Despite accusations of plagiarism, Coke Studio 14 has begun on a refreshing note. As Naseebo Lal and Abida Parveen pull us to the arresting ‘Tu Jhoom’, here’s a look at other duets that made the platform so coveted, and won countless fans along the way.
This is not the first time that Naseebo Lal or Abida Parveen are appearing on Coke Studio. But under the aegis of first-time Coke Studio Executive Producer Zulfiqar Jabbar Khan aka Xulfi, the shorter
season is going in a dramatically different direction. Teamed with Abdullah Siddiqui, who serves as
Associate Music Producer on multiple songs, expectations are high from Coke Studio 14. The Abida Parveen-Naseebo Lal single ‘Tu Jhoom’, however, has delivered the first success from the music
series since its release.
The BTS videos include an introduction to featured artists as well as one with Xulfi in focus. The real beauty lies in the BTS video featuring Naseebo Lal, who not only explains the song but speaks from the heart about returning to the platform and the love she has for the iconic Abida Parveen. The song, as Abdullah Siddiqui observes is, “a perfect blend of traditional sounds – quintessentially desi but in an updated, almost postmodern way,” and we share the view.
With Xulfi's expertise as producer and artist, along with Abdullah Siddiqui as music producer and a featured artist and Adnan Dhool's words, the combined efforts have resulted in a hypnotic allegory where transitions are welcome and the stylistic change in music is harmonious. As Coke Studio drops other equally collaborative or solo singles from Coke Studio 14, we look at four collaborations from previous years that reflect the show's innovative legacy as it steps into the future.
Noori and Saeen Zahoor
This song was not only a landmark achievement for Noori who announced their comeback quietly with the series but for the music series as well. It opened doors to the Sufi ideals with no agenda other than introducing the Noori audience to the folk charm and experience of Saeen Zahoor. Ali Hamza worked out with Saeen Zahoor and the reception to this song was warm with many still remembering this ode to faith in a higher power while doing so in an organic, never-seen-before in Pakistan fashion. It is still a fan favourite, echoing love for the beloved.
‘Alif Allah Chambey Di Booty’
Arif Lohar and Meesha Shafi
One of the biggest hits from the illustrious history of Coke Studio, it defied conventional norms by
merging a folk favourite being sung by a folk
magician and an emerging singer-songwriter
Meesha Shafi, who was then known for the music group Overload in music vernacular. The spunk, a groovy house band and the electrifying environment, backed by a lush setup and the duet of two dramatically different voices made it another song in Coke Studio history as a huge hit, a fan favourite and a song with a thrilling narrative.
Sanam Marvi and Sajjad Ali
Perhaps one of the more underrated songs to emerge from Coke Studio, ‘Rang Laaga’ released in the fourth season of Coke Studio. Technically a shaadi song with a somewhat different musical idea in Sajjad Ali’s mind, then-music producer Rohail Hyatt converted the collaboration into a different design. Melancholic at first, almost-opera like as it hits a crescendo. Back then, as Pakistan was facing terror attacks, Mr. Hyatt had explained how our colour is red, referring to the bloodshed that followed the country. There is no other song like it in the Coke Studio discography, which makes it even more magnificent.
‘Na Tutteya Ve’
Various Artists: Meesha Shafi, Sanam Marvi, Fariha
Pervez, Zara Madani, Wajiha Naqvi and Sehar Gul Khan
The idea behind this song, originally composed and written by Shuja Haider, was to explore an empowering all-female anthem. Rohail Hyatt, as music producer, held it back to produce it in 2020 with a gut-punch. He added Meesha Shafi who not only sings with the line-up but also composes a rap she sings as the song comes to a close. Featuring all female singers of the season in 2020, it comprised Meesha Shafi, Sanam Marvi, Fariha Pervez, Zara Madani,
Wajiha Naqvi and Sehar Gul Khan and is still the first song in the show’s history to feature an all-female line up.
With lyrics that speak of equality between men and women (whether intended to or not) and the variety of voices, the song is a testament to women who are resilient that even when the heart breaks, it doesn’t remain broken – a strength that is a definition of how women are treated in this country.