When we think about it, there’s only one question that surfaces: Why, Coke Studio, why?
Giving us all that beautiful poetry and the joy of classical instruments, Coke Studio has produced some iconic songs that have been heard all across Pakistan and even made their way across the border and beyond. Coke Studio music has literally been like the bubbles in a freshly opened can of Coke, effervescent in their excitement, rising to the surface to pop with enthusiasm. But every now and then they have fallen flat. For some songs we understand the effort and put their failure down to bad luck. But with others, we wonder why a platform as huge as Coke Studio would even take this kind of risk? Click-bait and eye candy is fine (to some extent) but not to the level where you know the babe in question has never managed to carry a tune in a bucket. Cases in point:
Komal Rizvi – ‘Daane Pe Daana’ (Season 4)
Komal Rizvi brought us ‘Baujee Baujee’ when we were little and what a classic song that was (goes to show how easy it was to be famous back in the day). But then over the years, we didn’t think much of Komal’s musical talents. And then she landed a gig on Coke Studio Season 4. Of course, we were confused and curious but this was the point where we had complete faith in Rohail Hyatt’s version of CS and we said to ourselves, why not. And then came ‘Daane pe Daana’. Truly one of the best songs ever produced on CS, until Ms Rizvi entered. Akhtar Channal captivates the listener from the very first verse and has you hooked while the classical instruments work their magic and suddenly, an out of tune Komal Rizvi appears, singing confidently, hitting those high notes like she knows what she’s doing. And we sit through it because well, the song is so damn good that we are willing to tolerate the horror. And then she sings ‘Laal Meri Path’ at the end, and now her vocals are oscillating between this feminine chord and this really heavy baritone and we really don’t what to make of all of it. Several seasons later, we’re still confused.
Ayesha Omar – ‘Laage Re Nain’ (Season 6)
Ayesha Omar is a true fighter. She has tried her hand at VJ-ing, modelling, acting, and even singing. There is nothing that she has left (to the professionals) and by the time it was her turn to feature on CS, we were quite familiar with her ‘Jack of all trades’ kind of quality. We had also started to lose faith in Coke Studio, which was weakening in monotony. CS had been making some repetitive music, so we were bored and started waiting for something new. Maybe we should have been more careful about what we wished for. With Season 6, Rohail Hyatt decided to shake things up a bit, choosing to use international musicians and a different studio. And that’s when Ayesha Omar also came in. We had heard Ayesha before (she had released some singles that didn’t become too popular) so there was less curiosity and more fear. When we heard her sing ‘Laage Re Nain’, we wondered why nobody told her how the song sounded. We haven’t seen Ayesha sing since then so maybe somebody did.
Mehwish Hayat – ‘Tu Hi Tu’ (Season 9)
This one came to us as a complete surprise. Mehwish Hayat singing? She’s beautiful and can act and dance and we generally love her. But can she sing? Well, turns out she can’t and since everyone loves her so much, we aren’t being objective. But let’s be honest, Shiraz Uppal actually wowed us with his vocals, and while the song isn’t much to talk about, at least it was bearable. And then Mehwish went and tried to hit really high notes and heavens, it reminded us of Komal Rizvi. Sorry Mehwish, your fashionable jacket and pretty smile can’t get you out of this one.