Given the rich history and heritage of Pakistan, our music is diverse and inspired by different regions of Asia, including some Western influences that can be seen in the contemporary genres. Like our food, the very fusion of all these flavours makes it so unique and beautiful. Ever since the inception of Coke Studio, we have seen many unique musical fusions that transcend all borders in a perfect harmony. Delving deeper into this art form, this year, the musical platform takes its viewers on a journey of discovering untapped talent and unheard voices from the vast cultural soundscape of Pakistan.
‘Coke Studio Explorer’ takes us on journey from the remote mountains of Kalash to the scenic valley of Muzaffarabad, through the deserts of Sindh and the landscapes of Balochistan, and finally making its way into the walled city of Lahore. This is the first documented log of the journey that the studio takes to discover singers, sounds and stories that would otherwise go unnoticed; better still, it has provided these artists with the ideal platform to pursue their dreams.
“Coke Studio Explorer is a story of people and resilience. It sparks the broader conversation of diversity and language. The programme is centred on a number of immensely talented and driven musicians whose songs will make Pakistan proud. It is driven by our desire to help put the genre of folk amalgamated with the urban sounds of the country, on an international landscape. We travelled across the country with our laptops and mobile recording system, in the hope to truly capture the essence and spirit of music across the country. It was important to record each artist in their own spaces; where they were most at ease. We hope to discover, archive and narrate these songs and stories in an urbanised 2018 soundscape; and that this will help foster more love and amity and unite people using the tremendous power of music,” said the producers, Ali Hamza and Zohaib Kazi.
The spinoff series started off with ‘Pareek’ by Ariana and Amrina, from the snow-capped remote mountains of the Kalash Valley, who celebrate their passion for music through this age-old folklore. The second song, ‘Faqeera’, featured the brother-sister duo of Vishnu and Shamu Bai paying homage to their land with this instant and classic track. The third one, ‘Naseebaya’ by Nar Sur (throat singers) Mangal, Darehan and Shayan, is an ode to the peculiar vocal art that continues to survive within the remote mountains of Balochistan. The fourth song is a ballad, ‘Tere Bin Soona’ featuring the Instagram star Mishal Khawaja from Punjab followed by the final song, ‘Ha Gulo’ featuring Qasamir from Azad Kashmir that is true to its region’s folk music.
It is a true celebration of culture and diversity that will draw everyone in.
— Adeela Akmal