A lot is being said about Coke Studio 12 across interwebs, newspapers and multiple social media platforms - including the fact that Rohail Hyatt is returning to produce season 12 of the music series and Ali Hamza and Zohaib Kazi have been let go. Other reports suggest Rohail Hyatt is in and hiring for the new season has begun.
But, according to unimpeachable sources who spoke to Instep on the condition of anonymity, Ali Hamza and Zohaib Kazi, who jointly produced season 11, honored their one-year contract and it was a mutual decision to step down between them and Coca Cola and to not renew their contract. It makes sense since both artists have been involved with Coke Studio in one capacity or another for years.
As for season 12, given the fact that landing the gig to produce Coke Studio is easily the biggest thing in Pakistan’s music scene and lucrative at the same time, a lot of names have emerged such as Atif Aslam, Faakhir, and Sahir Ali Bagga, with the latter being a strong contender, sources told Instep.
As for Rohail Hyatt’s probable return - who began Coke Studio and took it out of the country with a new vision in the hybrid season six, at the time of writing this article, an agreement between Coca Cola and Rohail Hyatt had not been reached. Though negotiations between Rohail Hyatt and Coca Cola are certainly in the works, until a legal agreement is reached, nothing is absolute, sources confirmed.
Rohail Hyatt, who produced season six as his last, should he return will also have to deal with a world that is now driven by social media hits, YouTube numbers, comments and what goes viral. Whoever produces the upcoming season, perhaps Rohail Hyatt (after a five year hiatus), ultimately creative control will matter a great deal.
Coke Studio was started by Rohail Hyatt who ran it till season six after which Strings took on the role of producers and ran the show for four seasons. In season 11, Ali Hamza and Zohaib Kazi were brought in as producers who – in addition to the brilliant main show – introduced a new, beautiful module called Coke Studio Explorer.