Stories about coke studio

Instead of invoking patriotism and jazba, #CSNationalAnthem portrayed disrespect and injustice

It’s become common practice for brands to associate themselves with humanitarian work and patriotism in order to gain extra mileage in the public eye. Recently, Coke Studio launched its own version of the national anthem. Considering that it had the likes of Shafqat Amanat Ali, Ali Zafar, Attaullah Khan Esakhelvi, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Ali Noor, it should have been a beautiful rendition, but it was anything but that. I have quite a few issues with this version of the national anthem. Firstly, I find it ridiculous that they thought it was okay to call it the #CSNationalAnthem and not the Pakistani ...

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Presenting, Pakistan’s Social Media Awards for 2016!

Nobody does crazy like Pakistan. In 2016, the world lost their collective cool and Pakistan was put on the crazy back burner. But that does not mean we didn’t have our moments. It is time to acknowledge those moments. The strangest out of all the weird stories, the most real-fake news, as well as the funniest – let’s honour the best. Presenting, the Social Media Awards for 2016! From sacrificing goats before flying planes to kabootar agents, from stationary dharnas to mankind’s angels, from chai walas to Momina; these are my favourite stories from last year. The time for politics is over; we are in the age of the celebrity – Donald Trump is president. The victor of the 2018 ...

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Why can’t we have Pakistani bands, DJs, and solo artists with massive fan bases in our own country?

Pakistan is home to a large population. It is harbouring so many talented musicians, some who we may never hear of, and Coke Studio hits. Then why is our music-loving population either humming Bollywood hits or songs from the Billboard Top 40 chart? This is because there is a lack of opportunities and exposure for local artists. Pakistan only has a handful of record labels that are famous for not promoting “unknown artists” and for taking away all creative control from the performer. One prime example of this is the now discontinued Fire Records that at one point managed every mainstream Pakistani artist with any notable fame. ...

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Why I am disappointed with Coke Studio season 9

Dear Coke Studio, I thank you for your efforts, for giving us some fine music yet again and bringing together the best talent in Pakistan. You are indeed a platform that makes us proud of our music. There are so many reasons why we love you and eagerly await your season each year. However, despite being a fan of your music, I couldn’t help but feel dissatisfied over the fact that you have completely neglected other provinces and their music in your latest season. Your biased attitude has disgruntled me. And it leaves me as a fan feeling like this gesture was in bad taste. I love Punjabi and Urdu ...

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Five songs that stole the show in Coke Studio season 9

It’s safe to say that Coke Studio season nine ended with a lot of hype, grandeur, and lavishness. Similar to its previous seasons, this season was a bag of mixed flavours. Some episodes were brilliant; some were ordinary, while others were below average. Therefore, with a total of seven episodes and 30 songs, here is my pick of the five best creations of the season. 5. Tu Kuja Man Kuja Finale Artist: Shiraz Uppal and Rafaqat Ali Khan Music Director: Shiraz Uppal Shiraz Uppal and Rafaqat Ali created a soulful kalam with a mesmerising chorus – that managed to win my heart. Usually a male duet with similar ...

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Coke Studio episode 5 is a bag of mixed surprises

I would put down Coke Studio’s episode five as a bag of mixed surprises. I must confess that it did take some time for the compositions to sink in, but gradually, I have developed a liking for most of the tracks now. I call this an ‘overdose syndrome.’ With such an overdose of great music, one finds themselves in a dilemma. Perhaps, if I had listened to some of these compositions independently, I would have developed an instant liking towards them. But with excellent precedents such as Afreen Afreen and Man Kunto Maula, one is cautious in choosing a new favourite. However, the more you listen ...

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Coke Studio episode 4 has managed to grace perfection in its own way

I can’t believe the 4th episode is out already, and I can finally sense the season coming to full bloom with all its glory. Somehow the healthy competition between the music directors is working wonderfully for this season. Bringing in great diversity of genres, instruments and musicians – the composers have made sure this season stands out. The competition is not just among the peers, but also the umpteen good quality composers who didn’t make the cut this time and are waiting for their call next season. It’s great to see the market-forces at work here, ultimately benefiting the primary stakeholders – ...

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Four reasons why Coke Studio’s Afreen Afreen is my new favourite

Coke Studio’s second episode went on air on August 19, 2016, and Afreen Afreen, sung by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Momina Mustehsan, stole the limelight – rightfully so. While some loved it and others hated it – for me, Afreen Afreen encompassed exactly what Coke Studio is all about. Coke Studio started nine years ago, and succeeded in bringing famous Pakistani singers together on a platform in order to recreate some of the most legendary songs of the past. When I say recreate, it should be made clear that recreation does not mean singing it again, as it is, rather it means creating something new, with the essence of ...

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Pakistan and India: Friends abroad always, enemies at home always always

As someone who had been raised in the United States by Pakistani immigrants, I have always found it difficult to fathom the animosity between Pakistanis and Indians living in South Asia. All the aspects of life that bring the two groups together – from music and food, to values and mannerisms – get clouded out by the venomous politics between the countries’ governments. During this time of celebration for the 69th year of independence of Pakistan and India, I strongly believe that the only way forward is for the citizens of both these countries to recognise their shared experiences ...

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Are there too many cooks in Coke Studio’s broth?

It’s that time of the year again, when the most anticipated musical project of the country hits our screens and is seen dodging the pressure of incredulous expectations attached to it. Coke Studio is back with its ninth season and will stick around for the next two months – all the while retaining an essential chunk of our national narrative. People will love it, hate it, love to hate it, and hate to love it – but everyone agrees there’s nothing quite like Coke Studio. Here are my two cents on the first episode of the current season. 1. Sasu ...

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