As has been a welcome tradition since season 8, the season 11 season opener and artist introduction was also done by a song and this was something that has affected almost everyone who has explored poetry and who understands Urdu. Hum Dekhenge was premiered about a month ago and I remember me and my colleague from Pakistan running out and finding a quaint corner in a buzzing office campus to play and see this piece of history together. It was the only time I have ever appreciated Samsung phone’s huge ass display. Anyway, back to Hum dekhenge. I absolutely loved the way Zohaib Kazi and Ali Hamza have played with the tune to accomodate varied artists and make quiet statement about a lot. I absolutely loved the way in which Naghma and Lucky were introduced and even though it seems lame and fake, I was dying to hear their first song. The entire line up looked superb to me barring may be the mention of Momina. Also, how cool a name is ‘Chaand tara orchestra’?. Anyway, to conclude, me and my colleague were damn excited to see Ali sethi (Bhaag chalo mere saath?) and Hassan Jahangir. Mad props for getting the line up so good!
Shikwa/Jawab e shikwa – hits you like a bullet and Natasha Baig is so strong yet never out of note. There is hardly anything wrong in her part of the song in which the lovely backups Shahab Hussain, Wajiha Naqvi and Mehr Qadir match her on every step. I really have never heard anything like this in CokeStudio Pakistan, ever. Then came the lovely team of Fareed Ayaz, Abu Muhammad Qawwal & Brothers. What I loved about their part is that they have performed as if they are sitting on a mazaar. I don’t think there has ever been a more intense performance in Cokestudio Pakistan before this. It is never ‘news’ when Fareed Ayaz and Abu Muhammad sing well. They are used to it. They are wired like that. What I didn’t like was that it was a bit mish-mashily arranged. The humnawas were amazing nevertheless. Confession – If I will hear this song 10 times, probably 8 out of 10 times, I will play the song only till Natasha Baig’s part.
Baalkada – Yes baby! This is what we are talking about! Munde di phoophi we juttti to russi hai. The way this song started made me soar like an airplane. Naghma & Lucky were fking fantastic! When I heard the song for the first time, I wanted to hear more from Jimmy khan. I hope he gets one more song this season. That said, Jimmy’s presence works like a balm in the song. The gamut of genres that CokeStudio Pakistan has touched should be a case study to those who ‘do music’ in our country as well. We need to just look at the arc of emotions CokeStudio Pakistan has chosen. Arey mujhse pooch lo yaar, I will make an excel sheet for you containing those details and I will lend my time for free to you. At least touch some other genres, Dear Indian artists!
Rap hai sara rap – In the days of ROHAIL HYATT, Cokestudio had a quiet brilliance to it. CS Pakistan was never ‘in your face’. The way this rap has been done, it has raised the swag factor of CokeStudio in multiples. All the boys ran a riot in the studio. I last smirked at someone’s entry when Bohemia entered the studio in ‘Kandyari dhal Geet’. Young desi has bettered it. If this song was a part of a concert in a big stadium, this song would have EVERYONE take their shirts off and throw them on the stage. Lyari underground is a fking revealation and I loved their part as well. Confession – I prefer watching this song that hearing it and trust me, I have watched it way too much, super super stuff!
Main Irada – Though I had a bit of reservation with the way Haniya started the song. Still, Shamu bai’s alaap, Rachel’s voice (JUST HOW MUCH TALENT DOES SHE HAVE REALLY?!). Ariana. Amrina. The production. Everything top notch. This is the sound cokestudio Pakistan was missing. Not to miss the message in the song, I just felt that Shamu bai should have been given better lines since her part really didn’t sync with the emotion of the song. Lastly, let us not forget – Pareeek! Mad props to Zohaib Kazi and Ali Hamza to patch in Pareek just at the right moment in the song. It is a call for action alright!
Episode 1 overall was a good season starter and while there were some chinks in the armour (read confused arrangement) off and on, I absolutely loved the sound and the intent with which season 11 has started.