaji, Bilal Khan, Hadiqa Kiani and Uzair Jaswal…This episode was a bit of an anti-climax…am not sure if I like any of the material presented on this one though I haven’t made my mind up. Maybe it will grow on me? I can’t help quoting my bro here – “they have a year to come up with new material and this is what they come up with!” He said this at the end of the program pretty disgusted with the whole thing. 😀 I couldn’t help agreeing. There was something pretty off key with this one…

    The song line up went something like this:

    School ki Kitab by Bohemia
    Tarray by Bilal Khan
    Neray Aah by Overload and Rachel Viccaji
    Nindiya Ke Paar by Uzair Jaswal
    Rung by Hadiqa Kiani

    Bohemia was no surprise. Same kind of beat and treatment – only the lyrics were different. Bilal Khan’s Tarray’s chorus was the only nice thing about the song. The lyrics didn’t rhyme hence, the song was off key in places…Overload and Viccaji was interesting except it wasn’t a duet! Contrary to Behind the Scene sentiments, Viccaji was still a back up vocalist – the only difference was that she was allowed to stand with Farhad. She didn’t lead the song at any point. It was still Overload’s show…Uzair Jaswal was pretty smart with the fusion. It didn’t feel like two songs – his fusion was seamless which was an actual ‘departure’ for Coke Studio – (I know Hayat keeps insisting behind the scenes all his songs are a departure from his usual but they never are!:D). Rung was interesting but I think Kiani was out of her depth here as well…she needs to do a number that suits her voice and range. She is great at picking her stuff but maybe she would be better at producing this type of music with someone else at the vocals…what do you think? I know I felt both times the material was actually wasted on her.

    anyway, more later…

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  18. Coke Studio is making a mockery out of our culture
    Suleman Akhtar June 4, 2012

    At the risk of sounding judgemental, let me state flat out that “Coke Studio” is the place where a revitalisation of folk culture is endeavoured by slaughtering it.

    A not-so-thoughtful cogitation, in this case, has led people to believe that through commercialism a win-win situation can be achieved to the benefit and amusement of all the stakeholders, i.e. the producers, the conglomerate and the MTV generation.

    The idea clicked.

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  19. Soundcheck: Third time’s a charm
    By Madeeha Syed | From InpaperMagzine | 17 hours ago

    Neray Aah by Overload and Rachel Viccaji: Rachel steps on to the stage as one of the lead vocalists for this song. As seen in the behind-the-scenes clip, adapting to Punjabi was challenging enough for the singer, but she seemed to do a fine job in the final version.

    Neray Aah has been taken from the soundtrack of Syed Noor’s film, Choorian (1998). Overload’s cover of the song, which they first released in 2011, was a popular hit as well.

    Farhad Humayun joins Rachel to sing a duet that is gritty and has raw angst in its undertone. Their collaboration lends certain darkness to the song and gives voice to the torment it is meant to communicate.

    Replacing Farhad on drums is his long-time friend Sikandar Mufti. Another addition to the music is that there is a shaadi band featured in the song as well.

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  20. Coke Studio, Season 5, Episode 4, aired June 24, 2012

    First impressions, mediocre, not very creative…could have done better.

    The song line-up was something like this:

    – Kandyaari Dhol Geet by Bohemia and Chakwal Group
    – Bolay by Uzair Jaswal
    – Dohlna by Atif Aslam
    – Tora Bahraam Khaana by Humayoon Khan
    – Rung by Fareed Ayaz & Abu Muhammad

    Bohemia and Chakwal Group sang two distinct tracts of the same song (Kandyaari) with no unified theme linking the two different genres (folk with rap) so as an experiment, I think it failed…Bolay by Jaswal was easy listening, light and interesting. Dohlna by Aslam was just okay…it might grow on me after listening to it a few times, Tora by Khan was in Pashto so couldn’t relate to lyrics- the musical score and vocals were fine. Rung by Ayaz and Muhammad was interesting and typical. Was surprised to hear the same material sung in the same season by two different vocalists – why couldn’t Kiani and Ayaz & Muhammad collaborate on the song? Seems a waste of effort doing it twice; though, the Qawwali sounded better…

    Overall, I still have to decide which song gets the show stopper award for this episode…sigh.

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  21. Tuesday, June 26, 2012
    Coke Studio getting bigger and better!

    By Sheharyar Rizwan

    This Sunday saw Coke Studio present its fourth session of the ongoing season. This episode featured the likes of Uzair Jaswal, Atif Aslam, Bohemia teaming up with the Chakwal group, Hamayoon Khan, and the combination of Fareed Ayaz and Abu Muhammad.

    Hamayoon Khan appears once again for his rendition of a combination of two Pashtu folk songs – “Tora Bahraam Khaana/Tora Da Jalkay” – bearing similar themes. Both the folk songs revolve around lovers singing for their beloveds, who are dark complexioned. But through these folk love songs the lovers try to express the fact they unconditionally love the other person, irrespective of their facial appearance. Like Hamayoon’s “Larsha Pekhawar Ta, Tora Baram Khanna” also includes Pashtu couplets or tappas. The modern touch rendered to Pashtu music comes as a breath of fresh air in Hamayoon’s mellifluous and perfectly regional dialect that does complete justice to both folk songs. Such an addition to Coke Studio can only be an attempt to make it bigger and better.\06\26\story_26-6-2012_pg9_15

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  22. The best from ‘Coke Studio’ episode 4
    By Rafay Mahmood
    Published: June 25, 2012


    In its fourth episode this season, the “Coke Studio” house band treated listeners to one of the most musically challenging compositions of the season. From the brilliant combination of the Chakwal Group and Bohemia to a larger than life rendition of Amir Khusro by Fareed Ayaz and Abu Mohammad, what emerged from the fourth episode was pure and honest music.

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  23. Coke Studio Season 5 Episode 4 continues musical exploration

    We present an overview of songs seen and heard on episode 4 of ‘Coke Studio’s Seasons 5’.
    Kandyaari Dhol Geet

    Bohemia and Chakwal Group: This is a love song written by Aziz Lohar, a contemporary of the Chakwalis who hailed from village Shah Khushi near Kalar Kahar in Chakwal. There is little information available as to the date it was written and no written records of the poet Aziz Lohar. A fusion between contrasting tragedies of love; One referring to spiritual love, sung by the Chakwali’s in a joyful manner and the other relating to people who are lost in the material realm, performed by Bohemia.
    Tora Bahraam Khaana

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  24. Coke Studio, Season 5, Episode 5, aired July 8, 2012

    Unfortunately, didn’t catch the first two songs aired on July 8th. Finally, made time to listen to the missing songs yesterday at the Coke Studio official website

    The song line up for episode 5 went something like this:

    • Seher by Farhan Rais Khan
    • Mahi by Overload
    • Wah Wah Jhulara by Chakwal Group
    • Dasht-e-Tanhaai by Meesha Shafi
    • Koi Labda by SYMT featuring Sanam Marvi

    Koi Labda by SYMT and Marvi was I think the best song – for a change, it sounded like a duet. The lyrics were good and the addition of Marvi lifted the song from ordinary to great. Dasht-e-Tanhaai by Shafi was not bad – obviously she couldn’t match Iqbal Bano but it was relatively better than her ‘Chori Chori’ effort a couple of seasons ago. Wah Wah Jhulara by Chakwal Group was interesting but more of the same. No newness or differentiation from their previous work in the same season. Mahi by Overload and Seher by Farhan Rais Khan were fine too…overall, not bad.


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