Coke Studio has to be one of the most awaited programs on our television landscape and many of us remember that day, nearly ten years ago in 2008, when Coke Studio launched their first season, featuring no more than 15 artists. That number has dynamically grown to almost 40, depicting the growth of the music industry in these ten very difficult years. In the last decade, Coke Studio has put contemporary Pakistani music on the global map. Love pours in from all sides of the border and it increases with the passing of every year. The tenth season of this iconic show promises to be no different.
While the first official release of CS10 was the show’s rendition of our beloved National Anthem, featuring all 40 musicians, the first episode of the show has been released and it features the likes of some Coke Studio regulars – like Ali Sethi, Shafqat Amanat Ali, Ahmed Jehanzeb, Momina Mustehsan and Amanat Ali – and we’ve also seen some new faces, such as Danyal Zafar and Hina Nasrullah.
Doing what he does best, Ali Sethi has made full use of his delicate, classical singing style to reinterpret a Mehdi Hasan classic, originally written by Ahmed Faraz. The original ‘Ranjish-e-Sahi‘ stirs your soul and makes one’s heart yearn for all that’s in the past and Ali Sethi and producer Jaffer Zaidi do justice to the poetry and the legend left behind by our forefathers. The melancholia depicted in Sethi’s voice cannot be mistaken, and it seems almost appropriate to sing this song to give tribute to the great Mehdi Hasan, as the song sings the tale of an abandoned lover.
Everyone has also been looking forward to Momina Mustehsan and Danyal Zafar’s chemistry on the show and the first episode immediately fulfilled our curiosity. The duo was given the opportunity to perform a romantic ballad written, produced and directed by the maestros Strings themselves. ‘Muntazir‘ is a melodic composition and Danyal and Momina’s soft vocals perfectly complement each other. We have to say that while people speculated the merits of Danyal Zafar’s inclusion in the season, he more than justifies his spot.
Hina Nasrullah and Amanat Ali’s ‘Chaa Rahi Kaali Ghata‘, directed by Sahir Ali Bagga, makes full use of a variety of instruments, such as the flute and the sitar, to give life to the classic song originally popularized by the celebrated Indian singer, the late Begum Akthar. We are also introduced to Hina Nasrullah’s powerful voice in this episode.
The most powerful and memorable performance of the episode has been delivered by Shafat Amanat Ali and Ahmed Jehanzeb in the shape of the classic hamd, ‘Allahu Akbar‘. Two extremely established musical powerhouses have come together in a show of spiritual devotion. Music director Shuja Haider has also done a tremendous job in creating the perfect blend between Sufi and contemporary. This was a great way to start the first episode.