Coke Studio Season 10 Episode 1


One of the most recognized brands in the world of music is no longer just an aerated drink, but Coke Studio which, this year, celebrates ten years of its existence. For those who arrived late, Coke Studio is a Pakistani television series and international music franchise which features live studio-recorded music performances by established and emerging artists. It is apparently the longest-running annual TV music show in Pakistan since 2008, combining genres from traditional classical, folk, Sufi, qawwali, ghazal, and Bhangra music to contemporary hip hop, rock, and pop music.

The tenth season of the Pakistani musical television series began on August 11, 2017, with Pakistani-band Strings continuing its association with Coke Studio as the show’s executive producers, while the show returned with the previous year’s format of music directors producing their own songs under Strings’ supervision.

While the show has been critically viewed for not producing new songs, unfortunately, I may add as that statement is not a fact with two of the four songs featured in Episode 1 being “originals”, namely, “Allahu Akbar” – with music and lyrics by Shuja Haider – and “Muntazir”, with lyrics and music provided by Strings. Whereas the other two selections featured in Episode 1, namely, “Chaa Rahil Kaali Ghata”, is a traditional composition with additional music provided by Sahir Ali Bagga and is a fine soft, mellow track; the other, “Rajnish Hi Sahi”, being a ghazal popularized by Mehdi Hassan, sung this time around by Ali Sethi.

While these so-called “covers” have their own standing among purists and/or converts, for me there is no doubt that the standouts are the newer tracks with “Allahu Akbar”, featuring the vocals of Ahmed Jahanzeb and Shafqat Amanat Ali, which is a fine mid-tempo track; whereas “Muntazir”, featuring the vocals of Momina Mustehsan and Danyal Zafar, who also doubles up in playing a very fluid guitar interlude, is a marvellous up-tempo selection that contains hypnotic rhythmic guitar riffs.

So, in a crux, my suggestion is to skip the media reports on Coke Studio Season 10 Episode 1 and listen to the tracks yourself. You will realize immediately that executive producers Strings have attempted to vary the sounds across the four songs as much as possible and, with the aid of four different music directors, including themselves, Coke Studio is well geared to progress towards another memorable musical binge.


– Review by PARAG KAMANI.

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