close
Tuesday February 27, 2024

Everything is not magic

The country’s most recognized music series unveils a cover song ft. Eva B and Karakoram in the lead up to Coke Studio Live, slated to take place in Dubai later this month

October 03, 2022

There are no two ways about it. The entertainment industry at large (featuring music, fashion, cinema, television, theatre and streaming content) is at a transitional junction.

Nearly three years since the outbreak of a pandemic created by SARS-CoV-2, every industry has had to rethink its way forward.

In this time, technology has played an enormous role and its contribution to every field including and especially music cannot be denied.

And when we talk about music, there is no platform bigger than Coke Studio. But the show’s illustrious history has been rewritten in its fourteenth season.

A think tank, curation process, and original songs moving with the global sonic landscape and a new producer in the form of Zulfiqar Jabbar Khan has taken the show into a mesosphere that has been refreshing.

In the aftermath of season 14, expectations from the show remain higher than ever.

As the countdown to Coke Studio Live - scheduled to take place in Dubai on October 14 - has begun, interesting ideas are being added to the event, making it even more inviting than ever.

Pushing the envelope to reach a bigger audience, the music series has released ‘A Kind of Magic’ as part of Coke Studio Global. The track features Karakoram and Eva B in what is certainly a satisfying music video.

The song, however, is one of the weakest links from Coke Studio.

Why?

It is a cover version of a Queen song called, ‘A Kind of Magic’. The band, led by the late Freddie Mercury did the song for the soundtrack of a film called Highlander in 1986. A massive hit in the band’s arsenal, it remains one of their most recognized songs.

To touch a Queen song is like incinerating your own credibility. Because irrespective of the cover versions done by other artists on the growing Coke Studio Global platform, it’s just one of those songs that you never cover for public consumption.

Karakoram and Eva B have certainly tried, and points for the effort but in the end, you still keep wondering why this song was chosen and not another. Freddie Mercury is still a giant and a vocal mastermind.

Karakoram and Eva B’s version opens with Sherry Khattak, the singer-songwriter from the band, singing before Eva B enters and gives it refuge through rap.

However, the amalgamation of these two brilliant artists otherwise takes a backseat. Alas, this music video makes you want to yearn for Karakoram’s Ailan-e-Jang and their original recent collaborations as well.

If anything, the song belongs to Eva B. She brings her rap game to the scene, taking some of the heat for covering Queen. A fascinating artist, Eva B and the rawness she brings to the table is what you want to focus on. She sings about immersing herself in music, and how time is the only cure.

However, under the reign of Xulfi, the curator and producer for Coke Studio 14, the series has flown higher and the audience has been receptive to a different kind of music. There are many songs from Coke Studio 14 alone that are so good that they have earned a place on your Coke Studio playlist.

One of the season’s biggest hits, an original song called ‘Pasoori’ by Ali Sethi and Shae Gill, found a space on Coke Studio Africa. The African version features the man who conceived the idea behind the song - Ali Sethi - alongside Reekado Banks and Marwan Moussa. Both Reekado Banks and Marwan Moussa brought their own specialty to the final mix but didn’t take away from its original power.

Watch this song for Eva B’s flawless delivery and an interesting music video. And you may very well fall in love with the song because (a) Coke Studio has tried to make the effort of not completely imitating Queen by adding rap and (b) Eva B is impeccable.

Sherry Khattak and the unique neo-prog rock act have such strong songs in their repertoire that it is a wonder why they were not used.

Check out their Coke Studio debut track, ‘Ye Dunya’ and the songs that have followed since such as ‘Duur’ and ‘Kyun’ (ft. Hasan Raheem).