After a successful debut season helmed by Bilal Maqsood in 2020, Velo Sound Station is returning with Rohail Hyatt as executive producer in its second season.
ilal Maqsood, with former bandmate Faisal Kapadia took Coke Studio to new heights after Rohail Hyatt bowed out post season six.
And now, Rohail Hyatt will build Velo Sound Station on the foundation laid by Bilal Maqsood. Ironic? Deja vu? A case of serendipity? Murphy’s Law? It can be any of the following. But before making up your mind, this is how the story goes.
As Bilal Maqsood announced that he was stepping away from Velo Sound Station after introducing a terrific debut season, Rohail Hyatt has entered the VSS cosmos as executive producer for the second season.
When Bilal Maqsood introduced Velo Sound Station in 2020 as executive producer and co-director (with Yasir Jaswal), it was the most refreshing pop music series to emerge since Coke Studio made its debut in 2008.
The format of the series was also different. As Bilal reiterated, there was no parameter except one: highlighting pop music. Artists could present their own songs or work with Bilal Maqsood and his team for the creation of a song or even to give final polish to a rough sketch of an original they created.
In 2020, Velo Sound Station featured a combination of young talent and industry OGs. The show rose to the occasion exactly like it had promised and went on to feature Meesha Shafi, Atif Aslam, Umair Jaswal, Takatak, Nighat Chaudry, Aag (the band), Aima Baig, Abdullah Qureshi (who is no longer pursuing music), Natasha Noorani, Ahsan (also spelled as Ehsan) Pervaiz Mehdi, Sajjad Ali, Strings (before Faisal and Bilal went their separate ways), Shamoon Ismail, Uzair Jaswal and Sara Haider.
The collective experience of the audio-video production made it a resounding success. But VSS never did come back for a second round… until now.
As Bilal Maqsood confirmed to Instep just last year that he isn’t doing a second season as the captain of the ship, it meant good things for his own career as a solo artist post-Strings. It culminated in original songs (‘Naya Naya’, ‘Zalima’ and ‘Thak Sa Gaya Hoon’), taking on commercial projects including an anthem for a PSL team, reviving an advertisement, playing shows and creating a record catering to children. Bilal Maqsood’s pursuit of liberty, life and happiness is ongoing.
VSS, in the meantime, didn’t return in 2021 and 2022. However, with its enormous success, curiosity about the future of the show and the foundation set by Bilal Maqsood did make fans wonder when – and not if – the second season would arrive.
Though Bilal Maqsood confirmed that he had stepped off the platform as executive producer and co-director, through unimpeachable industry sources, Instep can report that Velo Sound Station is set to return with some drastic changes. Rohail Hyatt has come onboard as the executive producer. Kamal Khan and Zeeshan Parwez have come onboard as directors. All three have longtime association with Coke Studio in various capacities. Kamal and Zeeshan also directed several songs for Coke Studio 14. With Velo roping them and Rohail in as the executive producer, a number of artists will feature on the new season. A plus for the show.
What does it mean for Coke Studio 15 – if it happens? Will Parwez and Khan also serve as directors for another season of Coke Studio after the success they built as directors or bow out to do Velo Sound Station exclusively?
But watching Velo Sound Station under the care of Rohail Hyatt after Bilal Maqsood first introduced the format will certainly be an experience. Since the first VSS season was so successful, expectations from Mr. Hyatt will be higher than his last stint on Coke Studio. How this effects the most illustrious show in music history - Coke Studio - which had its most successful season to date in 2022 is also a mystery for now. Who will repeat a successful season: the upcoming season of Velo or perhaps an upcoming season of Coke Studio (in its fifteenth year). With Coke Studio 14 still lingering in the memory of fans in 2023 with its unexpected success on a global and local level, will there be another season at all?
For now, we’re thrilled that Velo Sound Station, progressive in nature with no agenda except highlighting music, is coming back. Will it surpass its own success? Watch this space for more as this story develops.