Coke Studio Season3 – Losing Feel? by Salman Siddiqui


By Salman Siddiqui

HOWDY readers…..

I was just wondering what should I be writing about next which could reflect the general interest level of present music scene and i came up with a brilliant idea.Lets talk about the prestigious Coke Studio. Well as many of you people might not know that our beloved Coke Studio has a Gigantic line up, its Big. Here, have a look :

Coke Studio House Band Team

Asad Ahmad (Guitar), Babar Khanna (Percussion), Jaffer Zaidi (Keyboards), Javed Iqbal (Violin), Kamran ‘Mannu’ Zafar (Bass), Louis ‘Gumby’ Pinto (Drums), Natasha De Sousa (Vocals), Omran ‘Momo’ Shafique (Guitar), Saba Shabbir (Vocals), Sikander Inam (Dholak), Waris ‘Baloo’ Ali (Percussion), Zulfiq ‘Shazee’ Ahmed Khan (Percussion). Guest Artists include: Baqir Abbas (Flute), Gul Mohammad (Sarangi), Gurpreet Chana (Tabla), Rakae Jamil (Sitar), and Sadiq Sameer (Rubab).

To add up a little, I will like to share that these people ( in the Line-up ) are very much talented. Some of them like Babar Khanna,Jaffer Zaidi,Javed Iqbal,Louis ‘Gumby’ Pinto, and Omran ‘Momo’ Shafique are like Veterans at their work.(sorry if I omitted worth mentioning names)

Coming back to the topic now.. Well, by the time music lovers came to know of the launching and broadcasting of Coke Studio season 3, they had something to talk about other than the disappointing political issues. Music lovers, specifically youngsters , were very much excited about the upcoming season of their favourite Musical Show. The expectations were very much because of the massive popularity of the prior session (mainly session 2). But things didn’t turn out as expected.

Before continuing further, I must pay my heartiest regards to the producer of the Coke Studio, the man behind the big thing,Rohail Hayat , for his efforts in uniting various artists of various musical styles under a single roof. He must be credited for filling the gap we were facing in our present Pop Music scene. Its a hell of a job to make artist work together because artists have a little bit of ego like politicians. They are diplomatic. That is why Bands break and political parties too.

Coke Studio session 3 failed to gain that much following as the previous session gained. My idea is not to criticise anything good going on in the Music industry despite the bads, but it is about pointing on the facts which have created this notion or opinion. So, here goes…

First thing first. Coke Studio Session 3 episode 1 broadcast coincided with the ultimate destruct-shunt coverage of the cyclone PHET. This really affected the media coverage the show deserved. Everyone was so busy of being horrified by the cyclone that they many of them did not pay attention to the launching of the Coke Studio Session 3. And by the way, the Coke Studio is located in Korangi Area of Karachi , being the only place where musicians can gather and Jam.
Apart from that, do anyone remember what the previous session of Coke Studio offered? Lets give you a quick recap

Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Ali Azmat, Mauj ,Strings, Ustaad H. B. Gullo, Sajid and Zeeshan, and Ali Zafer

coke studio season1 Pictures

Sain Zahoor, Noori, Atif Aslam, Shafqat Amanat Ali, Zeb and Haniya, Ali Zafer, JoSH, and Riaz Ali Khan

coke studio season2 all artists

You do not get the point , do you?
Lets Simplify it..

In prior sessions of Coke Studio we had Ali Zafar, Atif Aslam, Shafqat Amant Ali, Strings, Josh, Jawed Bashir, Saiyeen Zahoor (my personal favourite), and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan. Are not they the names which rule our Music industry? They are our pride and they are those names everyone would cheer for irrespective of age group. These people transformed Coke Studio into a Musical Galore. Season 3 also has some popular people in its cast. Zeb-Haniya , Abida Parveen and Noori are among them. In comparison of the performances given in the previous sessions, the Coke Studio Season 3 does not seem to be that much attractive and energetic.I mean , ATIF ASLAM is not in the show amigos…… Sigh

Meesha Shafi Covering Reshma's We Main Chori Chori

Moreover,Coke Studio Season 3 introduced some new artist also. ADP (Aunty Disco Project) and Meesha Shafi are so much on news these days. Meesha Shafi is a versatile woman but she does not have the guts to sing Rehsma Jee’sWe Main Chori Chori“. I will be honest, and hope you people be honest with it too.. Reshma Jee’sversion is so much touching that it is still whispering in the ears of her listeners.Meesha Shafi failed to do justice with the song in the same way Ali Zafar failed with,the most beautiful folk song I have listened till this time, “Yaar Dhadi” in the previous season. Ali Zafar ended up with forgetting the lyrics and mixing them up. Why was that mistake, bitter faux pas not edited by the way?? The opinion Ali Zafar & Ustad Jumanregarding “”We Main Chori Chori” is not my personal opinion. It has been concluded by the views I got from my dear Senior Citizens who are still in love with “purany” songs.I believe that the song was pretty cool in the same original way it was. But what if Zeb and Haniya had performed it? Majority music lovers in Pakistan are middle class workaholic,critic, and ergo-maniac people. They need something refreshing and “new”. Zeb and Haniya did an awesome job in season 2. I loved their song Paimona though I cant even understand a single line of it. But whats the point of trying the same thing again and again? I mean they sang more two Pushtoo/ Farsi songs in Season 3. Cool , soothing music isn’t everything for a good song, lyrics also have a lot of considerable part in a hit.It would have been much much better if Zeb and Haniya had sung Reshma jee’sWe Main Chori Chori (but in the original way. As Reshma Jee put it). By suggesting this, I want to point out wrong song assignment.

The general energy level inside the jamming house is also lacking as compare to the Season 2. Mean there seems to be no alternate for Sain Zahor’s feel, passion and aggression for Music and his devotion to spirituality within. Guitarists are throwing same riffs again and again. Drum banging in the same way in  different songs. Everybody is doing what they mean to be doing in a passionate way, in a rather forced way.. You people are veterans and should come up with something different.If it remains the same way, Coke Studio will loss its following and viewers…

Most important reason of Coke Studio losing its charm is that Pakistani Pop Music has been known for the live performances our Musicians give on stage, which simply rock the crowd. From Junoon to Mekal Hassan Band(MHB), Noori to Atif Aslam, live performances is what has been the Milestone of our industry and has been a treat in gaining Worldwide recognition. Now people have got this nudge to themselves that Coke Studio records and then shows. In simpler words , its performances are what viewers refer as “CONTROLLED“.That’s not Live TV. Coke Studio must now do something to maintain its reputation. People are deviating from it.There is a lot of money and high production and post production involved in creating a Coke Studio episode but if a similar thing is done live, it will just be a cherry on the top because the potential of Coke studio house band truly shines in a live environment, than a “controlled” studio environment.

One more thing Coke Studio has failed to distinguish in this Season is the fact that Music and Glamour are entirely two different things. A glamours lady or a gentleman can not be necessarily good musicians.Coke studio is a great “phenomenon” which , I can proudly say, has created Fusion by creating blends of Western, Eastern and Pakistani music styles. But it sometimes troubles my mind that “HOW COME JUST A JAMMING STUDIO BE THE HALLMARK OF THE PRESENT MUSIC SCENE??” Are we out of ideas? This is not what at present Pakistani music scene is looking for…




The Article published above is by Salman Siddiqui, who is a Young Music Enthusiast and Author of He is doing Chartered Accountancy Course & spend most of his time with his books or Guitar. You can read all this previous articles here .You may also wish to keep in touch with him Via his social profile on Facebook or via email on

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