Coke Studio made its debut in 2008 with Rohail Hyatt as the producer from season 1 to 6. Later Strings followed the lead taking it to 10 successful seasons. However, while Coke Studio Pakistan is undeniably labelled the sound of the nation and appreciated worldwide, the previous seasons drew a lot of criticism for producing mostly covers and losing spark. Fans wanted Coke to bring something new to the table after sticking to the same plan for 10 seasons straight.
This time around, Ali Hamza and Zohaib Kazi, co-producers of Coke Studio 11 are all set to explore the different voices of Pakistan with their new module, Coke Studio Explorer. The plan is to hunt hidden treasures and showcase their talent to the world.
Coke Studio Explorer is a five-episode series in which the talented producers leave the studio and travel to different parts of Pakistan, identifying the real spirit of the nation. This, however, is not a replacement of Coke Studio, in fact, will be aired a month before the release of season 11.
The series will feature Altaf Mir from Kashmir, brother and sister duo Shamu Bai and Vishnu from Sindh, throat singers ‘Nar Sur’ from Balochistan and Kalashi girls Ariana and Amrina. Adding to these discoveries, they also found Mishal Khawaja, who was born in Pakistan, raised in Toronto and noticed on Instagram.
Hamza and Zohaib are known for producing original music and seem fit for the job. In fact, the reason behind taking Zohaib on board makes even more sense now; he has already experimented with Patari on a similar project called Fanoos.
“We recognized that Coke Studio has a position of influence and there are two ways to deal with it. You either just enjoy the power or you take the responsibility,” said Zohaib in a conversation with Instep. “Individuals can be themselves and we built on that rather than expecting or encouraging them to be someone they’re not,” added Hamza. “We did not push anyone to a point where they became uncomfortable.”
Coke Studio Explorer aims at examining and accepting differences and instilling hope at a time of great hostility. We’re excited to discover the spirit and sound of the nation with Coke Studio this year and we’re pretty sure it’s going to be bigger and better than before!
— Coke Studio (@cokestudio) July 1, 2018