70 years of Pakistan and a decade of Coke Studio

Pakistan is not an easy country if you are an aspiring artist. Be it a musician, singer, painter or actor; the road to success and recognition in our country is testing and strewn with hardships.We will be completing 70 years of independence this year. While we have come a long way in some aspects, the country’s arts and culture has not seen much progress and instead of flourishing, our arts, including the music industry actually regressed in the early 2000s.

There are very few training academies, platforms of scholarship programs where the young talent can learn and grow. Our icons and legendary artists are a testament to the immense pool of talent that our country possesses. These unmatched artists, like Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Madam Noor Jehan and Mehdi Hasan to name just a few, left a strong mark despite the absence of robust systems in place. These names and their accomplishments don’t always tell the story behind their struggles and the fights they must’ve fought to pursue their passions in their chosen fields.  

It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but Coke Studio has definitely brought back the fizz to the Pakistani music industry. When Coke Studio launched 10 years ago, not much was happening on the music front. Experimenting with fusion, bridging gaps between Pakistan’s golden era of yester years and the more modern vibes and moods of today, was no easy task. But Coke Studio became a trailblazer and created a whole new genre of music that beautifully intertwined the notable compositions and lyrics from the past with the contemporary tones and tastes.

Take folk music, artists like Mai Dhai, Arif Lohar, Sain Zahoor, or qawaali, artists including Fareed Ayaz & Abu Muhammad, Muazzam Ali Khan, or classical forms like ghazal and artists like Abida Parveen, Farida Khanum. These artists were already well-established in their genres, but these luminaries came into the limelight for a much younger audience through Coke Studio. Newer names like Asim Azhar, Momina Mustehesan, Quratulain Baloch, Jimmy Khan, Zoe Viccaji and many more became famous through their performances on the show and now have a worldwide following.      

Coke Studio’s commitment to showcase Pakistan’s best talent has been a huge undertaking. To be producing authentic and original music consistently for 10 years while giving the entire country something to be proud of and remain connected to its roots is a gargantuan mission. And Coke Studio has done all of this incredibly well. To mark the 10 year milestone, Coke Studio will be paying tributes to 7 legends of the music industry of Pakistan who are no longer with us, with the first tribute being paid to Mehdi Hasan sahib.

The highly anticipated 10th season’s Episode 1 was launched on digital media on Friday, August 11th and was broadcasted on television the next day. The first episode features Ranjish He Sahi as the tribute song to Mehdi Hasan, sung by Ali Sethi. The other songs in Episode 1 include Chaa Rahi Kaali Ghata by Hina Nasrullah and Amanat Ali, Muntazir by Momina Mustehsan and Danyal Zafar and Allahu Akbar by Ahmed Jehanzeb and Shafqat Amanat Ali Khan.


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