Abdullah Siddiqui is one of the associate music producers of Coke Studio 14
Abdullah Siddiqui is one of the associate music producers of Coke Studio 14 among playing other roles. But the prodigious artist found his breakthrough with Nescafe Basement’s ‘Resistance’. He also broke the mainstream versus indie music scene wall by collaborating with Meesha Shafi on the still underrated ‘Magenta Cyan’ for his second solo album. She co-directed the song and Abdullah had Meesha in mind from the start for the song. Between then and now, the two have worked together on various occasions.
As the explosive, thoughtful and meaningful ‘Muaziz Sarif’, a collaboration between Meesha Shafi and Faris Shafi, sister and brother has finally released via Coke Studio 14, Abdullah shared his equation with Meesha and tidbits for the future.
“I’ve been working with Meesha (Shafi) quite extensively over the last couple of years, we’ve made a lot of work together. That experience and relationship has had a huge effect on me personally and also on my work and craft,” confessed Abdullah. “In terms of the Coke Studio experience, I really got to be there for the first time on the set – I’d never seen that before. It was really lovely to kind of experience her energy as a performer. Soon after the shoot, we got to perform together at a live concert. I got to channel the kind of energy that I saw her give on the set.”
Abdullah Siddiqui noted that in this equation with Meesha Shafi, he has learned a lot. “I credit her a lot for just teaching me a great deal. One thing I would say that was relevant to my Coke Studio 14 experience was that she was one of the people who opened me up to singing in Urdu. The first time I ever sang in Urdu was a cover of her song ‘Mein’ which I recorded. Since then, we’ve recorded a song for my upcoming album which is entirely in Urdu. And there is some Urdu on my song in Coke Studio. I feel like my confidence to be able to do that is largely a credit to her.”
Though ‘Muaziz Sarif’ by Meesha and Faris is a ride-or-die sort of rollercoaster with Faris Shafi taking on mic more often, the verses Meesha sang showed how quickly she is growing as an original artist with each song ranging from ‘Speaker Phaar’ to ‘Muaziz Sarif’ forecasting a narrative only she can create. Meanwhile Faris is rising as the rapper he was always meant to be. The world will recognize that, hopefully with, the power of Coke Studio 14.
– Image courtesy: Coke Studio
Asad Ahmed releases fourth solo album,
A Cosmic Intervention
Asad Ahmed has had a long, healthy career, playing with the likes of Vital Signs, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan to the early years of Coke Studio. He’s also been part of the pop-rock band Awaz and followed it up with another band called Karavan as well as contributed to Haroon’s solo albums and been a session player for a variety of artists over the years. But the guitar maverick has been focused on his own career as well.
In 2021, he released his third solo album Ascension, and it seems Asad Ahmed, an industry stalwart, prefers the format of dropping a full-length album and not singles alone. According to the press statement, all the tracks from his fourth album were recorded from June to mid-September 2021. “A sonic guitar landscape of epic proportions with Rock, Blues and Metal stylings. From the hypnotic ‘A Touch Of Divinity’ to the roar of ‘The Funk Of 1000 Years’, A Cosmic Intervention is a treat for any music aficionado.”
Speaking about the album in detail, Asad Ahmed said, “I initially wanted to release a live album that was recorded at two shows in Karachi and New Jersey. As I was mixing some songs, I realized I don’t have enough tracks for a double live album so I started working on new tunes. The process of making an instrumental guitar album is very different to a group/vocal album. I have always thought of my instrumentals as songs, which is why they are arranged and composed like songs with the guitar substituting for the vocal melody. As a producer I wanted to enhance some of the tracks with a more modern sound as well as traditional percussion. ‘A Touch of Divinity’, ‘Longing’, ‘You And I’ and the title track are great examples of this. There are also two live tracks that are great performances captured on tape in front of a home crowd in Karachi. This is by far the best album I have done and there’s no stopping now!”
Distributed worldwide by DistroKid, the fourth album is available on major music platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, Amazon Music, Deezer, Tidal, iHeart Radio, YouTube Music, Anghami, KKBox and many more.