Coke Studio, since its inception, has given a powerful breakthrough to the identity of music in Pakistan. This was the very platform that inspired Indians to follow suit and release their own version which surprisingly failed to leave a mark, in comparison to Pakistan – which till today gives us a great high, if we must admit.
From Vital Signs’ guru Rohail Hyatt – who revived his musical journey when the concept of a live orchestra performing to the tune of a song was still new to us to legendary pop band Strings taking over after six successful seasons, the platform really has changed the face of music in the country. The newest season however, didn’t leave us asking for more except for the introductory track ‘Hum Dekhenge’ which was beautifully in sync with a collage of voices.
Now, looking back at the journey of Coke Studio, we decided to revisit 11 of our most favourite tracks marking the years of Coke Studio and provide you a list which you can’t get tired of hearing!
1. Aik Alif – featuring Saeen Zahoor & Noori
The song ‘Aik Alif’ – a Bulleh Shah kalaam on ‘ilm’ (knowledge) is our earliest memory of Coke Studio. The brilliant composition by Rohail, its meaningful lyrics and the depth of Ali Hamza’s voice still leaves us speechless and makes it our most favourite song from the show.
2.Jal Pari – Atif Aslam
Revisiting this song always makes us dwell on our summer hols back in college days. Atif Aslam’s young and energetic voice gave us a reason to be hooked to this song, not to forget the old version which was nothing compared to his Coke Studio performance.
3. Dhaani – Strings featuring Ustad Gullu
Dhaani by Strings has always been an ultimate favourite but their Coke Studio performance featuring the ustaad who we think provided more soul to the song given his classical prowess.
4. Paimona – Zeb & Haniya
We were newly introduced to the magic of Zeb & Haniya when we heard ‘Paimona.’ The song is beautifully sung in Persian and the depth of music notes and vocals make it a soothingly haunting track.
5. Nindiya Re – Kaavish
‘Nindiya Re’ is a melodious lullaby as the name suggests, sung by Jaffer Zaidi of Kaavish. The tune is soft and soothing to the ears and makes our association even more memorable by being featured in the famous Fawad Khan & Nadia Jamil starrer telefilm ‘Behud.’
6. Laila O Laila – Rostam Mirlashari
This hummable ditty sung in Balochi is a sweet tune to listen to in all seasons. Even though the only word to comprehend is ‘Laila’ – but the fusion of various musical instruments like violin and banjo and the catchy drum beat makes it an interesting experience for the ears.
7. Dost – Abida Parveen
Abida Parveen’s ‘Dost’ is by far one of the most powerful performances of the maestro in Coke Studio. The moment we heard it, we took a liking to it. The tune and the poignant lyrics are hauntingly beautiful giving us a chill down our spine each time we hear it.
8. Kadi Aao Na – Atif Aslam featuring Mai Dhai
Mai Dhai became an instant sensation as she appeared with her powerful vocals on the show, that too at an age, worthy of applause. Hailing from a Rajasthani descent, her voice echoes long after you’ve heard it and this one is a beautiful mix of diverse vocals, give us this track we love!
9. Aaj Re More Saiyaan – Ali Hamza featuring Zeb Bangash
The classic Zeb’s voice paired with Ali Hamza’s deep, melodic vocals produced this gem ‘Aaja Re Moray Saiyyan.’ The tune is hummable and catchy with beautiful lyrics penned by poetess Zehra Nigah, the song is peppy and an instant treat to the ears, and given its massive popularity on the day of its release is proof enough to believe.
10. Paar Chanaa De – Noori featuring Shilpa Rao
Reviving the culture of old folkloric tunes, Coke Studio came up with ‘Paar Chanaa De’ – a hauntingly beautiful Punjabi folk song sung on the love lost tragedy of the beloved. Indian acclaimed playback singer Shilpa Rao lent her melodious voice accompanied by that of Ali Hamza’s and Ali Noor, giving us a perfect melody for all seasons to come.
11. Neun La Leya – Kaavish
With melodious vocals of Jaffer Zaidi, nerve exciting poetry of Sufi Saint Shah Hussein, and a great, in-tuned arrangement of the orchestra, this song will take you on a melodic journey of love, rhythm, and harmony that will keep you emotionally charged for a long time. Not the kind of song you’ll listen to once, but one you’ll love to revisit every time.