With Ali Hamza and Zohaib Kazi taking charge this year, Coke Studio had quite a rough season, failing to live up to fans’ expectations. The numbers that came out in Coke Studio Season 11 sounded more of fillers than the kind of huge hits the brand is usually known for across the world.
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So much so that the latest edition was concluded with a rendition of Ko Ko Korina so bizarre that it stirred an international level controversy, compelling even the likes of BBC to do a feature story on the Shireen Mazari-Momina Mustehsan-Ahad Raza Mir Twitter beef.
Despite all the lackluster performances, we cannot discredit the Ali Hamza and Zohaib Kazi duo for bringing a representative range of artists to the country’s grandest musical show.
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What else we cannot ignore are these 10 songs from Coke Studio Season 11 that have landed on our playlist and are here to stay.
The very first song to come out of Coke Studio Season 11, Shikwa/Jawab-e-Shikwa has to be one of the most beautiful recitals of Iqbal’s one of the most read Kalams.
While nothing short was expected from Fareed Ayaz and Abu Muhammad, it was the young singer Natasha Baig who stood on her own and didn’t falter even once in front of the music powerhouses.
Shikwa/Jawab-e-Shikwa is undoubtedly the most sublime performance of this year’s edition!
2. Main Irada
A song that celebrates strengths of a woman’s character, Main Irada marked a comeback of the amazing Haniya in Coke Studio. Joined by the mesmerizing Rachel Viccaji, Sindhi folk singer Shamu Bai and the little Kalasha girls, Ariana & Amrina, the number sees a magical amalgamation of contrasting vocals, complimenting each other and providing more substance to the lyrics of the song.
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Main Irada is perhaps the most rightful projection of a force that a woman is and deserves to be played on a loop.
3. Rap Hai Saara
The much-awaited national debut of Lyari Underground, Rap Hai Saara is one of its kind. Although Bohemia has been on this stage performing raps, what these self-made Baloch boys did with the Coke Studio platform is indeed groundbreaking.
Young Desi brings a whole lot of pop culture drenched in Punjabi language to the table while the young boys of Lyari Underground sing a rap about rap that too in Balochi, Rap Hai Saara is everything the alternative music lovers in the country could ask for.
Shuja Haider’s contributions to Coke Studio are always something to look forward to and the guy didn’t fail us this time again. Honestly, I was forced by the editor to add Aatish to the list but after repeated plays, I can see why.
A modern take on a love song, Aima Baig’s rollicking vocals give a very crisp touch to the melody and the lyrics are so relatable, you will find yourself smiling throughout the song.
Aatish perfectly explains the conundrum that love has become in today’s age and as the lovers struggle to cope up, Shuja Haider seizes on the opportunity to make a hit number out of it!
5. Nami Danam
The fact that we have a whole feature story praising Nami Danam explains why the name is on our list. I have been listening to Chand Tara Orchestra’s music for more than a year now and to see them give such a spectacular performance and retain the essence of their sound on a platform that usually tricks the artists to go overboard with experiments is nothing short of a treat, to say the least.
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With Nami Danam, Shaheryar Tariq, Omran Shafique, Babar Sheikh, Rizwanullah Khan and Kami Paul break you into trance along with preserving the Persian soul of the Kalam, all while they give a nonperishable historical song to the Coke Studio fans.
6. Hawa Hawa
Experience four minutes of pure joy, nostalgia and fun as Hassan Jahangir shakes a leg to his peppy and legendary, Hawa Hawa. Gul Panrra’s sweet vocals do try to balance things out but Hassan with his high energy dominates the number throughout.
Coke Studio’s Hawa Hawa will give you an idea of why the song got hit in the first place and why our parents just couldn’t get enough of it!
7. Jind Mahiya
Another work of art by Shuja Haider and one of his most unique compositions, Jind Mahiya has an ear-worming effect. Layered yet light on ears, the Middle Eastern touch to a Desi rooted song further adds to the harmony and the rhythmic backing vocals lift the melody to another level of brilliance.
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Jind Mahiya is a feel-good fun number that justifies all the excitement with which Shuja Haider talked about the song in the BTS video.
8. Balaghal Ula Be Kamalihi
One never needs to tell why Abida Parveen’s Kalam makes it to the Coke Studio’s bests. Transcending, soul-wrenching and a pure bliss, Balaghal Ula Be Kamalihi has the power of healing and nothing less.
If it weren’t for Abida Jee, Coke Studio wouldn’t have enjoyed the reputation it does among the Sufi music lovers and Balaghal Ula Be Kamalihi is a beautiful addition to this thread.
9. Wah Jo Kalaam
A Sindhi folk bhajan by the greatest discoveries made by Coke Studio Explorer, Shamu Bai and Vishnu. Asrar adds to the heartiness and earthy texture of the song.
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Wah Jo Kalaam has a contagious vibe that holds on to the listener long after the song has ended. With minimal support from instruments, the trio creates an aura that seems like a work of only some big ensemble.
10. Luddi Hai Jamalo
I suppose every kid in a Pakistani household is aware of this iconic number, reason why living up to people’s expectations was difficult. That said, Humaira Arshad and Ali Sethi turn this percussion-soaked folk song into a festive ride as Mehndi songs are fused into the mix.
If Luddi Hai Jamalo doesn’t break you into random Bhangra, you gotta go see an ENT Specialist. END OF STORY!!
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