Stories about coke studio

Noori: Don’t make digs at pop culture

I recently chanced upon a local morning show where Ali Hamza and Ali Noor of the infamous band Noori were the guests. As the simpering hostess struggled under the weight of roughly two kilogrammes of cosmetics and artificial hair, her more composed male co-host raised a topic of actual interest. There have been few mentions of south-eastern pop culture without Munni Badnaam coming up, as it did on this instance. The brothers vehemently declared their dislike for such mainstream, sales-oriented musical productions – contrary to the opinion shared by a majority of heterosexual males. Looking like he had just discovered a piece ...

Read Full Post

Singing through patriarchy with a bit of desi jazz

So, three years too late I have discovered Zeb and Haniya. I discovered them thanks to a friend’s enthusiasm for ‘waii waii’, a term used in their Coke Studio rendition of Paimona Bitte. The ‘waii waii’ women have brought a ‘girls just wanna have fun’ element into Pakistani music. While Paimona was the song that got me hooked, it is their song Chup (Hush) that makes me smile whenever I listen to it. It was different. Pakistani and Indian love songs are usually all about the sacrificing, shy, scared and most importantly, submissive female. Sure, there was Nazia Hassan’s Aap jaisa koi (Someone like ...

Read Full Post

Singing from the heart

There is a story told in traditional musical families in the sub-continent about Tan Sen, a legendary musician from the times of Akbar the great who was one of the nine jewels of the Mughal court. It is said he could cause rain clouds to appear and disappear through the exposition of his raags. The heart does not sing for gold The story goes that one day, after listening to the rapturous music of Tan Sen, Akbar asked him if there was anyone in the empire who could match his musical talents. “There is one, my Lord, who not only matches but indeed surpasses me in music,” answered Tan Sen. “Is it ...

Read Full Post

Dum Ghutku – a class of its own

The chorus verse employed in Arif Lohar’s  Coke Studio rendition of ‘Jugni’ in ‘Alif Allah Chambay di Booty’  conveys simultaneously a sense of ‘suffocation’ and ‘with every breath’ in traditional folk-speak. Something that I, and perhaps many, would never have come to know about had Rohail Hyatt not decided to introduce a platform where the varied strains in Pakistani music could meld to give birth to magic on screen and in sound. Pakistani ‘sufi’ music is a term that generally represents a melting pot of folk, cultural, mystic and religious influences. Perhaps Hyatt’s greatest achievement with Coke Studio is the fact ...

Read Full Post

Coke Studio: musical tradition rediscovered

Two Words: Coke Studio They move us, inspire us, take us back to our roots, and entertain us. Inculcate pride of our culture and heritage. Allows different musical traditions to come together and create magic. In my research on history, particularly pertaining to the influences and traditions of the Muslim Empires extending from the Prophet’s (PBUH) time until the Mughal Empire, I could not help but marvel at the close parallels between the “traditions” of Coke Studio and 8th Century Muslim Andalusia (Southern Spain), the Ottoman Empire of Turkey and later the Mughal Empire of the Subcontinent. Historical traditions quote that Spain was ...

Read Full Post

How do such headlines get through?

What should I make of the following headline in Dawn, Images, June 27 for a movie review on The A-Team? Their regular reviewer (he seems to be writing for a number of years, though mostly forgettable reviews) Mohammad Kamran Jawaid wrote the piece, and I am assuming that he gave the headline which is: Man-on-man action and explosions (Incidentally, Mr Jawaid’s movie reviews invariably have a ‘Second opinion’ by someone by the name of Farheen Jawaid – and even if the two aren’t related I wonder why would you need a ‘second opinion’ to a movie reviews, especially by someone not very well known). Now ...

Read Full Post

Coke Studio Episode 2: Good but not great

Coke Studio won all our hearts for its unique style of fusion and diversity in music.  But season three is more mind-numbing than outstanding. Episode two, which aired on June 20, featured five tracks of which only two were exceptional. One example of average performances is EP’s cover of ‘Bolo Bolo’ Although it was nice to see EP performing together again but they did not manage to capture the essence of Sajjad Ali’s “Bolo Bolo” when they performed the beautiful song. The track  came out in early 90’s on the hit album “Babia”  and instantly became one of the most ...

Read Full Post

Multi-dimensional intimacy with “Bibi Sanam Janam”

After “Paimoona”, Zeb & Haniya steal the show with their highly applaudable “Bibi Sanam”, with Dari derivation and saccharine Dari accent. The Coke Studio sessions are really worth appraising and hold a touch of classy knack to them. The original song, sung by Wahid Qasemi (Vaheed Kaacemy; Persian) was built on a different set of tune and harmony. The magnificent folk song from Afghanistan is sung in a Dari style by Wahid. Vocals of both the artists are incomparable, since both have a style of their own. The Zeb & Haniya version starts with a beautiful Rubab played by Sadiq Sameer, ...

Read Full Post