It’s been 11 whole years since Coke Studio made a debut on the Pakistani airways. Ever since it has remained the most anticipated music show in Pakistan, hands down!
Last year had marked the end of Strings’ 5-year contract with Coke as the producers of the show. After a lot of speculation it was finally announced that Ali Hamza, who had previously served as a guest producer on Coke Studio Season 10 would take the reins from Strings.
The announcement had been widely welcomed by fans and music critics alike given that Hamza had already wooed the audiences with his productions of Tinak Dhin and Katay Na Katay last year.
So taken aback were we with Ali Hamza’s talent that even before the announcement had been made, Bolo Jawan’s resident music critic, Amna Kareem had predicted – nay demanded – that Hamza be given charge of the show!
And now that Ali Hamza and Zohaib Kazi (co-producer) have finally showcased a glimpse of Coke Studio 11, it has attracted unprecedented attention.
The inclusion of a transgender vocalist in the new season has been widely hailed and for good reason! This is something that certainly deserves praise above everything else!
— Maria Lakhpat (@iLakhpat) July 23, 2018
— Express Trending 😷 (@ietrending) July 23, 2018
Then there are Ahad Raza Mir fans who can’t wait to see their favourite actor make his singing debut on the country’s biggest music platform.
— SabahatMS (@SabahatMS) July 22, 2018
However, not all the attention is particularly positive…
Keeping up with the tradition, Coke Studio announced the arrival of its new season with a promotional song that covers a beloved piece of patriotic music.
This time, the producers (i.e. Ali Hamza and Zohaib Kazi) opted for Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s revolutionary poem, Hum Daikhain Gey that was originally sung by the legendary singer, Iqbal Bano.
Given that elections are only a few days away, Hum Daikhain Gey seemed like an apt choice, likely to resonate with the millions of Pakistanis who are all but fed-up with the dramatics that have engulfed the country this election year.
The song should then have worked, allowing every Pakistani to interpret it as per his or her own political reality.
However, such was not the case and Coke Studio Season 11 has come under fire from some quarters for supposedly siding with Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) as Hum Daikhain Gey has been their DJ’s favourite choice during party rallies.
And it isn’t just the choice of song; even the new logo has been scrutinized by some for choosing a color theme that is very similar to PTI’s flag.
— Khattak Zad (@KhattakZad) July 22, 2018
— ObAiD KhAn 👨💻 (@iobaidu5) July 22, 2018
— Engr. Salman Abbasi (@SalmanAbbasi_) July 22, 2018