The much-awaited 11th season of Coke Studio kicked off on Friday evening, with a stellar roster of underrated singers at the forefront in the first episode.
From delving into rap and tappa to the spiritual poetry of Allama Iqbal, this episode showcased a myriad of talent through four songs of varying genres. What exactly were the highlights this week? Here’s the lowdown…
Rap Hai Saara
Exploring the world of rap in Pakistan, with accompanying lyrics in Balochi, Urdu, and Punjabi, Rap Hai Saara is surely a foot tapping escapade, which will make you appreciate the talents of Lyari Underground and Young Desi. However, that said, while the song blazes through, one wishes the house band could meet the chemistry of the rappers, rather than slowing it down.
Featuring Naghma and Lucky – two transgendered women, who were given the opportunity to sing on the platform for the first time – Baalkada is a frolic-y tune, which surely comes alive with Jimmy Khan’s vocals. It also features a folk tune that mixes with the traditional tappa style composition, which gives it that fun side. However, do we wish that Baalkada also experimented with Naghma and Lucky’s tonal variations? Definitely!
Make way for our very own version of I’m Every Woman, as Haniya Aslam and Rachel Viccaji’s textured earthy vocals brings us Main Irada. Crooning to empowering lyrics by Bilal Sami and Haniya, the song also features Shamu Bai’s unrestrained pitch-perfect voice, paired with Ariana and Amrina – of Pareek fame’s – bright and chirpy chants. In true sense, Main Irada is an iconic women’s anthem with a powerful message.
The piece de la resistance this episode, Allama Iqbal’s Shikwa and the subsequent Jawab-e-Shikwa come alive as the powerful vocals of Natasha Baig mixing with Fareed Ayaz and Abu Muhammad meet. Featuring an intense build-up, the unique rendition explores the genre of rock and the signature sound of qawwali in this one of a kind track. If there’s one song this whole episode we can’t get enough of, it has to be this.