Coke Studio 12 Is Rohail Hyatt’s Most Laid Back Effort To Date & Yet It Still Shines

coke studio 12 rohail hyatt
Source: The Express Tribune

Coke Studio 12 premiered some seven weeks ago amid huge fanfare. While Pakistanis await the annual installment of the show impatiently each year, this time around, anticipation was at an all-time high. Every single music geek in the country was excited about the return of the godfather himself: Rohail Hyatt. What goes to the music maestro’s credit is the fact that he did not merely mastermind the show 12 years ago but also gave it its most celebrated years for six seasons.

After Rohail’s departure, the iconic duo, Strings, took over the show. While the pop stars gave us many hits to groove to, they also had some pretty distasteful experiments which are better forgotten. Some of the artists also complained that Strings were too controlling and didn’t give them the freedom to express themselves as they had under Rohail Hyatt. Strings produced the show for 4 years and left after season 10. For season 11, the reins of the show were handed over to Ali Hamza and Zohaib Kazi and we all remember how that worked out…the less we talk about it, the better.

Read: Believe It Or Not: Here Are 10 Songs From Coke Studio Season 11 That Are Now On Our Playlist!

But now the man who created Coke Studio is back at the helm and after 6 episodes, I can say that Rohail Hyatt has not disappointed his fans at all.

Coke Studio 12 might be the most laid back effort yet by Rohail Hyatt but it still somehow manages to shine!

In his first stint as the producer of Coke Studio, Hayatt had brought elements of Jazz and Classical Rock from all over the world and fused them with our traditional cultural music as we saw evidently in Tori Chab by Rustam Fateh Ali Khan and Sumru Ağıryürüyen. The same was expected by him this year but he took a rather safe approach.

While opting to bring back Hadiqa Kiani and Fariha Pervez, he stuck with Strings’ regulars, Umair Jaswal and Aima Baig. This shows the impact of the new social media driven world.

However, instead of bringing in foreign artists like his past efforts, Hayatt has showcased talent from within Pakistan. From Gilgit to Balochistan, this season brilliantly packages indigenous diversity and I can’t be happier about this! Still can’t stop myself from getting up and losing it all to Mubarak Mubarak!

After a long time, someone has finally done justice to the oldies while giving them a Gen Z makeover. Billo, Mundeya and Gulon Me Rang Bharay are proof enough.

As expected, Atif Aslam features heavily in season 12. He launched the season with Wohi Khuda Hai; following it up with the Punjabi-Balochi fusion, Mubarak Mubarak and then his solo performance in Ayye Kuch Abr.

Read: Atif Aslam Has Pakistanis & Indians Raving Over His Rendition Of Wohi Khuda Hai On Coke Studio 12

Fariha Pervez and Hadiqa Kiani have showed us once again why they are the queens of Pakistani Music Industry with Balma and Daachi Waaliya.

While this season gave a fresh scent to Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s Gulon Me Rang Bharay by Ali Sethi, it introduced us to a new language, Burushaski from the Hunza valley which was a magical and soulful experience as its own.

Abu Muhammad and Fareed Ayaz previously gave us Kangna and Khabaram Raseeda while working with Rohail Hyatt and this year, the raw and powerful voices of these qawaals take us on a roller coaster of energy with Aadam.

The fusion of Eastern Classical with Western Music is evident in almost every song and this is what the fans were hoping they would get with Rohail Hyatt. While there isn’t a single track that I can say I was disappointed with but I would still like to see Rohail take more risks and go back to his former self as the seasons progresses.